Care and preservation are key to enjoying vintage recorded materials; vinyl record accessories are essential tools for audio enthusiasts. Cleaning vinyl discs is among the vital tasks. Not only does dust and dirt interfere with sound reproduction, but the particles can also damage the imprinted surfaces and cause permanent loss of quality.
Collectors to the Rescue
For collectors and fans of vintage vinyl recordings, care and attention to the condition are important. Collectors expend considerable time and effort to maintain the condition of their precious collections. Further, when obtained, many items require a deep cleaning to counter the effects of use and neglect. Reclaiming an old disc from poor condition to like new is a rewarding experience for vinyl record collectors. The surfaces of vinyl records are meant to handle the light pressure of a stylus. If improperly stored, the surfaces can bend and warp; if handled carelessly, oils from hands and fingers cause dirt build-ups in the grooves.
Cleaning and Preserving Vinyl Discs
Effective cleaning is a matter of lightly touching the surfaces and getting some action in the grooves to remove dust, dirt and particles. Harsh chemicals can affect the surfaces and render them more prone to dirt build-up. The most common approach is a soft cloth and a mild solution; however, effective cleaning requires a lot of rubbing. The grooves resist cleaning with soft damp cloth, and many materials leave lint in the grooves.
There are two recorded sides to most vinyl discs, and handheld cleaning techniques usually involve cleaning one side at a time. Many collectors use the spinning motion of the turntable to help clean discs, and some add a small brush near the stylus to track along the grooves.
The quality of a vinyl recording and a collection depend on the condition of the vinyl surfaces. Cleaning and maintenance are critical tasks for successful collectors. For those who simply enjoy vinyl discs that capture the style and music movements of past eras, clean discs add much to the experience.