The Student News Site of Colorado State University - College Ave Mag

College Ave Mag

College Ave Mag

College Ave Mag


From Dust to Diamonds

Nurturing Your Vinyl Treasures
Sophia Stern
Records sit in a crate at the record store Bizarre Bazaar, Feb 5.

The Rolling Stones, The Eagles, Pink Floyd, and Fleetwood Mac were among the prominent artists rising to fame during the 1970s. With vinyl records debuting in the late 1940s, by the ‘70s, vinyls of their songs were everywhere.


A Rolling Stones Record sits on top of rows of records, Feb 5.
A Rolling Stones Record sits on top of rows of records, Feb 5. At Bizarre Bazaar, people are able to sell or trade-in their used records.
(Sophia Stern)

Taite Mcgrady, an employee at Bizarre Bazaar, is well-versed in record care. Boasting 564 CDs and vinyl records in his collection, Mcgrady has been collecting for many years. He enjoys his role at Bizarre Bazaar, where used vinyl is accepted, diligently restored, and resold at a fair value. 


This is a sustainable way to keep old records in circulation and help find a home for everything. 


When asked what ‘70s music or ‘70s-inspired records kids are buying today, Mcgrady responded “Tame Impala” goes so fast and I think it is very clear that he wears his references on his sleeve and when you look at “Fleetwood Mac Rumours”, we cannot keep that in stock.” 


Opening Up Your Record


When opening your record, there are a couple of approaches to take. Some people prefer to remove it from the shrink wrap (layer of plastic wrapping), while others leave it intact. 


“I do see that if you leave it in the shrink, the jacket [outer covering of record] looks a little bit better over time… it’s just an extra layer of protection,” Mcgrady said. 


Leaving it in aids with ultraviolet (UV) protection. If your records on the wall are exposed to the sun, over time it can start to bleach the record.


Cleaning Your Record


Bizarre Bazaar provides people with a secret formula that they can clean their records with. All you need is: 

  • A spray bottle 
  • 80% water
  • 20% rubbing alcohol (at 70% concentration)
  • A drop of dish soap (About a drop on your fingertip) 


The dish soap helps with cleaning off fingerprints and tobacco tar (commonly found on old or used records), but be careful. You don’t want soap residue on your record either.


As for a brush, any standard felt brush will work. There are also kits available online where you can get a felt brush, a carbon fiber brush, and a needle brush. 


“Just make sure you take the half second to dry brush your records before you play it,” Mcgrady explains. It goes a long way for care, as dust can collect on the record and the needle of the record player will inject the dust into the grooves of the record. 


Records fill a wooden rack at the record store Bizarre Bazaar, Feb 5.
Records fill a wooden rack at the record store Bizarre Bazaar, Feb 5. Along with old vintage albums, Bizarre Bazaar sells customers brand-new records by popular artists such as John Legend and Taylor Swift.
(Sophia Stern)
How Often Should You Clean


Dry Brush: 

  • Always dry clean first 
  • Anytime before putting the record on the player
  • Sometimes after, if left on the player for a while 


Spray bottle:

  • When you get a new record
  • Anytime it looks visibly dusty 


Records sit in a basket, organized by who the musician or band is, Feb 5.
Records sit in a basket, organized by who the musician or band is, Feb 5. Bizarre Bazaar has a range of options for records, including blues, rock, country, and jazz.
(Sophia Stern)
Where to Keep Your Records


Records should not be anywhere too close to a heat source, even windows. Over time the heat from the sun could warp the record and that is extremely hard to fix.  It is best to keep records in a cooler environment with low humidity. For example, basements are usually the best although some people prefer to keep them out on a wall or sunroom, which just needs to be monitored over time.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Sophia Stern
Sophia Stern, Photographer
Sophia is a 21-year-old undergrad at Colorado State University studying Journalism and Media Communications with a minor in Global Environmental Sustainability. She was born in California. Then, in 2013, she and her family relocated to Colorado.
She is a photographer, journalist, graphic designer, and avid adventurer. Sophia loves being outdoors, surrounded by nature, and capturing its beauty through the lens, whether it’s film or digital.
Sophia aspires to travel the world as a photojournalist, making a difference through her photographs and writings while inspiring future generations to pursue their ambitions and fight for what they believe in.

Comments (0)

All College Ave Mag Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *