5 More Tips for Caring for Your Newly Purchased Vinyl

Posted by on October 12, 2016 . .
Proper care and maintenance of your vinyl is an essential part of ensuring you can enjoy your favourite records right through your old age. If you take the time and care to prevent damage to your vinyl LPs, they really can out live you.
We recently brought you 8 tips on how to care for your new vinyl and this week we’re bringing you 5 more that will help extend the life of your vinyl records

Vinyl Storage 

Something that a lot of first time vinyl owners don’t realise is that vinyl weighs a surprisingly large amount. If you don’t have the luxury of purpose built vinyl shelving or cabinetry, there are many cheaper alternatives you can easily source that will be able to support the weight of your vinyl collection. These can include stackable wooden crates, milk crates or whatever your budget can supply. Just ensure that you do your homework. Vinyl records weigh a tonne when stacked together, a 30cm stack of vinyl can weigh over 15kg, so you will need to ensure your storage crates or shelving can support the weight.
  • Always store your vinyl records vertically and never horizontally, stacking horizontally will cause warping and ring marks. You should always leave room between records for easy browsing but not too much space that they lean, as even a 40 degree lean is enough pressure to cause warping.
  • Store your vinyl in a cooler part of the house, away from any windows or heaters. Extreme temperature and sunlight can cause warping.  Humidity changes are a problem also. Humidity eventually causes mould to grow causing damage to both the vinyl and album cover.  

Inner Sleeves 

The inner sleave is an essential part of protecting your vinyl albums. Unfortunately, the inner paper sleeves that come standard with vinyl albums do little to protect the record from static that can attract dust. The paper sleeves also deteriorate over time, leaving oil and paper residue, they can also cause scratches as you are sliding the record in and out. 
  • Ensure you immediately replace the paper inner sleeves.  At JJ’S Vinyl we use Mobile Fidelity, MFSL Original Master Sleeves. These three-ply, anti-static, premium sleeves (similar to rice paper), consist of a paper layer sandwiched between two sheets of high-density polyethylene (HDPE) with a translucent HDPE front. The lining of a poly sleeve is both soft on your records and keeps static to a minimum – good news for keeping the dust at bay.

Stylus Care

As touched on in the last blog, playing a dusty album without cleaning can not only damage your vinyl, but cause serious damage to the stylus. Likewise using a dirty stylus can cause damage to your vinyl records. The good news is that with the correct care and attention, you can seriously extend the life of your stylus, potentially saving yourself a lot of money. Caring for your stylus can vary from turntable to turntable but here are some basic tips.  
  • If you have a stylus cue lever you should use it. Lowering the stylus onto the record by hand is a bad idea, no matter how steady your hand; this is a sure-fire way to cause damage to both your needle and vinyl.
  • Clean your stylus tip regularly with a good stylus cleaning fluid and brush. JJ’S Vinyl recommends using ‘Disc Doctor Stylus Cleaner Fluid + Brush kit’ (approximate cost - $40). Using the kit correctly enables you to remove accumulated gunk off your stylus and allows it to track the groove properly. Another great thing about Disc Doctor's Stylus Cleaner, it doesn’t leave a residue on the cantilever or stylus.

Following these basic tips should help extend the life of your vinyl albums. You can find our first 8 tips on new vinyl care here. And if you’re looking to add to your vinyl collection, have a browse through our huge range of new vinyl albums here.