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Learn how to take care of your vinyl collection with this guide to "Vinyl Care". The tutorial features info on storage and cleaning.

Once started, vinyl collecting becomes an addiction, especially to those DJs who play live sets and must keep up with the increasingly changing trends in dance music. One minute it's hard house doing the business and the next it's tech trance that's all the craze. So it's important to look after the most expensive product of all - the vinyl collection.

There is nothing worse than a warped or bent vinyl, and watching the torn arm move up and down due to this defect. The problem stems from storage. Make sure you always stand your records vertically. If you store record horizontally, then after time they will become warped and bent. The problem can also occur if the record is placed in direct sunlight or in hot surroundings, so when transporting records never keep them in a hot car (it is recommended that you avoid temperatures above 70 degrees Fahrenheit or below 45 degrees Fahrenheit.

I can be noticed that when removing a vinyl from it's sleeve, they is friction - caused by static build up. Make sure that you buy paper sleeves or anti-static sleeves to cut down on the dust build-up. Make sure that you keep the records in a dry, cool place (avoid storage in cellars, roofs or garages). It is also thought that humidity can affect records as moisture can cause mould to grow on records or their sleeves, so make sure there storage area does not exceed 50% humidity.

When cleaning records or equipment bare in mind that prevention is better than cure. So try to avoid getting to the stage of having to spend money on professional cleaning techniques. Make sure that you keep the slipmats clean. Most are felt so don't try and wash it, instead use the brush end on a vacuum cleaner. If you are simply listening to an LP or record single, put down the turntable cover. Although unattractive the provide the best protection against dust accumulation, spillage's and objects falling onto those expensive twins.

It's okay to clean those records but handling them may spoil all your efforts. Make sure that you hold the edge of the vinyl or the centre. If held in the light it can be surprising to see large amounts of greasy fingerprints - so always make sure you have clean hands. Once you have finished with the record put it straight back in it's cover to prevent dust building up.

If you have poor quality record sleeves it is important that you replace them. Available in various sizes, the best stockist seems to be Hard To Find Records (UK) who stock Polythene lined 12" sleeves, black 12" sleeves, cardboard 12" sleeves, 12" postage sleeves (singles and for 100 singles). They also stock PVC protective covers for both 12" and 7" and a variety of cardboard 7" sleeves. All at low prices - certainly prices to pay to protect those expensive collections.

They are also a variety of sprays and cleaning pads to help remove dust from vinyl and also stylus cleaners available in kits including formulated cleaning fluids and specially designed brushes. They also sell wall racks for perfect storage.

(This tutorial was originally posted on the former site UT-DJ. Thank you Gonzo for letting us repost it here.)

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