Taking Care Of Your Vinyl Records

Just as you need to care for your audio equipment, you also need to clean your records and care for them.

If they’re dirty or scratched, it hardly matters how great your turntable is.

Your music just won’t sound as good as it should.

To avoid damaging your records, you have to pamper them.

Treat your vinyl right, and you’ll enjoy crystal clear sound every time!

Grooves are the key to great sound

  • Record grooves are where your favourite music lives.

As your stylus cruises the grooves, it sends those analogue signals through the cartridge to your preamp, on to your amplifier and, finally, to your speakers.

  • Grooves are essentially to records what words are to a novel.

Just as you can’t tell a great story without compelling language, you can’t enjoy great sound without clean, undamaged grooves. Here’s what this means for your vinyl record collection:

Keep your records clean!

  • ​You don’t want to let dirt, debris, or gunk build up inside the grooves.

If you do, your records won’t sound the same.

  • Instead of top-notch fidelity, you’ll hear "ticks and pops". 
  • Avoid scratching your records.

Dirty records are often redeemable, but scratches might be permanent.

  • Improper storage and handling can scratch up your records.

"One thing is certain: playing a dirty recording, regardless of its format, is one of the most damaging things you can do to it.”

(Gerald L. Gibson, Head of the Motion Picture, Broadcasting, and Recorded Sound Division of the Library of Congress, 1991)

The good news? Caring for your records isn’t all that difficult.

By using the Kirmuss Audio Record Restoration System, you’ll never have to worry about dirty records getting between you and your tunes!

How to store your records

  • Cool, dry, and vertical – that’s how to store your records.
  • Excess moisture and heat can harm vinyl, so it’s a good idea to store your records in a dry, temperature-controlled environment. Most of the time, this means keeping them within your primary living space.
  • Attics are a no-go because the summer heat can warp the vinyl.
  • Basements are iffy, too. When the relative humidity reaches 58% or higher, the risk of mold increases.

Due to the fact that PVC has a sugar content mold will grow on vinyl itself, and it can grow on paper record sleeves and then gunk up your grooves.   This is why we strongly recommend the use of NON PVC sleeves to store records.

At best, prolonged exposure to moisture, humidity, and mold will make your records dirty and ruin those great record covers.

At worst, it can warp them.

Why store records vertically?

Stacking records can warp or bend them, never mind increase the risk of scratching.

Record shops don’t display vinyl vertically just for customer convenience.

They do it to protect their product.

But following the cool-dry-vertical protocol alone won’t keep your records from getting dirty. To protect records from dust and contaminants, you should store them inside professional-grade, anti-static sleeves.

How to handle your records

Don’t touch the Grooves!

When possible, only touch your records at the edge and on the label. Otherwise, the oils from your hands could get inside the grooves. The more oil that gets in the grooves, the more dust sticks to the playing surface. It’s kind of a springboard toward gunking up your records, so you’re better off not beginning the process in the first place.

Proper handling also matters during the moments just before and during play. Raise and lower the needle on your turntable using the cueing lever – not your fingers. When you’re done listening to a record, be sure to slide it into the sleeve. Dropping it in risks splitting the sleeve or scratching the vinyl.

What should you do if you happen to touch the playing surface? First of all, relax. We’ve all done it. You just need to clean your records, and that's what we, at KirmussAudio do BEST!