New to vinyl ?
Vinyl Record Care and Maintenance Tips
Vinyl records are delicate, so you should consider some of the following suggestions when it comes to handling, cleaning and storage of your record collection.
Avoid touching the vinyl record’s surface. You should hold the disc by its outer edge and the label surface only. Always store records in their protective sleeves.
It is a good idea to clean records before and after playing. This will provide the best possible playback, and prepares the disc for dust free storage.
There are various methods, machines and cleaning liquid formulas, for the cleaning of records.
Use a soft, clean cloth and a bit of water. Distilled water is better. You may also use a water based cleaning solution which contains up to 20% isopropyl alcohol by volume. This type of solution will remove dirt and dissolve oily surface contaminants caused by improper handling. Apply the cleaning solution or water, and use a soft clean cloth, to wipe the disc in a circular motion in the direction of the grooves.
Try to avoid a static build up on your discs. Static charges create crackles during playback, and attract dust particles during playing and handling.
Proper storage of your records is critical for long life and good playability.
When storing you precious old records consider the following: temperature and humidity, dirt and dust, proper stacking, pressure and weight, and handling or chemical damage.
When it comes to the best storage environment, a constant temperature of 65-70 degrees Fahrenheit or 21 degrees Celsius plus a relative humidity of 45-50% is the ideal.
Try to avoid rapid changes in temperature and humidity, which could have an adverse effect on the life of your records. Be aware of the adverse affects of heat from heaters, vents, and artificial lighting can have on your stored records.
Make sure your records are not exposed to high humidity or water. This will cause mold to grow on the album jackets, and within the inner sleeves causing sever damage.
Avoid dusty environments. It is best to store records a cabinet with doors, or seal-able cardboard boxes. If some record jackets or inner sleeves become dirty or moldy replace them to avoid further damage to the discs.
Do not store, in or around smoky or cooking areas. Smoke and cooking grease will stick to records and their jackets.
NEVER… NEVER… stack records flat on their sides!
Always store records on edge in a vertical position.
It is a good idea to remove the original manufacturers shrink wrap if still intact. These covers will shrink over time, eventually warping the jacket and it’s contents. You can replace shrink wrap with high density polyethylene, or acid free sleeves. In addition to this, you may want to consider replacing the regular paper inner sleeves, with Mylar or Polyethylene sleeves. Regular paper inner sleeves can scratch the surface of your recordings.
By following these tips, you should be able to extend the life of your precious old records.