7 tips for caring for your vinyl record collection

Vinyl records have experienced a remarkable resurgence in recent years, attracting both seasoned collectors and newcomers alike. However, maintaining and preserving these cherished musical treasures requires proper care and attention. Whether you're an experienced audiophile or just starting to build your collection, here are some essential tips and tricks to help you keep your vinyl records in pristine condition for years to come.

1. Handle vinyl with care

The first rule is to handle your records with extreme care. Always hold them by the edges and avoid touching the grooves with your fingers, as oils and dirt from your
hands can damage the surface and affect sound quality.

2. Invest in quality record storage

Proper storage is crucial for preserving vinyl records. Store them upright in sturdy
record crates or shelving units to prevent warping. Avoid stacking records horizontally, as this can lead to deformation over time. Additionally, store your records in a cool, dry environment away from direct sunlight and heat sources.

3. Use inner sleeves

Inner sleeves provide an extra layer of protection against dust, scratches and static buildup. Invest in anti-static inner sleeves made from materials like polyethylene or rice paper to safeguard your records from damage during storage and handling.

4. Clean your vinyl record and the stylus on your cartridge before playing

Before playing a record, it's essential to clean it properly to remove any dust, dirt,
or debris that may have accumulated. Use a carbon fiber or chose a dedicated
record brush like the one designed by Ortofon & that removes dust and dirt
from the record surface without scratching. Explore Ortofon record brush.

Stylus cleaning is crucial for both its longevity and the lifespan of your records.
The stylus, a delicate part of the phono cartridge, must be handled gently.
Avoid touching it with your fingers. Also, refrain from playing visibly damaged
records, as scratches or cracks can cause excessive wear on the stylus.

Before every playback session, make it a habit to clean your stylus using a dry brush. Use the stylus brush to delicately remove any debris. This simple step can
significantly extend the life of your stylus and maintain the quality of your
records. Note: We recommend the use of a dry brush only; avoid any fluids or
gels as they can potentially damage the stylus or the internals of the
cartridge. Explore Ortofon Stylus Brush.

5. Deep record cleaning

Ortofon does not recommend the use of solvents
of any kind for cleaning of either record surface or stylus. If necessary,
records may be washed in lukewarm demineralized water with a dash of sulphonic
soap. The detergents should be allergy- & environmentally friendly, without
perfume or as little as possible: a few drops to a few liters of waters, no
lather. Occasional use of record washing machine can be recommended. The use of
solvents on the stylus and cantilever may damage stylus cement. Also, interior
parts of the cartridge can be affected seriously by the intrusion of solvents.
Check our FAQ page for more information.

6. Handle warped vinyl with care

Warped records are a common issue, especially with older or improperly stored vinyl.
If you encounter a warped record, handle it with care to avoid further damage. You can attempt to flatten the record using solutions like a specialized vinyl flattening machine or by placing it between two sheets of glass and applying gentle heat. Beware there is no 100% guarantee of efficiency. You might damage your record even more if the process is not done properly.

7. Regular vinyl maintenance

Make vinyl record care a regular part of your routine. Set aside time every few weeks to inspect your collection for any signs of damage or wear and perform any
necessary cleaning or maintenance.

By following these tips and tricks, you can ensure that your vinyl record collection remains in excellent condition for years to come, preserving both their sound quality
and value. Remember, proper care and maintenance are essential for protecting your investment and enjoying your favorite music for years to come.

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