How To Fix a Warped Record?

by crackler01

I will try to answer the eternal question of vinyl enthusiasts – how to fix a warped record?


Vinyl records have made a remarkable resurgence in recent years, captivating music enthusiasts with their warm and authentic sound. However, for vinyl collectors and enthusiasts, encountering a warped record can be a disappointing and frustrating experience. Warping can make the record difficult or even impossible to play, potentially damaging both the listening experience and the needle on your turntable. If you find yourself facing this predicament, fear not. In this comprehensive guide, I will explore various methods to fix a warped vinyl record and restore it to its original, playable condition.

Whether your record has been exposed to UV radiation, excessive heat, or poor storage conditions, there are several tried-and-tested techniques to attempt a repair. From simple DIY methods to using specialized tools and machines, I’ll cover it all to help you bring your beloved vinyl collection back to life.

How To Fix A Warped Record

How to Fix a Warped Vinyl Record by Yourself:

  1. The Weight and Wait Method:
    This straightforward and gentle approach involves placing a heavy object on top of the warped record and allowing it to sit for an extended period. The consistent pressure helps to flatten out small bends and creases in the vinyl. A book or piece of cardboard can serve as a suitable weight, ensuring no further damage is caused to the record.

    Here’s how to do it:

    1. Gather two large, heavy objects: Find two large books or similar heavy objects that are wide enough to cover the entirety of the record without warping it further.
    2. Clean the record: Before placing the record between the objects, make sure it is clean to avoid any debris damaging the grooves.
    3. Position the record: Put the first heavy object on a flat surface, such as a table. Place the warped record atop the object, and then add the second heavy object on top of the record. Ensure that the objects cover as much of the record as possible.
    4. Apply pressure: The weight of the objects will exert constant, gradual pressure on the record, aiming to un-warp it. This process can take several days or even weeks.
    5. Inspect the record: After the waiting period, carefully remove the heavy objects and check the record for signs of improvement. If the warp has reduced significantly, the repair has been successful. If not, consider repeating the process until you achieve better results.
  2. The Glass Pane and Oven Method:
    This method involves using heat and pressure to soften the vinyl, allowing it to reshape and reduce the warp.Here’s how to do it:

      1. Preheat the oven: Set your oven to a temperature of about 175°F (79°C). Preheating should take between 10-15 minutes.
      2. Clean the record and glass panes: While the oven warms up, clean the vinyl record using a record cleaner solution to ensure no dust or debris gets pressed into the grooves. Also, clean two glass panes larger than 12 x 12 inches with Windex.
      3. Position the record between glass panes: Center the record atop the first glass pane and place the second pane on top, essentially sandwiching the record between the glass.
      4. Heat the record: With oven mitts, carefully slide the glass and record combination onto the oven rack, placing it in the center of the oven. Heat the vinyl record for 10 minutes at the preheated temperature.
      5. Apply pressure: After 10 minutes, remove the glass from the oven using oven mitts. While the glass and record cool, place a heavy object on top of them to increase the pressure. Heavy books like encyclopedias or dictionaries work well for this.
      6. Let it cool: Allow the glass to cool for 60 minutes before removing the heavy object and glass.
      7. Inspect the record: If done properly, your record should be noticeably flatter. Check if the warp has been reduced or eliminated.
        Here is a video on how to properly do this:
  3. Applying Heat to the Record:
    Another method involves using controlled heat to make the vinyl more pliable, making it easier to flatten out the warp. You can use a hairdryer for this purpose. However, caution is necessary to prevent overheating, as excessive heat can damage the vinyl further.
  4. Using a Vacuum Cleaner:
    If your warped record has small wrinkles or ripples, you can employ a vacuum cleaner to gently suck them out. By holding the record against the vacuum cleaner’s hose attachment, you can effectively smooth out the surface, resulting in a more flat and playable record.
  5. Milk Treatment:
    Surprisingly, milk can act as a natural lubricant and aid in fixing tiny creases or ripples on a record. By applying a small amount of milk to the affected area and gently rubbing it in, you can help restore the record’s smoothness. Repeat the process as needed for optimal results.
  6. Rubbing Alcohol Friction Method:
    This method involves using rubbing alcohol to create friction between your finger and the vinyl while playing the record. This friction can help stretch out small bends or creases, making them less noticeable and easier to play. However, excessive friction should be avoided, as it can lead to long-term vinyl damage.

