How to keep your records in tip-top shape

You just got a record player for your birthday! Now what? Vinyls are totally tubular, but they require a little more work than your usual Spotify-suggested playlists. Without proper care, records can get scratched or warped (a word vinyl fans use for bending or misshapenness), which can end up ruining that retro sound everyone loves. Here are a few tips on how to keep them clean and sounding great. 

1. Hold them by the edges

This is the first and foremost lesson of Vinyl Keeping 101. Our fingers contain greases, oils and dirt that would ultimately damage records in the long run. Instead, handle them like their precious cargo. Just repeat in your head: Edges! Edges! Edges!

2. Store them upright 


The most important thing to remember for all your record-listening habits is to store them vertically. Lying them flat or stacking them horizontally considerably ups the likelihood of warping. Storing your tunes in a cute record storage box is the best way to extend the lifespan of that new copy of Sour.  

3. Keep them out of direct sunlight

Heat from the sun's rays can warp your record, changing the sound over time. So your storage placement should be *way* away from those windows. This also means you should keep your vinyls away from radiators and other heat sources, too. They can withstand cold temps, but records tend to lose their cool in hot weather.

4. Get an inner sleeve for extra protection

Amazon, $13

Most records these days come with inner paper sleeves, which are decent at keeping them safe from dust and dirt. However, the paper options can sometimes scratch your tunes and decrease their longevity. So, if you're serious about cherishing those T. Swift vinyls forevermore, you may want to invest in some plastic sleeves. They'll protect your records a little extra from the elements and won't damage them in the long run (and you can keep jamming to Fearless for many more years to come!). 

5. Use a record-cleaning brush

Amazon, $16

It may seem easy to wipe off that dust with your T-shirt, but even tiny fabric fibers can cause harm to your vinyl. Alternatively, you may want to try a record-cleaning brush. Just place the brush on your album and spin. All that buildup of dirt, dust and grease will be gone in a swipe!

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Tag us in your record collection pics on Insta! @girlslifemag 

 Slider image: @oliviarodrigo


by Julia Szymanski | 2/1/2023