The care and feeding of vinyl records
Vinyl records are pretty durable if you handle them correctly. On the hand, they are also fairly easily damaged. If you didn’t grow up with vinyl records, you may not know how to take care of your LPs. Here are some really simple and easy to follow suggestions. This is strictly for people new to vinyl – it’s too late for the rest of you!
Handle with care
That crackle you hear on old LPs is often just accumulated dirt. Try not to touch the part of the record with the grooves. Hold the record between your hands by the edges. Every time you touch the playing surface, you transfer dirt and oil from your hands onto the record.
Put your records away when you’re not playing them
If you leave your records lying around, it’s only a matter of time before they get dirty and scratched. When you’re done playing a record, put it back in its sleeve.
Get a record brush
Vinyl builds up a static charge and attracts dust, lint, and other small things. Before you play the record, take the dust off it. Your records will be quieter and you won’t end up with a big lump of dust on your needle.
Carbon fibre brushes work well to break the static electricity on the surface of the record. A record brush with a velvet or micro-fibre surface can get a little deeper into the groove and remove more dust. Either one will be better than nothing. If you get into the habit of giving your records a quick wipe with a record brush to remove surface dust, your records will keep sounding like new for longer.