Still have those old records and crazy about that groove you wouldn’t get any other way?
- Perhaps you have the love for vinyl, the passion to keep a large collection, or you may have the pair of ears that can differentiate the natural sound only vinyl records can offer.
- You may be an audiophile or a DJ who loves to dance or make people dance to the tone.
- Or you’re just a trend follower inspired by the stats indicating towards the historic comeback of the vinyl records.
For the record, the staggering pace began in 2007 as the vinyl record sales in the U.S hit the 1 million mark again, going on to touch the 9 million mark in 2014. The sales was already 52% higher in the first quarter of 2015 compared to that of in 2014.
Whatever the reason may be, keeping vinyl record collection always pays off, given that you keep them in good condition. You can resell the copies, share your craze with your friends and family, or just cherish your memories with a nice soft music running in the background.
In this post, you can learn how to keep your collection in best form. If you don’t know the steps, this is the way to go. If you have been keeping them for long, this post will be a nice little recap for you.
So, better get started!
#1: Keep the Records Away From Dust
Vinyl is an organic compound that attracts dust and debris. So, it is recommended that the records should be stored in its cardboard cover. Alternatively, you can keep the records in plastic sleeves meant for them. If you haven’t the vinyl protection sleeves, you can use acid-free sleeves for this purpose.
#2: Keep the Records Away From Heat
As mentioned above, vinyl is a compound and heat is its best enemy. Exposure to heat can easily warp your record collection. Make sure that the place of keeping vinyl collections should not be near to the heating source, such as heaters or stoves.
Vinyl records also need protection against ultra violet rays of sun.
#3: A Remedy for Warp Record
Well, if the record is not all that damaged, there’s still a chance to retain it to its original condition.
- Keep the warped vinyl record in its protective sleeve
- Put the record between thick pieces of plane glass and place it horizontally on the table.
- Place heavy object or book on top
If you get it back, it’s your lucky day. The trick may not work on all warped records though, but it’s better to use it before throwing the disk away.
#4: Keep Your Collection Upright
If you stack up the records, that’s one way of damaging them. The only way to keep your collection safe is by placing them upright side by side. Remember; records still need a breathing space, so keep a little space between to covers so that the inside of the cover keeps from sticking with the vinyl record’s surface.
#5: Keep Your Collection Airtight
If you need extra protection, you can put your records in an airtight container and use occasional vacuuming for maximum protection.
#6: Hold Them Properly
Of course, you can hold your records, but not like you hold your book.
- Vinyl record should be held from its edges with fingers away from the surface.
- If your fingers make contact with the surface, the body oil from the fingers may be deposited to the grooves, which will affect the sound quality.
- You can also hold them from the center where the label is
#7: Keep Your Collection Clean
Cleaning is very important for vinyl records; otherwise the records will develop scratches and scuffs. Here are quick cleaning tips:
- Use a soft and lint-free cloth. You can use muslin for cleaning your records.
- Use carbon fiber brush to remove dirt and dust as it attracts the dust without putting too much pressure on the surface.
- Use record-cleaning kit to properly clean the grooves
- Allow the records to dry before putting them back to their sleeves.
#8: Special Care for Shellac Records
Don’t use alcoholic solution to clean shellac records. There are professional cleaning solutions for earlier versions.
- For older shellac records, you can use heavily diluted dish washing liquid for cleaning. Use fine brush that is meant to lift the dirt of the surface.
- Make sure not to dampen the label.
- After cleaning, use a dry cloth or towel to soak up extra liquid.
- Allow the record to dry for a while.
#9: Keep Record Sleeves Clean As Well
Make sure, after sliding out the record from its sleeves, it must be kept a place free from dirt. Before you put the record back into its sleeve, clean both the things properly.
#10: Maintain Your Record Player
The turntable and the stylus are the main components that are directly in contact with the record. You need to ensure both the things are free from dirt.
- The record platter must be cleaned properly with a piece of cloth, before placing and after removing the record. The reason is, as the record plays, the magnetic field generated by the cartridge attracts dust and dirt, which is deposited on to the record surface.
- The needle or stylus must be cleaned properly with a brush or soft cloth. It should be replaced once in a while; otherwise it may damage the record surface.
- Take your time and clean the cartridge occasionally as the dirt and dust accumulates inside it.
The only way to grow your record collection is keeping them protected from dirt, dust, liquid, heat and light. Therefore, not only should the records be cleaned periodically but the items that they contact with must be cleaned from time to time.
While this post offers the basic tips to maintain your collection, you should continue to learn and find answers for specific issues related to the maintenance of records.