If you enjoy listening to vinyl records, you will agree that the sound is exceptional. Listening to vinyl is a true pleasure. Unfortunately, looking after your vinyl records is another matter. Vinyl does require a fair amount of care to stay in top condition.
Should You Clean Your Records?
It is definitely not a good idea to play a dirty record. By doing so, you are in danger of damaging the surface of the record. You will also damage the stylus that you are using to play the record. You can normally tell if a record is dirty because the stylus jumps or skips over the dirt or dust. Not only will this ‘skipping’ damage your record, but it ruins your listening pleasure.
There are many ways to clean your records, some of them by using a machine and others cleaning them by hand. It is up to you to find the method that not only you prefer, but also that is affordable for you. If you are going to play vinyl records, you need to clean vinyl records.
For some great advice on cleaning records, go to http://www.vinylvintage.net/record-cleaners/ where you will find guidance on caring for your records. There are also reviews of the gear you need to keep your vinyl clean. All in all, a great site to help you care for your vinyl.
Handling Your Records
It will probably come as no surprise to learn that the best way to keep your vinyl collection clean is to handle them carefully in the first place. Make sure to wash your hands and dry them thoroughly before touching your records. Don’t use hand cream or have anything greasy on your hands. If you do, this will put greasy splodges on your records that will be very difficult to remove.
Never touch the flat side of your records as this is where the grooves are cut into your record. You should only ever touch the outside edges and the label in the centre of the record. Once you have finished with your record, you should never just put it down somewhere. Get into the habit of always returning it to its sleeve straight away.
How to Clean Your Records?
You will probably think that your records won’t need cleaning if you always handle them with care. However, accidents can happen. You may also buy a vinyl record that was not looked after very well by its former owner. Either way, however careful you are there are some occasions when you will need to clean your records.
There may be quite a build up of dirt to remove from your records, for example, oil or sticky fingerprints. Dust is quite often the culprit. You should never think it is ok to play a dusty record as you could not only ruin the record but also your stylus too.
- Record cleaning machine. This is definitely the best way to clean your records however, it is also the most expensive way! It is unlikely that you will have sufficient records to justify the expense.
- Cleaning brush. This is an affordable method of cleaning your records and it works very well too. Carbon fibre record brushes are very good as they not only clean the record but reduce the static electricity on your record. Brush your record along the groves, both before playing and before you put it away again.
- Microfibre cleaning cloth. You may find that a carbon fibre cleaning brush is out of your price range so this is a good alternative. You can buy good quality microfibre cloths from many shops or online so you should have no trouble finding any.
Should You Clean Your Record Player?
It may not seem obvious but your record player will benefit from the occasional cleaning too. Fortunately, it doesn’t take much cleaning. All you need is an anti-static duster and then you just wipe the dust away from your record player. If it needs a bit more of a clean, just use a damp microfibre cloth to give everything a wipe down and then wait until it dries.
You can see that cleaning your vinyl records does not need to be too difficult or technical. This is definitely a case of prevention being better than cure so treat your collection well and you won’t need to do any extensive cleaning.