5 Tips and Tricks to Preserving Your Older Records
Posted on July 18 2019
From Proper Storage in Vinyl Record Sleeves to Cleaning Tips from the Experts
When it comes to maintaining a pristine — and more importantly — playable record collection, it can be much easier than you think. At Big Fudge, we believe in helping you preserve songs from your favorite artists so that every time you listen to them, the sound is as crystal clear as the day you bought the record. From storage and cleaning tips to playing them properly, the experts at Big Fudge are here to teach you the most important elements of record preservation!
1. Proper Storage
Whenever your record isn’t being played, it should be stored in a vinyl record sleeve. It also needs to be stored upright in a cool, dry place. Any time your vinyl spends outside of an inner record sleeve is time that dust and other particles can accumulate. Storing your records upright is also critical, as any slanting or stacking can cause them to warp, scuff, or crack over time.
2. Cleaning Them Frequently
Before and after every playing session, your record should be cleaned before being returned to its vinyl record sleeve. Never use a rag or shirt to clean your record, because no matter how soft, there will be traces of fibers and dirt that can scratch your record. When you’re done listening, use a record brush to remove dust and dirt.
You may also want to use a vinyl cleaning solution every six months to keep your records looking and playing like new. Spray the cleaning solution onto your record, and slowly wipe it with a velvet brush in a circular motion.
3. Keeping Cool
Your records are very temperature and moisture sensitive! They need to be kept out of direct heat and sunlight, and in a climate controlled unit. Even if they’re in a vinyl record sleeve, your records should be kept between 65 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit with humidity between 45 and 50 percent. If you don’t have a climate controlled unit, getting an inner and outer record sleeve will help keep your records safer.
4. Hands Off!
Touching your records with dirty hands is a big no-no. Even if you think your hands are clean, wash and dry them completely before handling one of your records. Make an effort to touch only the outer edges of the record, or areas that are covered with a label to minimize contact as much as possible.
Touching the record grooves with your hands could leave behind oils, which attract dust and bacteria. The end result is damage during playback or — even worse — mold growth (gross)!
5. Playing Them Right
You might think that playing a record means plopping it down on the turntable and letting the music play. Sadly, this is NOT the case! Your turntable and equipment need to be just as clean as your record. Any part that touches the record must be dust free — including the stylus.
You should also ensure your turntable rotates at the correct speed, and that the tonearm is exerting the right amount of pressure. Too much force and the stylus will erode the grooves and cause a loss of information. Too little, and the stylus will bounce around, resulting in scratches and scuffs.
Please Don’t Stop the Music!
Now that you know a little bit more about preserving your records, it’s time to get those old records off the shelf! Kick back with your beverage of choice and listen to ‘em by yourself!