Remember, these methods are not foolproof, and success depends on the severity of the warp and the condition of the vinyl. Always handle the record with care and avoid excessive pressure that may damage the grooves. Additionally, consider using a record flattener machine if you want a more reliable and controlled method.

How to Fix a Warped Vinyl Record With a Record Flattener Machine

There are several record flattener machines in the market today and I will mention the most popular.

Record Pi – The Smart Vinyl Flattener

Record Pi is a smart vinyl record flattener machine that provides a solution for warped vinyl records. It offers controlled heat and pressure to safely flatten severely warped records, allowing collectors and vinyl enthusiasts to restore their damaged records without causing further damage to the grooves or compromising sound quality.

Record Pi - The Smart Vinyl Flattener

Here are some key features and details about the Record Pi vinyl record flattener:

  1. Smart Temperature Control: The machine comes with a temperature controller that uses software-optimized heating processes for flatter results with less risk of damage. It allows users to control the exact temperature, ensuring precise flattening without overheating or damaging the vinyl.

  2. Premium Alloy Steel Construction: The Record Pi device is constructed with premium alloy steel, specifically treated to maximize thermal conductivity. This ensures an even distribution of heat across the entire record surface, providing uniform flattening pressure.

  3. Groove Guards: The machine comes with six groove guards made of proprietary insulating fabric, protecting the grooves of the vinyl during the flattening process. This safeguard ensures that the grooves remain undamaged while the record is being flattened.

  4. Remote Monitoring and Control: The Record Pi system is connected to a mobile app, enabling users to monitor and adjust the flattening temperature remotely. Users can view the actual temperature and the target temperature of the system on both the temperature controller display and their mobile device.

  5. Integrated Phone Scheduling: The system allows users to schedule the flattening process from their mobile device. Users can set the desired time for the process to start, ensuring convenience and flexibility in the flattening process.

  6. Alexa and Google Home Compatibility: The Record Pi system can be linked to Amazon Alexa or Google Home, enabling users to turn the machine on or off with voice commands from anywhere.

Record Pi offers a safer and more controlled alternative to traditional methods of flattening vinyl records, such as using glass plates and ovens, which can potentially damage the grooves and compromise sound quality. With its precise temperature control and protective features, Record Pi provides vinyl collectors with a reliable and efficient solution to unwarp their precious records, preserving the quality of their vinyl collection.

As with any new product, some potential buyers may prefer to wait for more reviews and feedback before making a purchase. However, Record Pi’s patented technology and the convenience of its mobile app and voice control features make it an attractive option for those looking to fix warped vinyl records effectively and safely.

Vinyl Flat Record Flattener

The Vinyl Flat is a record flattener machine designed to fix warped vinyl records in a proven, simple, and affordable way. It has been utilized by knowledgeable collectors and enthusiasts worldwide since 2011, with over 8,000 customers and a 4.7-star review rating[1]. The device offers an effective method to unwarp records, whether with or without the use of a heat source. Most customers use the Groovy Pouch, an accessory that can accelerate the flattening process. Using the Vinyl Flat, a warped record can be flattened in just 1-2 hours, making it a relatively quick process compared to other methods.

Vinyl Flat Record Flattener

The Vinyl Flat is compatible with vinyl records of various sizes, including 7-inch, 10-inch, or 12-inch diameter records, and with different speeds such as 33 1/3 rpm, 45 rpm, and 78 rpm. The device is manufactured and shipped from Indiana, USA, and it offers free shipping in the USA and Canada. Customers can try the Vinyl Flat risk-free and return it within 30 days of purchase if it doesn’t fix their warped record.

