Most of us have been collecting LP's and 45's for years but do we handle them correctly?
Fingers leave oils and residues on record surfaces that are sometimes difficult to remove.
It is far better not to touch the surface of the record at all, but to hold it on the edges, balancing it by spreading your hand and putting other fingers on the label.
All records should be stored upright. Avoid piling albums on top of one another to avoid warping. Many stores now carry units with cubicles in them that are perfect for record storage. I was able to get solid decorative expresso colored ones at IKEA...they are also available at Target and Walmart too. They are all easy to find, attractive, inexpensive and each cubicle is the right size.
Keeping records clean is a very important part of hearing the best quality of sound. At the top of the line are expensive cleaning machines that clean and vacuum the vinyl for you. It's a great concept but very pricey starting at $200-$1000's. More practically, it is very effective to simply wash them under running water, avoiding the label. Using a microfiber cloth, add small amounts of gentle detergent and 91% alcohol to the cloth. Apply gently to record in circular motion and rinse well under running water. Use a fiber free cloth to dry. This should remove most of the dust and debris caught in the grooves.