by Alex and Xochipilli

Vinyl records are like your Grandma’s china. Sure, you could just throw them in the dishwasher (just kidding, please don’t do that), but where’s the fun in that?  These beauties need a little bit of love and attention to keep them sounding as fresh as the day they were pressed.  So, put down the dish soap and let’s talk about how to properly care for your vinyl records, shall we?

First things first, let’s talk about cleaning vinyl records.  I know, I know. You’re thinking “But I just bought them, why do they need to be cleaned already?”  Well, my friend, it’s not just about looks. Dust and other debris can accumulate on your records and cause unwanted noise while playing. Plus, have you ever seen a record with a giant fingerprint on it?  Not a good look.

There are a few ways to clean your records, but the most effective method is using a carbon fiber brush before and after playing.  Just gently run the brush along the grooves, and watch as all that unwanted gunk disappears before your very eyes.  For those tough, stubborn stains, you can use a solution of mild soap and water, but make sure to rinse thoroughly and dry with a microfiber cloth to avoid any residue.

Now that your records are sparkling clean, it’s time to talk about storing them.  This is where things can get a little tricky.  You see, vinyl is sensitive to heat, humidity, and sunlight.  So, if you’re thinking about storing your records in your sauna (I know, I’ve seen it), you might want to think again.  Instead, keep them in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight. And for the love of all that is holy, please don’t stack them on top of each other.  Not only does it put unnecessary pressure on the records, but it also makes it harder to find the one you’re looking for (and we all know how frustrating that can be).

When it comes to handling vinyl records, there’s one golden rule: handle with care.  I know, I know.  You’re thinking “But I’m not a delicate flower, I can handle it.”  And I believe you, I really do. But just think about it this way.  Would you grab your Grandma’s china by the rim and sling it across the room?  I didn’t think so.  Treat your records the same way.  Hold them by the edges and avoid touching the playing surface.  And please don’t bend them.

Finally, let’s talk about protecting vinyl records.  This one is pretty simple, really.  Just make sure to keep them in a protective sleeve or jacket when not in use.  Not only does it keep them free of dust and debris, but it also helps to prevent scratches and scuffs.  And if you’re feeling extra fancy, you can even invest in a record case to keep them safe and sound on the go.

So, there you have it.  A few simple vinyl record care tips to help you keep your records in top shape for years to come.  And remember, treat your records like your Grandma’s china, with love and care. Happy listening!