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How to Care for Your Vinyl Records

Reckless Records manager and local DJ Matt Jencik shares tips on keeping your wax good as new.

Illustration by John Kenzie
Illustration: John Kenzie

Wipe it down

“A common misconception is that records usually skip because of scratches. I can almost always cure them with a quick sweep. Even a dry cotton T-shirt gets the job done.”

Keep your hands off

“I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen literal Doritos crumbs in the grooves of a record. Fingerprints are especially damaging as they allow grease and dust to become imprinted into the grooves. I place either edge of the LP in the palms of my hands so my fingers hardly ever contact it.”

Cut the static

“Consistent exposure to static will cause records to have a crackly sound that is irreversible. Use antistatic inner sleeves made out of high-density polyethylene.”

Invest in a nice needle

“Cheaper ones tend to be heavy and push dust into the grooves, which brings us right back to where we started.”

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