How to protect your vinyl records?

How to protect your vinyl records?

Vinyl records have been in huge demand since the 90s. It is considered one of the best media to record and play audio. If you are a music lover and you are obsessed with collecting great quality song albums, you are going to need to know how to protect your vinyl records. It’s always better to buy vinyl records instead of modern CDs. Although every bit of information is now stored digitally, music is something which needs to be handled manually and songs are again being recorded on vinyl. This is mainly because vinyl records touch the soul. It is an art to master how to put on vinyl records. Vinyl records are more royal and grandeur than the normal CDs and also have a more dynamic range.
Though vinyl records are always preferred by music lovers, there are certain disadvantages of having vinyl records at home. These are something which needs to be taken care of regularly. One of the great factors is storage. The following are the ways in which you should take care to protect your vinyl records collection:
Chief areas to be taken care of
The three main areas to look after are storing them in the right place, handling them with care and finally cleaning them from time to time.
Storage
It is necessary to arrange your vinyl records properly and then store them in the right place.
Using the right sleeves to protect the vinyl records – use outer sleeves or pouches generally made up of plastic or sponge paper material to protect the vinyl records. Choosing the right material for the sleeve is very important. It’s better to avoid paper sleeves as they decay with time, thereby scratching the outer surface of the records.
Using outer sleeves – apart from using sleeves for the records directly, you should put the whole vinyl record case in another sleeve which will work as an outer sleeve. Doing so will give a double protection to the records.
Be gentle – never carelessly drop a record into the jacket. Doing so can scratch the records from the bottom. So be gentle when you put them back in the jacket.
Make a shelving system – once your records are covered, arrange a spacious shelf where all your records can be fitted. Now, the shelf should be in a box pattern and each box should be 5 inches longer in length than the actual length of the record cases. Store them vertically and avoid keeping them flat. The shelf should be made up of strong material that can hold the weight of many records.
Environment – for storing a proper environment is a must. Try to store them in a cool place which is free from sunlight and dust. Make sure that the temperature is not humid as humidity can create moisture layer on the records which will ultimately result in damage.
Handling the records
It’s important to handle your records carefully as the surface of vinyl is very fragile and a single scratch can destroy the whole record. The following are some tips below:
Never touch the surface – touching the surface can affect the sound quality & playback of the record. You should hold the record by touching the inner label and the edges only.
Using the cueing lever – use the cueing lever carefully. While putting the cueing lever manually you need to have a steady hand, otherwise it might ruin the surface so use a fibre soft brush to clean the dirt and dust on the surface.
Try to keep the records away from direct contact with air – if you are not using the record, never leave it open. Always put it back in the jacket case.
Needle – the needle of the lever should be handled carefully as the point is extremely sharp, it might scratch the surface of the record. Also never write any information on the surface of the record, rather use a separate album list.
Cleaning
The final part is cleaning the vinyl records.
Using fibre brush – a fibre brush is best for cleaning the dust and dirt that gets accumulated on the surface. It does not create any scratches or marks on the surface and smoothly cleans the dust away. Never use old shirts or towels as they can damage the vinyl.
Use a cleaner – either buy a ready made cleaner from the market or you can combine distilled water, detergent, alcohol, and lemon drops to make a spray. This DIY spray completely cleans the surface of the records and gives it a new shine. Make sure there is no excess water on the surface after cleaning the record.
Use a vinyl record vacuum cleaner – cleaning with a vinyl record vacuum cleaner is the best option because without using any liquid spray you can clean the dirt accumulated on the surface of records.
The above mentioned steps will definitely help you a lot with how to protect your vinyl records.

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