How to properly care for your vinyl
There are many reasons, people buy vinyl.
- They like the format/size
- The sound is superior
- Collecting for value or interest
- Cover art
- And I'm sure many other
Whatever your reason is, proper care of your vinyl will keep it in tip top shape for years, no matter what climate you live in.
First lets talk about cleaning. Cleaning records is oh so easy, and not expensive. It is
important to treat your records with care. Handle by the edges and keep in their protective
jacket when not in play.
First lets decide how much cleaning your record needs!.
- How often do you play particular records
- How long and where have your records been stored
- How careful are you with your recordings
If you don't play your records often, a simple wipe with an anti-stat cloth is sufficient. Be sure to keep these expensive cloths in a baggy type container to keep it moist. Once they dry up - Throw out!
If your records have been stored for awhile and you have dirt or mold on them you may want to wash them with a few drops of dish washing soap and a soft cloth.
Use a small few drops on your record. Clean thoroughly with a soft cloth ( we use handiwipes), rinse, running under the water being careful to avoid getting water on the label, (Don't soak your records in water, the label will come off). If you get the label slightly wet, it will dry. Dry with a soft cloth or pat dry with a good paper towel. This gets all the dirt and mold off. After you wash the record, apply a commercial anti-stat solution to decrease any static on the vinyl. Examples (Discwasher D4 or Allsop)
I recommend the spray instead of the squeeze because their is much less waste. Why a handiwipe?
Because they have no wood pulp and will not harm your records. Now you could spend about $250.00 and invest in a professional cleaning machine called Nitty Gritty. We have two such machines, which cleans both sides at the same time and then vacuums the solution off. This really gets deep in the grooves and can immensely improve the sound of even a scratchy record. Nitty Gritty Home page.
Alcohol ! Will it harm your records? The answer is maybe. Most (or maybe all) commercial products are alcohol based but are diluted with water and other products. Straight Alcohol is not recommended. Many Recipes of cleaning solutions can be
found on the internet.
Storing your vinyl
Always store your vinyl standing up. If you lay your records in a stack, overtime they will will warp. Don't allow a lot of space between records causing them to lean, this will also cause warping. Heat warping is usually only caused by exposure to direct heat, ie (sun - don't leave your records in the car) furnaces ( I have seen more records that have heat marks by being directly laid on something hot). Records can stand a fairly high temperature in doors as long as they are stored properly.
What kind of inner sleeve should I use?
First, if you buy used records from anywhere and they have the old kind of plastic sleeve on them, TAKE THEM OFF!! Here in Florida, those plastic inner sleeves adhere to the vinyl and if you can get it off, leaves marks that won't come off the vinyl. We recommend plain old white paper sleeves with the cut corners. These are inexpensive, and the cut corners make sliding the record sleeve in and out of the jacket much easier.
Always slide the open edge of the inner sleeve first into the record jacket. This keeps the dust out, and prevents the record from falling out of the jacket. (Broke an expensive Beatles album that way once).
If you choose to buy the polylined sleeve, these are perfectly fine. The lining of the sleeve, serves to keep static down on your recordings.