7 Bad Habits for Records

Written by Ben W

I love vinyl since the first day I discovered an old record player at my grandparents attic. Now, I own over a dozen record players and I am always looking for gems like albums of vintage models.

There are ways to prevent potential damage to your vinyl records, but there are also habits that really get in the way of record maintenance. Have you ever wondered “why” are some of your vinyl records defective? If you’re a person that possesses these habits, you should break them as soon as possible. These habits will definitely ruin your vinyl records eventually, so here’s the top 7:

Habit #1 – Grazing the surface of your vinyl records with hands

Even though it’s self-explanatory, let’s see what happens when you graze the surface of your vinyl records. For instance, human skin is filled with dirt, grease, oils, and other things that are hazardous to record’s “health”. Each graze will leave some dirt or debris that will eventually build up and wear our vinyl records and stylus.

Occasional hand contact is unavoidable, but don’t fret it – even if you sometimes do happen to touch the surface of your records, a good cleaning will fix everything. Just make sure to avoid this altogether, if possible.

Habit #2 – Horizontal Vinyl Record Stacking

Horizontal vinyl record stacking is one of the worst habits you could develop. Most stores stack their records in boxes or in vertical rows, and only the used record bins are stacked horizontally. This way, the ring on the record sleeves wears out, making the cover of your record virtually useless.
Furthermore, there’s a lot of pressure between the sandwiched records, and there are some cases when those vinyl records that are treated this way cease to work. If you want to avoid this habit, stack your vinyl records vertically without any excess objects atop of them. Read here more about how to store your records.

Habit #3 – Leaving your vinyl records out of their covers

Another habit that is terrible and self-explanatory. Whenever you leave your vinyl records out of their covers, you leave them without any shelter from environmental damage. Dirt, grime, bugs, and various other things will seriously damage your vinyl records if you leave them out.

Habit #4 – Carelessly dropping your vinyl records in their sleeves

There’s a certain noise that you’ll hear when you carelessly drop your vinyl record in the sleeve. This noise can be somewhat entertaining, but it’s also the noise of your record weeping. Not only will you puncture a hole in the record sleeve, you’ll damage your record as well.
A sleeve with a hole is a terrible shelter for your vinyl records, so it’s safe to say that this is a bad habit to have if you own records and a record player. Make sure you protect your records by unharmed sleeves.

Habit #5 – Bad & Irregular Cleaning

You should regularly clean your vinyl records if you want to avoid unnecessary damage. Now, cleaning is quite easy. All you have to do is – gather up all the tools needed, wash your records, and dry them up. If you don’t want to waste time, you could always waste money – there are special machines that will clean your records for you.
Cleaning your vinyl records will remove grime, dust, and dirt from your vinyl records, improving the overall sound quality of your tracks. Irregular cleaning, on the other hand, will build up these hazardous materials on the surface of your records, damaging them.

Habit #6 – Cueing up your vinyl records by hand

Whenever you cue up your vinyl records by hand, you scratch the surface of your records. Now, it might be ironic that scratching can do harm to your records because the sound is made through scratching on a vinyl groove, but yeah, that’s how you damage your records.

If possible, you should wait out for the record to finish if you want to avoid any potential damage, but that requires a great deal of patience. An alternative solution will still damage your records, but the damage would be minimal – use a cueing lever if you want to minimize the damage.

Habit #7 – Putting out the record when the platter is still spinning

There’s one very simple rule when it comes to a spinning record platter – simply don’t touch it. Whenever it’s spinning, it means that you are supposed to, so that’s all you should do. If you’re itching to play another record, have a little patience and wait until the platter stops rolling.

Those people who are incapable of waiting for the platter to stop spinning usually end up damaging and scratching the surface of their vinyl records. Of course, there are ways to fix these problems, but it’s often better to prevent the damage.

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