As you may already know, the record you're holding is engraved with LPs. The diamond will go through them and play the music once the signal has been converted. We must therefore do our best to keep the disc clean for the diamond to flow smoothly between the microgrooves.
Washing your hands is not enough. Always hold your vinyl with care at the edges or by the label at the center. Vinyl lovers must respect this golden rule to prevent damaging the microgrooves: DO NOT TOUCH THE VINYL WITH YOUR FINGERS.
Now that you’ve carefully taken the vinyl out of its sleeve, you can put it on your turntable. Caution! Handle with care: a carbon fiber brush stroke is necessary before and after playing the record. Just under 20 €, this brush is the perfect tool to ensure your vinyls and sound quality last a long time. You can also use the carbon fiber brush to maintain your diamond. Don’t forget to clean it! If you do not have the brush, feel free to use a cloth (no t-shirt or used cloths!).
Beware, heat is the enemy! Like any plastic, vinyl is susceptible to melting. And that's the last thing we want! As for the cold, it is harmless if the room is not humid. If humid, the cover will get damaged. Your record only fears humidity because of the thin layer of limestone that can partially obstruct the LPs. Store your records in a room that is not too hot nor too humid to keep your records in good conditions.
Arrange your records in a classic bookcase, without stacking them too tightly. The other solution is to put your favorite records (if not your entire collection) in a vinyl tray. This will make you feel like you're at a record store! And it's also the most convenient way to quickly find the record you're looking for.
A damaged disc cannot be repaired! There are two methods to prevent a damaged record: manual or mechanized cleaning. Whichever method you choose, it is necessary to remove as much dust as possible!
The mechanized method is the most efficient and is recommended for large collections. You must purchase the machine, but the time you save and quality of cleaning makes up for the additional purchase! The machine washes the disc in several stages. After drying by centrifugal force, you simply have to put it away. The best of the best.
For smaller collections, the manual method will be more than enough. It is recommended that you use the cleaning kits, as soap can leave traces. However, you can use diluted dish liquid in demineralised water. Once the dust is removed, you can place your solution onto your cloth and carefully clean your disc, following the grooves in a clockwise direction, starting from the edge of a vinyl and gradually moving towards the button. Then soak a cloth only with demineralized water and proceed in the same way for rinsing.
Now you can take care of your records and be sure that they will play on your turntables for a long time to come.
Long live clean vinyl records!