How To Keep Your VinylRecords Clean.
The vinyl record is a wonderful thing. Whilst itsheyday is long gone, surpassed by the cassette,the CD and now the digital download, there is
still nothing quite like “old fashioned” vinyl as a
physical stamp of a
music fan’s collection. That
dozen inch diameter of blackness (orsometimes other colours) encased in wonderfulcardboard artwork sleeves is still hard to beat and remembered fondly by the devotee.This is being recognised by the modern music fan also with vinyl on the comeback trail with more
and more of today’s albums being made available in the medium and also albums from many years
ago when vinyl was in prime position being re-issued. Many will even tell you that everything soundsbetter on vinyl thoug
h that’s another story entirely.....
Although vinyl records do look and sound great, they are fragile as simply put, the music is cut in tothe groove of the record surface which is then tracked by the turntable stylus and played backthrough the speakers. Any damage to the groove or playing surface can severely affect theperformance of the record and even render it unplayable. It is therefore of paramount importancethat great care is taken in caring for your vinyl collection and in particular keeping the record clean.The cleaning routing should ideally be undertaken both before and after each visit to the turntable.The most common enemy is a dust build-up which can happen even while the record is stored in itssleeve. Dust in the groove will affect playback and can damage the playing surface beyond repair.Handle the record very carefully when removing it from the sleeve before playing. Do not put yourfingers on any part of the playing surface or you risk damage from fingerprints and skin oils. Bow thesleeve, carefully slide in your hand and rest your middle finger on the hole then slide it out carefully.Hold the record on the very edges balanced between your palms then place it on the turntable.Now clean the surface before playing. The most common way to do this is by use of a special recordcleaning cloth or brush which you can buy from any good local record store or online. Have theturntable rotating then very gently indeed rest some of the cleaning cloth on the playing surface as itrotates. This will help to clean any residual dust out of the groove before playing. You can also buyfluid-based cleaning products so do a little research and see what suits you best.After the pre-playing dust removal, make sure the stylus is clean and dust-free also. Small brushesare available for this purpose. A dirty stylus or one with a dust build-up can be just as damaging youyour precious vinyl as dust in the groove. When both record and stylus are cleaned, place the needleon the start of the playing surface and get ready to enjoy.....Close the lid of the turntable if possible during play to help protect from dust attracted by staticelectricity. You may consider to look at buying special cleaning brushes that can be attached to thestylus arm and track the record behind the stylus during play to help keep the playing surface clean.