How to handle a vinyl record

Before you start amassing the world’s largest collection of vinyl records, make sure you know how to handle them first. Vinyl records are not entirely fragile, but improper handling could easily damage them and render them unusable.

When handling a vinyl record, you want to make sure you take careful precautions not to touch any of the grooved surfaces. This is the part of the record that actually plays on a turntable. To remove a record from its jacket cover, bow it open by putting slight pressure on the edges. The vinyl should be inside a dust sleeve. The dust sleeve is an intricate part of storing vinyl records away, so make sure that you never dispose of them.

a stack of vinyl records

The next step is to pull the dust sleeve and record together out of the jacket cover. You want to keep your thumb firmly on the edge of the record and carefully slide the dust sleeve off of it. Keep one of your other fingers—usually the middle finger—from the same hand firmly in place on the center of the vinyl record. This should prevent you from dropping the vinyl on accident. What you never want to do is just reach into the sleeve to pull the record out by pinching with your fingers.

a vinyl record playing

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Once you have the record firmly, on one hand, you’ll need to use both hands to place the vinyl onto the record player. This will keep your record stable and secure. When you’re finished listening to some incredible music, take your time retracing your steps back to put the vinyl record into its jacket cover. Never stack records on top of each other because you’ll risk breaking some due to the weight. Instead, store your vinyl records vertically to ensure safety and make access easy.

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