Is It Bad To Leave A Vinyl Record On The Turntable?

Is It Bad To Leave A Vinyl Record On The Turntable?

Craig Walker |

In the world of music, vinyl records hold a special place.

They are the embodiment of nostalgia, a tangible link to the past, and a testament to the enduring power of music.

But as any vinyl enthusiast will tell you, these precious items require a certain level of care and attention.

One question that often arises is whether it's bad to leave a vinyl record on the turntable.

Let's delve into this topic and spin some knowledge on the matter.

The Impact of Leaving a Vinyl Record on the Turntable

Before we get into the nitty-gritty, let's set the record straight (pun intended).

Leaving a vinyl record on the turntable isn't the end of the world. However, it's not exactly the best practice either.

Let's explore why.

Firstly, dust and debris are the arch-nemeses of vinyl records. When a record is left out, it becomes a magnet for these unwanted particles.

Over time, this can lead to a build-up that can affect the sound quality of your record.

Secondly, prolonged exposure to the environment can cause warping. This is when the record becomes distorted and loses its flat shape. This can happen due to various factors such as heat, humidity, and pressure.

Dust & Debris

Dust & debris can cause a myriad of problems for your vinyl records.

They can scratch the surface, get lodged in the grooves, and cause pops and clicks when the record is played.

This not only affects the sound quality but also the lifespan of your record.

Moreover, dust and debris can also cause damage to your stylus, the needle that reads the grooves on your record.

A damaged stylus can further harm your records and affect the sound quality.


Warping is a vinyl record's worst nightmare.

A warped record doesn't lie flat on the turntable, causing the stylus to move up and down as it tracks the grooves.

This can result in a wavering sound, skips, or even render the record unplayable.

Warping can occur due to heat, humidity, and pressure.

Leaving a record on the turntable exposes it to these factors, especially if the turntable is near a heat source or in a humid environment.

How to Properly Store Vinyl Records

Now that we've established that leaving a vinyl record on the turntable isn't the best idea, let's look at how to properly store them.

After all, these musical treasures deserve the best care possible.

First and foremost, records should be stored vertically.

Stacking them horizontally can cause warping due to the weight of the records on top. They should also be stored in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and heat sources.

Secondly, it's important to keep your records clean. Dust and debris can be kept at bay by using a record brush or a record cleaning solution.

It's also a good idea to clean your stylus regularly to ensure it's in tip-top shape.

Vinyl Record Inner Sleeve

Record Sleeves

Record sleeves are a vinyl record's best friend. They provide a protective barrier against dust, debris, and scratches.

There are two types of sleeves: inner sleeves and outer sleeves.

Inner sleeves hold the record and slide into the record jacket.

They can be made of paper, plastic, or a combination of both. Plastic sleeves are generally better as they are less likely to scratch the record.

Outer sleeves, on the other hand, cover the entire record jacket. They protect the artwork and prevent ring wear, a common issue where the record's shape becomes visible on the jacket.

Read More: How To Store Vinyl Records

Cleaning Vinyl Record With Cloth

Record Cleaning

Keeping your records clean is crucial for their longevity and sound quality.

A record brush is a handy tool for this. It can be used to gently remove dust and debris from the record's surface.

For a deeper clean, a record cleaning solution can be used. This can help remove oils, fingerprints, and other stubborn dirt.

However, it's important to use a solution that's specifically designed for vinyl records to avoid damaging them.

Read More: How To Clean Vinyl Records


So, is it bad to leave a vinyl record on the turntable?

The answer is yes and no. While it's not catastrophic, it's certainly not the best practice. Dust, debris, and environmental factors can cause harm to your records over time.

But with proper care and storage, your vinyl records can continue to spin their magic for years to come.

So, next time you're done listening to your favourite record, give it a good clean and tuck it safely away in its sleeve.

Your records, and your ears, will thank you.