How to unwarp a vinyl record

Written by maxfield carroll
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How to unwarp a vinyl record
You might be able to salvage a mildly warped record with some heat and pressure. (Getty Images)

If one of your vinyl records is making the needle jump the grooves, all may not be lost. Heavily rippled phonograph discs might be a total loss, but records with an edge warp may be able to be fixed by applying mild heat and steady pressure. When trying out this technique, experiment on an expendable record. If your recording is valuable, try to find a digital copy first.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Warped record
  • Two tempered glass plates, 35 by 35 cm (14 by 14 inches), 6 mm (1/4-inch) thick
  • Heat source
  • Oven gloves
  • Distilled water

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  1. 1

    Clean the glass plates and the vinyl record with distilled water. Dry completely.

  2. 2

    Place the record between two flat plates of 6 mm (1/4-inch) thick tempered glass. The glass should be large enough to cover the entire surface of the record, at least 35 cm (14 inches) square.

  3. 3

    Lay the glass-and-vinyl sandwich flat in a source of 38 degrees Celsius (100 Fahrenheit) heat for 12 minutes. Heat your oven to 65 degrees Celsius (150 Fahrenheit) and then shut it off until it reaches the correct temperature.

  4. 4

    Remove the stack from the heat. Allow at least 30 minutes for it to cool completely.

  5. 5

    Take the glass off the record. Test the record on a turntable for flatness.

Tips and warnings

  • If your record is still warped, try increasing its time in the oven by two or three minutes.
  • Wear oven gloves when working with an oven.
  • Attempting to unwarp a record may damage the grooves or destroy the record completely.
  • Do not try this method with a record that has any sentimental or monetary value.

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