The Vinyl Flat Record Flattener has garnered positive feedback from customers and has proven to be an effective tool for fixing warped records. It offers an alternative to more expensive options like the Furutech Disc Flattener while providing a safe and simple approach to flatten records without compromising their quality or risking damage to the grooves. The Vinyl Flat device applies a precise amount of gravitational force along with a low-heat approach, which has been shown to be safe for almost all vinyl records. It can be used with a kitchen oven or with the Vinyl Flat Heating Pouch for a safer and more energy-efficient option. Customers can purchase the Vinyl Flat directly from the manufacturer or through major audio retailers.

In summary, the Vinyl Flat record flattener machine is a trusted and effective solution for fixing warped vinyl records. It provides a safe and simple approach to restoring warped records to a playable condition, and its affordable price makes it an attractive option for vinyl collectors and enthusiasts seeking to preserve their vinyl collection.

ORB DF-01iA+ Record Flattener

The DF-01iA+ record flattener is a high-end audio vinyl LP record flattener offered by Orb, a reputable manufacturer of vinyl accessories. The DF-01iA+ is an upgraded version of the “entry-level” DF01 record flattener and provides significant new flexibility and value to its users.

ORB DF-01iA+ DF-01iA+Vinyl Flattener

Key Features of the DF-01iA+ Record Flattener:

  1. Heat Ranges: The DF-01iA+ offers three heat ranges, including a high heat setting, which is a “last resort” option for records that were previously un-flattenable without resorting to extreme measures like using an oven or vacuum, or periphery clamps.
  2. Multiple Sizes Support: All “normal” sizes of vinyl records are now supported, including 7″, 10″, and 12″ diameter records. This makes the DF-01iA+ versatile and suitable for different vinyl formats.

  3. Heavy Vinyl Compatibility: The DF-01iA+ has been designed to handle heavy vinyl records more easily, which is typically a specialty of the more expensive DF03 model.

  4. Adapters for Flat Records: The DF-01iA+ comes with adapters that allow users to flatten records without “groove guard” raised edges. Groove guards are the thickened rims found on some records designed to protect the play area. These adapters make the flattening process more accessible and efficient for records without raised edges.

It’s important to note that the DF-01iA and DF-01iA+ models are very similar, with the main difference being the inclusion of plastic adapters in the DF-01iA+ version. These adapters enable the flattening of records without groove guards, making the process more versatile for different types of vinyl records.

The DF-01iA+ record flattener is known for its reliability and effectiveness in flattening warped records. It offers various temperature settings, and the cycle usually involves two hours of heating followed by two hours of cooling. Users have reported successful results in flattening various records of different weights and degrees of warping using this flattener. The DF-01iA+ is considered a valuable tool for music enthusiasts looking to restore warped records and improve sound quality without resorting to riskier methods like using an oven.

For those who value the warm and natural sound of vinyl, the Orb DF-01iA+ record flattener provides a practical and efficient solution to tackle shape distortion that occurs during the long-term storage of vinyl records. The flattener is well-designed, robust, and user-friendly, making it a popular choice among vinyl fans seeking to preserve and enhance their vinyl collection.


Your warped vinyl record may have seemed like a lost cause, but with the right techniques and a bit of patience, you can breathe new life into your cherished music collection. Whether you choose a simple DIY method or invest in specialized equipment, the satisfaction of hearing your favorite tunes play smoothly again is immeasurable. Remember to follow the steps carefully and treat your records with the utmost care to ensure their longevity and continued enjoyment. So, don’t give up on your beloved vinyl treasures; instead, embark on a journey to revive them using the methods outlined in this guide. Happy record fixing!

Facebook Comments Box
5/5 - (1 vote)

You may also like