Vinyl Care & Cleaning
When it comes to storing vinyl records, you need to do a lot to make
sure they stay in excellent condition so that it may serve you for a
long time. It is imperative to store your vinyl so that it does not
break, grow mold, gather dust or warp.
On the other hand, if a vinyl record isn’t stored in the right way, it will not be easy to play them, and sooner or later its value will depreciate. Another crucial reason why you need to keep your records correctly is to help preserve the environment.
Let's look at some of the ways you can store your vinyl records in the right way and different methods of storing to help you arrange your albums properly.
The advice in this guide was borrowed from the Library of Congress in the US. This government body was given the mandate to care, store and maintain a large number of vinyl records. This is one of the most organized institutions in the country.
Why it is crucial to store vinyl records
Storing vinyl records nicely is extremely paramount to preserving an album. This is mainly because these records are manufactured from materials that have unstable materials, which may readily react with the environment. This means the planet is a humongous pot of chemical that came easily react with your records gradually with time and this, in turn, changes the molecular structure of your record. Therefore, the main reason why people store them careful is so as to reduce the effects the records have on the environment.
The basics of storing vinyl record stage
The first thing you need to do is to make sure that you store your vinyl records in the vertical position. This means you need to keep them in an upright position and on edge for that matter. Also, you should never place your vinyl in a flat position. You should also not stack them on top of each other, the way you do to discuss, this will make the vinyl records warp in the long run. Besides, just make sure the shelf compartment where you will be storing your records is sturdy and strong enough to accommodate the weight of a huge number of vinyl records.
More often, the vinyl records become hefty when they are stored together. One foot of shelving may weight somewhere around 35 pounds, as a matter of fact, the 78s are way heavier than the other types. Many people don’t know this, but many formats such as vinyl records have most of the weight focused of a shelf. This is not a good thing at all because it may make the shelf collapse in the end. So, just don’t be too hard on your shelf. If your shelf gets damaged, you may lose collections of vinyl records that worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.
If you choose to place your vinyl records on the shelves, you should first of all make sure that the shells are divided into several compartments and sturdy dividers that are placed at least 4 inches apart. Additionally, the dividers should be installed in such a way they can offer great support of the vinyl records in their sleeves as much as possible.
Another point to note is that you should never keep all your vinyl together, by this, we mean different sizes should not be stored together, but you should instead, store vinyl records of the same size in one place. For instance, you should keep LPs separate from the 45s, which should also be different from 78s and so forth.
The storage environment of your vinyl records
Many people either don’t know or ignore this important aspect whenever they are storing their albums. But in actual sense, you should always make sure the vinyl records are stored at room temperature or temperatures below that. In addition, you should also ensure that the room is relatively humid and dry, say about 35 percent humid as well as clean. Avoid areas such as basements, attics and other places in your house that have very high risk of suffering water leaks and other environment factors such as dampness, freezing and so much more. You should always avoid exposing the vinyl records to sunlight, and the light should always be at a minimum.
The less lit the place is, the better for your records. Sunlight and other sources of light are not good at all, remember we mentioned that the records are made of unstable chemical materials and thus may react when exposed to light. Also, the records should be kept away from vents, radiators, and other heat sources.
Taking into account humidity and temperature for vinyl records
Now, for those of you who are nuts about storing their vinyl records in the best condition ever. For governmental or institutions with documents that have permanent value, the Library of Congress advises that you have to store your vinyl records at around 46 F and under a relative humidity of not more than 40 percent.
Packaging your vinyl records
When packing your records, use sleeves that are made from high-density polyethylene. Any other material will do more harm than good on your vinyl records, chemically speaking. You should also not use paper sleeves that normally come with the album.
Storage containers for vinyl records
A storage box for your records is supposed to be made from acid and lint and acid-free cardboard or stock. In addition to that, you should never use storage containers that store static energy or metal or wood.
Last but not least, you should always avoid stocking or rather be stacking you vinyl records too close to each other that there is no space. Everything needs some space to breath, and the same goes for your vinyl records. This way, you are sure that they will last for a long time and they will always look as good as new.
