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Vinyl Record Care and Maintenance: 6 Mistakes to Avoid

In this digital age, using online music streaming services is the most popular way to listen to music. This makes it easier to share a personal playlist or tracks with peers. However, despite the convenience these digital platforms bring, many people still prefer the analog listening experience. These music enthusiasts found a love for building a vinyl collection.

If you are one of those vinyl collectors, you have to make sure your vinyl records are always in good condition. It’s your responsibility to pay more attention to them because they are very fragile. Unfortunately, many beginners mishandle their collection, resulting in damage and ruined sound quality. Thankfully, you can get the best listening experience at all times by avoiding making these errors:

Stacking Vinyl Records

Stacking records on top of each other definitely causes warping. This can even lead to possible cracking because of the load records underneath carry and create ring wear and damage the album cover. For this reason, make sure your records are always stored upright, like how you place books on a shelf. A good strategy is to invest in a high-quality record storage shelf where you can properly store your growing collection.

Wetting Vinyl Records

Many beginner collectors attempt to spritz water to their vinyl records to quiet the pops and crackle they make. However, doing so can result in irreversible damage once the stylus spreads the abrasive sludge into the grooves. When the crud dries and sticks itself throughout the record, it will sound even worse. Because of this, never play wet records. If you want to reduce static pops, use an anti-static gun instead.

Touching the Surface with Bare Hands 

The records’ sound quality will be affected once you use your bare hands or fingers to touch the playing surface. This is because your body oil will transfer onto the record and attract more dust. To properly handle your records, touch them only by their outer edges. Afterwards, use a liquid record cleaner to clean the playing surface immediately if you accidentally touched it.

Using Non-approved Cleaners on Vinyl Records

When cleaning vinyl records, never use lubricants, solvents, or other non-approved cleaners, like baby oil, glass cleaner, and lighter fluid. Applying these liquids may cause a chemical reaction that can permanently damage your beloved records. To prevent this problem, use only vinyl cleaning products offered by trusted record stores. 

Using Hands to Cue up a Record

If you are a beginner collector, you may tend to pick up the tonearm and swing it across the disc to skip songs. However, it’s best to break that bad habit now since it can break the needle on the cartridge or gouge the record’s grooves. If you have to raise and lower the needle, use the cueing lever. 

Leaving Records Out of the Sleeves for Too Long

As soon as you are done listening, place your vinyl records back into their sleeves. Avoid keeping them out of their packaging longer than necessary, even if the turntable has a dustcover. Doing this will prevent them from accumulating dust and dirt. 

Conclusion

Vinyl records are treasures that require proper care, maintenance, and attention. To look after them properly, keep these mistakes in mind and avoid them at all costs. This way, you can enjoy your valuable records for many years and preserve their tip-top shape. Meanwhile, if you are interested in growing your collection more, buy vinyl records only from a reputable store.

Music Connection is a vinyl store in Machester that sells new and pre-loved vinyl records. We also have vinyl cleaning products to ensure your collection stays in good working condition. Browse our extensive selection or order today!

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