Although the majority of music is sold on CD or electronic download, many passionate music lovers still have extensive collections of vinyl records. Classic vinyl are still popular at many yard sales, on eBay and at used book and music retailers. To get the most for your investment, follow these steps to care for your vinyl records.
1. Dull or dusty turntable needles can diminish sound quality and damage your vinyl. Replace your turntable needle (also known as a stylus) when sound quality begins to diminish.
2. Handle your records carefully. Although fingerprints can be removed from vinyl, the best way to avoid prevent damage from oil and dirt is to handle records carefully by the edges of the record.
3. When cleaning is necessary, use a gentle mixture of dish soap and water with a soft cloth or a static-free wet wipe. Wipe very lightly to avoid pushing dirt into record grooves. Do not immerse your records in water as it will dissolve the label’s adhesive. Dry carefully and thoroughly before replacing in the sleeve.
4. Don’t expose your records to excessive heat or dust.
5. Store records by standing them vertically. Stacking them atop one another on a flat surface or leaving so much space between records that they lean may cause warping.
6. If you purchase vinyl that is packaged in a old plastic sleeve, remove your record and place it in a static-free paper sleeve. Plastic sleeves may adhere to vinyl records, particularly if used in warmer climates. New anti-static polyliners are also a good choice for protecting your albums.
7. Records that sound scratchy may still be salvageable.
Finally, try to load sleeve-covered albums back into their jackets open side first. Doing so will limit exposure to dust and minimize the risk that albums will spill out of jackets.