There is nothing as great as keeping your vinyl records clean because you can be sure they will survive for a very long time. However, it is vital to clean your vinyl records, or they can easily be damaged. You do not need stress yourself about it. There is nothing complicated in cleaning vinyl records. One important thing you need to know is that vinyl records get dirt very first, and if you play them in that condition it will get damaged, and it will compromise the quality of sound. Therefore, ensure that you always keep them clean.
Quick cleaning tips for vinyl record
These tips will guide you the misleading world of cleaning vinyl records. If you have never done it before, and you are now sure how to go about it, then this is the perfect guide for you. The best way to clean your vinyl records is by using a carbon fiber brush before you play the records and after you are done playing.
• Always avoid unnecessary risks when playing the records
• If you want the best heights in acoustic clarity, purchase a professional record cleaning machine
• When cleaning, use de-ionized and distilled water
• Get rid of debris and dust before you start to clean
The primary purpose of using a brush is to clean gently over the surface. You should never use the brush in grooves of the record. One of the best tools for cleaning vinyl record vacuum cleaner. You can also find record cleaning kits in any store in your area. You will get them for around 100 dollars.
Remember, once you record is damaged, there is no amount of cleaning can repair it. New records are always clean and don’t have any dents or dust or warps so start by treatment them like delicate fragile flowers from the very start. . So, make sure that you clean your records before starting to play them. Also, always be gentle on the records, because too much friction is not okay.
However, most cleaning solutions usually leave some residue. Alcohols also have a minuscule amount of grease. On the other hand, stylus, turntable in bad shape will also damage the records. To stay on the safe side, never use alcohol to clean your
Cleaning vinyl records for starters
The issue of cleaning vinyl records has always brought a lot of various recipes for do it yourself potions for cleaning or repairing scratches in vinyl. Something like a pseudo-science is linked with it. This takes place when you curate delicate objects with sophisticated properties when cleaning increases its qualities as well as its value. You have probably heard a thing or two about ‘’silky silky’’ skin or ‘’shiny shiny’’ skin. The same goes for vinyl record cleaning techniques.
There are so many cleaning tips and tricks on the internet, but many of them out there that don’t do the job at all. Many are most stressful that they claim to work, and they will end up damaging your vinyl records.
So, the ideal way of caring and cleaning your vinyl records is to use the conventional method. These methods are not complicated at all, and they are very cheap.
If you clean your records safely, they will surely shine and give you the best quality.
Handling your vinyl records
One of the easiest and effective ways of cleaning vinyl records is, first of all, to ensure that your records don’t become too dirty at first. Another point you should note is that you should never touch the sensitive parts with your dirty hands. If your finger has oils and acids, they will wear away the vinyl and tamper with everything. So, in everything you do, just make sure that you don’t touch the surface that plays the music.
There is not the right way of holding a vinyl record, just like there is no best way of drinking milk. However, in whatever way you hold your records, there is a consequence. Just use your two hands when carrying or holding your vinyl records, and put your hands on the surface that don’t carry the music data and this will, in turn, keep your vinyl records in great shape in time.
How to prepare your vinyl record before playing it
In a world like the one we live in, it is very wise to clean vinyl records nicely before playing them. This is extremely crucial so as to stop the buildup of grime and dust. If you are going to use a carbon brush, then make sure that you pass it along the surface lightly and this will do the job quite well. When cleaning, you should treat your records like a queen, always be gentle on the surfaces. You can move the brush in a circular motion, not only on the grooves but also on the edges. The reason for doing this is to get rid of loose particles. To clean the vinyl deeper, you should opt for the cheapest and safest cleaning technique.
For a deeper clean, use the simple, safe and cheap vinyl record cleaning method described below or use a record cleaning kit from your local record store.
Cleaning New Records.
Many records need to be cleaned before they play on the turntable. The best thing about new records is that they come molded and for that reason, they need to be thoroughly cleaned so that you get the best sound from your records
How to hand damaged vinyl records
Sometimes, even cleaning many not repair your vinyl record and take it back to how it was. Sadly, there is not much you can do about it. However, if you record has a visible scratch or a light scuff for that matter, it won’t damage the record, that is something you can deal with. You can still listen to your record with this small defect. If you can still see and feel the scratch with your fingers, then there is a higher probability that the record is damaged and can’t get repaired, and if it plays, it will keep on skipping.