How to Repair Scratched Vinyl Records

Written by kaye morris
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How to Repair Scratched Vinyl Records
Vinyl: an extinct art form. (record montage image by Nicemonkey from

With the advent of CDs and iPods, vinyl records have become a pastime for purists and collectors. Because very little vinyl is produced today, most vinyl collections are years old and show the wear of many years of enjoyment. Scratches on vinyl records are most often caused by dragging the needle across the record, creating a lift in the vinyl that disrupts the playback. Although it is unlikely you can repair deep scratches, you may be able to repair light needle scratches on your vinyl records.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Record player

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  1. 1

    Place the scratched record on the record player and play it normally, listening for the point when the scratch disrupts the playback, and watching for the spot where the needle jumps because of the scratch.

  2. 2

    Stop the record player and rotate the record until you locate the scratch.

  3. 3

    Place the needle directly behind the scratch and rotate the record counterclockwise until the needle runs over the scratch, smoothing it out.

  4. 4

    Repeat this process several times, then play the record to see if the scratch has been smoothed enough to eliminate its effect on playback. You may have to repeat the process more than once to achieve good playback.

Tips and warnings

  • If you cannot successfully repair the scratch, and the album is one that you cannot obtain in another listening format, then consider having an audio professional attempt to convert the album to digital file and repair the damaged areas.

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