How to Clean and Store Old Vinyl Records
Never play a dirty record, a dirty record will ruin the record that you are playing and also damage the stylus on your cartridge, make sure you clean them first.
The dust that accumulates on vinyl records is made of silica, and these little tiny particles, will embed themselves in the grooves if you play the record dirty and you will never be able to get them out.
If you buy a used record make sure you clean it before playing so that the grooves are nice and receptive.
Now a lot of people are going to want you to believe that you have to buy an expensive record cleaner, that uses expensive record cleaning solutions, well that is simply not true.
Records are plastic, they are made from polyvinyl-chloride (PVC) and they respond very well to simply washing them in a weak, sudsy soap solution in the sink.
Use dish soap, use tepid water (not warm) and wash them very carefully with a clean sponge, don’t scrub them, let the sponge and the water do the work and don’t forget to rinse them thoroughly, making sure that you get all of the soap off of them and then dry them completely with a soft towel or a paper towel, you don’t want to leave water on the record that will dry onto it, that could damage the label and could also contaminate the record by leaving water spots.
Vinyl Record Storage Solutions
Storing your collection of vinyl records properly is an absolute must to keep them in prime condition, the first thing to remember is always store your records vertically and make sure they are always put back in their sleeves and shucks (inner sleeve).
If you have an old record that came only with the shuck and the sleeve was missing, try to get a replacement sleeve.
Never stack your records flat as vinyl tends to be very heavy and the records sat towards the bottom of the stack could warp and the weight could also help to drive dust particles into the grooves, which will damage the record.
There are many low cost vinyl record storage solutions available nowadays, ranging from storage boxes to display cabinets, which are a great way to show off your collection.