One of the most notable downsides of vinyl records is that they require significant physical storage. Unfortunately, storage mean dust. Dust can affect your vinyl records in several important ways.
If you want your records to sound their best and last as long as possible, and if you want to prevent damage to your record player, maintain your vinyl records.
How Can Dust Affect Vital Records?
If you are inattentive to dusting, the next time you sit down to your favorite collection of Elvis Presley vinyl records, you may find that the record player skips and the sound quality is reduced. Dust interferes with the ability of the record player stylus to make contact with the surface of the record.
Not only does this affect sound quality and cause skipping, but it can even lead to your record being damaged. If the stylus becomes damaged from too much contact with dust, it can make inappropriate contact with your record, even gouging into the vinyl.
How to Maintain Your Vinyl Records
Thankfully, vinyl records aren’t all that difficult to maintain. Deliberate storage and maintenance makes it much more likely that your records will last a long time and sound great. Here are some things you can do to maintain your records.
Store Away from Dust
One of the easiest ways to keep your vinyl records clean and sounding their best is to keep them away from dust when you are storing them. The large, irregular surface of records attracts dust and dirt very easily, so it’s best to keep dust from getting to your records in the first place.
Use a glass display case, keep records sealed in their cases, or put records in a closed box to keep dust from getting to them.
Wipe Down Records Regularly
When you bring new records home from the store, wipe them down immediately with a lint-free cloth. This step is especially important if you buy used records. If there is stuck on dust in the grooves, rinse the records with cool water.
Ideally, use distilled water so that no impurities will get into the grooves and stay there. Do your best to avoid the label so that it won’t become discolored or come off in the water.
Make sure the record is completely dry before playing it. Don’t just wipe it down, but also allow it to air-dry so any water in the record’s grooves will have evaporated.
You should also wipe down records before and after you use them. If you have a large collection in storage for some time, it may be a good idea to periodically wipe them all down even if they are stored away from dust.
Rely on a Record Cleaner
If your records are dirtier than water can take care of, a deep cleaning solution may be a good idea. Buy a cleaner designed specifically for vinyl records. It is generally based on water or enzymes that will not damage the vinyl.
Scrub the vinyl gently in a circular motion with a clean, soft cloth. The cleaner will remove dust and dirt much more easily than water alone. Again, try not to get the label wet so that it will not be discolored.
Protect Your Vinyl Records
You value your vinyl record collection and your record player, so you don’t want them to be damaged by something as simple as dust. Store your records properly, clean them regularly, and be attentive to the accumulation of dust and dirt, and you will be sure to have beautiful, clear sound every time you put on a record.