Fix Warped Vinyl Records to Enjoy Music the Old School Way

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Some of us still own and occasionally enjoy music from our vinyl records. Old school music lovers are passionate about their vinyl records and enjoy placing the stylus of their turntable in the groove of their record to listen to rock n roll of the mid-90s. It is not hard to find a library full of vinyl records at some homes with a turntable resting on the side.

If you are a proud owner of vinyl records then you are sure to face the issue of warped records. If one of your records is completely unplayable or is sounding flat then your record is warped and it will have to be fixed. Warped records are a common problem faced by retro music lovers. However, you don’t need a professional to fix these records for you. If you are racking your brain on how to fix warped records, here are 10 simple steps to bring your vinyl records back to life.  You can do it yourself at home if you own an oven. 

Warped Vinyl Records

How Does a Record Warp?

It is important to know how a record warps so you can prevent it from happening in the first place. Heat is the primary factor of vinyl records getting warped. A typical vinyl record starts warping at a temperature of 60° C and it starts melting at a temperature of 100°C. Therefore, keep them away from heat or direct sunlight. 

Always make it a point to store the records vertically to avoid placing anything on them. If you stack records on top of each other, the one below will warp, it might even crack if there is undue weight placed on it. It is necessary to have a proper storage place for your records, a place like a bookshelf where you can arrange all your vinyl records vertically away from heat. Always remember to put it away after use instead of leaving it on your table. This will prevent dust and dirt from getting to your record. 

How to Fix Warped Records

How to Fix Warped Records?

Warped records can be fixed at the comfort of your home. All you need is two glass panels and an oven. Follow these steps to get your warped records back to their original condition. 

Step 1: Pull your vinyl record out of its case and clean it.

Step 2: Place the records between two glass panels.

Step 3: Preheat your oven so it is warm or set it to 80°C.

Step 4: Gently place the glass panel with a record between them in the oven.

Step 5: Warm your record in the oven for two to three minutes.

Step 6: With your oven mitts carefully pull out the galls panels with the record.

Step 7: Place a towel on your kitchen counter and set the glass assembly on top of it.

Step 8: Place some heavy books on the glass panel and leave them to cool off completely.

Step 9: When the glass panel assembly has cooled off completely remove the record. 

Step 10: Play the record, if the record is still warped, do the process again. 

When you place the records sandwiched between glass panels in the oven, remember that glass can shatter if it experiences a sudden temperature change. Make sure that the glass panels are at room temperature or slightly warm before you place them in the oven. Once the assembly is in the oven, don’t leave. Stand by, set a stopwatch on your phone, and switch the oven off immediately after the stopwatch goes off. Leaving the record for longer than three minutes can melt your record. If you get a weird smell or hear something strange from inside the oven switch it off immediately. 

If you don’t have glass panels at your home or don’t want to risk putting the record inside an oven you can contact a professional. If you are a serious collector or hold a sentimental value for your records, then getting your warped record fixed by a professional would be an easier option for you. Most record shops will have a heat and press machine to easily fix your record back to a flat shape. Without a doubt, this is the safest way to flatten your vinyl.

Since vinyl records are not easily replaceable, it is should be regarded as a collector’s previous item and given due care. Try to prevent warping of the records as much as you can. Don’t leave it carelessly lying on the table. You might just forget that it’s there and stack something on top of it. It might even be under direct sunlight for long hours without your knowledge. Therefore, make sure that you put your record away after use.

When you store your records make sure that it is not under direct sunlight. It should be stacked vertically just like books on a bookshelf. A bookshelf is a great place to store your records. Keep the bookshelf with the records away from any heat source. Another thing to remember is that always place the record back in its case. Never misplace the case of your vinyl record. The case prevents it from a dust and dirt attack. Dusty records lose their original tonal quality. 

You can still play your record even if it is warped. But there will be a significant loss of quality to the music. Also if you keep playing a warped record, the grooves will further flatten out, which will make repairing it much harder. Some records will be warped beyond repair. Therefore, always make sure that you either learn how to fix your warped record and do it immediately or give it to the local repair shop.

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