Three Ways To Maintain Your Vinyl Records
With vinyl’s unique, one-of-a-kind sound, and the ability to feel “more connected” with an artist, many people are turning toward vinyl records. Well-known artists today are even releasing their albums on vinyl format. Another great factor of vinyl records is that if you maintain them well, they will retain their value and even sometimes sell for more than what you purchased them for. Maintaining your records is very important and often neglected. Even if you already have a collection, there may be steps you’re not aware of. Outlined below are three ways to maintain your vinyl records.
Sometimes life requires you to do things in a hurry, and at times, you may just throw your vinyl records in a pile and get back to them later. Try to avoid this! Records can be fragile (made up of polyvinyl chloride), and storing them properly is a must. Storing your records vertically with a bit of space between each record is highly recommended. If you stack them horizontally, you could ultimately deform the circular shape of the record, along with their sound-producing grooves. If you are wanting to invest in a storage unit, many local music stores will carry vinyl shelves, which are very similar to regular bookshelves.
Storing your vinyl records in a room with the correct temperature is an important factor. Since vinyl is a plastic, high heat can permanently damage your record. They have a low heat capacity, and can start to bend if in direct sunlight, or a high heated room. The perfect temperature that is recommended for your records is between 60-70 degrees. Avoiding high humidity is also beneficial for a record’s long life expectancy. Moisture will cause your records to mold. The humidity level of where you store your records should be between 45-50 percent.
Getting Down To The Nitty Gritty: Cleaning Your Records
Due to the chemical make-up of vinyl records, the record will build up static electrical charges that will attract small particles of dust and dirt. It is recommended that you wipe down your vinyl before and after play with a carbon fiber brush. This process is known to be a “light” clean, and carbon fiber brushes should not be used if you’re “wet” cleaning your record. The carbon fibers aim to disrupt the static charges of the record and remove the dust particles. For a heavier clean, wet the record down with distilled water, and use a soft, lint-free cloth to dry. Distilled water will not leave any residue behind on your record. If you are worried to do this yourself, there are many cleaning kits and/or devices that make this job easier.