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How To Clean Vinyl Records & Maintain Your Turntable
In this guide, we reveal the best hints and tips for safely cleaning your vinyl records so that they always sound their very best.
Enjoying, preserving and Clean your vinyl records with Smart Home Sounds
In an age of music streaming where our favourite tracks are just a couple of taps away, digital convenience means that you can play, skip and stop a track at your peril without worrying about any effect on sound quality over time. After all, digital doesn't decay.
But whilst streaming and mp3 files may not be as fun or involving as vinyl records, they do have the advantage that they don't wear out or sustain damage that affects their sound quality. So if you're new to records or rediscovering your vinyl collection, then it's essential to know how to care and clean your vinyl records properly to ensure they play at their best for many years to come.
This blog covers hints and tips on handling and storing records, how to clean them correctly and how to maintain your turntable for optimum performance and safeguard your vinyl's longevity. If you're familiar with some aspects already, feel free to jump ahead to any section from the following:
- Handle Me With Care - How to handle and store your vinyl records safely
- Another One Bites the Dust - Keep your records gleaming with these easy to follow steps
- You Spin Me Round - Essential tips on maintaining your turntable for best sound quality
As records are a physical medium made from plastic, irreparable damage often results with warping, scratches and scuffs if mishandled or stored incorrectly.
Here are our best tips on safely handling, playing and storing your coveted vinyl:
Handle The Record By the Edges
Avoid touching the surface of the record, as this helps avoid any potential damage to the ridges and grooves that make up the musical information it contains. The safest way for holding a record is with both hands and by placing your fingertips on the outer edges of the disc.
Keep Your Records in Their Sleeves
When putting a record away, carefully slide it into the inner paper sleeve. Avoid dropping it into this sleeve as this risks damaging the seams of the album cover.
Paper inner sleeves also protect from dust and grime, so consider replacing them if yours are damaged or missing. They help to minimise the natural static charge of a record, too. For protecting the artwork of your album covers, outer poly sleeves help to safeguard the artwork and prevent stress to the seams of the cover.
Store Records Upright and Away from Heat
Never store your records lying flat; always ensure they're stored upright. Piling vinyl records on top of each other tends to warp them out of shape over time, causing potential skipping and increases unwanted wow & flutter.
Be sure to keep your vinyl records away from sources of heat or prolonged direct sunlight, as this also often warps and distorts the shape of your records.
Crates and record boxes help keep vinyl stored safe and upright, whereas vinyl storage furniture is also practical, with the Kallax range from a well-known Swedish home store proving a popular solution for vinyl lovers on a budget.
Bumps and ridges in the grooves of a record vibrate the stylus on your turntable, which in turn is amplified and creates the sound we hear. Dirt, dust and debris can affect the sound quality by marring it with distortion and excessive pops and crackles.
By using record cleaning products, here's how you can get into the groove and keep your vinyl records in tip-top condition for better sound quality and longer-lasting enjoyment.
Record Cleaning Brush
Antistatic brushes aren't just effective at removing dust, but their carbon fibres also help minimise the presence of static electricity on the record, which otherwise causes too many pops and crackles.
The Hama Anti-Static Carbon Fibre Brush is a staple for anyone who plays vinyl. It makes for an affordable yet highly effective cleaning solution that collects dust from the record's surface without risking damage.
How to Use a Record Brush
Record Cleaning Fluid
For those vinyl records that are heavily soiled and can't be effectively cleaned with a brush alone, record cleaning fluid helps loosen the dust and grime suck in the grooves so that it simply wipes away.
How to Use Record Cleaning Fluid
A clean record has the potential to sound great, but it can still sound poor if your turntable isn't kept in good order. Whether your turntable was made by Rega, Audio-Technica or any other manufacturer, it's best to keep them clean to keep it sounding mean.
Keeping your turntable clean in general helps to keep dust at bay and away from your records, but here are some further checks on keeping your turntable in tip-top condition:
|How to Care For Your Turntable
We hope this blog helps you make the most of enjoying your vinyl record collection. Following the above hints and tips will help ensure your records and turntable remain in pristine condition for years to come.
If you're new to vinyl, however, and are considering what turntable is best for your requirements, feel free to check out our Beginner's Guide to Turntables or Find Your Perfect Turntable and Speaker Bundle for more information. For those looking to use their turntable with their Sonos system, further information can be sought in our How To Use a Turntable with Sonos guide.
If you would like more information and further guidance, feel free to contact the friendly team at Smart Home Sounds, and we'll be happy to provide our expert advice. We can be reached at email@example.com, via Live Chat on our website or 0800 677 1100