Stickers on records, often called hype stickers, are treasured possession for some people and worthless pieces of junk for others. Should you trash them, or keep them? What do you do with stickers on records? Ultimately, the choice is yours. 

You can peel off the stickers from the shrink wrap and stick them elsewhere – on the inner sleeve, on the plastic outer sleeve, etc. Alternatively, you can cut around the sticker and throw it in the album jacket. If you see no point in doing any of this, you can simply ditch the sticker together with the shrink wrap. 

In this article, we’ll talk more about stickers on records, what you can do with them and how to go about removing stickers if you decide to keep them. Stay tuned! If you are just about to store your vinyl collection, in our blog you can learn how long vinyls can be stacked.

Table of Contents

What is a hype sticker?

A hype sticker is a sticker that is usually attached to the shrink wrap of a new vinyl record. It has special info about the release, sometimes including what hit songs the record contains. 

Some people like hype stickers simply because they are pretty. Hype stickers can also be educational, providing us with a bit of trivia that we wouldn’t know otherwise. For example, a hype sticker on Sade’s first album explains how to correctly pronounce her name: “Shar-Day”.

Sometimes people keep the stickers on records because they have sentimental value and they like to keep hold of them. Other times, people keep the stickers and they turn out to be more valuable than the record they came with. Two rare hype stickers from The Beatles’ “White Album” are an example of such hype stickers.

What do you do with stickers on records?

We are back to the main question in our today’s article – What do you do with stickers on records? Well, you do whatever you please, but we would like to share with you what different audiophiles and collectors typically do, as well as their reasoning behind it. 

Keep them

If you decide to keep the hype stickers, you will always have special info about the release available. For instance, stickers can include info on whether a record is a limited edition when it was released, what the weight of the vinyl is, etc. Next are different ways how you can keep the stickers intact. If you want to learn more about how to save hype stickers, be sure to check out our blog.

  • Cut around the sticker, keeping it attached on shrink wrap, and stow it in the album jacket if you feel a sticker is a valuable part of the album.
  • Peel off the sticker and either stick it to the inner sleeve or to the plastic outer sleeve. You can even stick the stickers on the boxes or crates where you store your vinyl in.
  • Place the sticker on a piece of printer paper, cut it in the shape of the sticker and throw it in the album jacket.
  • Remove the whole shrink wrap and fold it to keep the sticker.
  • Stick the sticker on the album cover itself provided that it peels off the shrink wrap in one piece.
  • Make a scrapbook from all the stickers and organize the pages by release dates, genres, or any order that you prefer.

Trash them

If you feel that all that matters is what’s inside the shrink wrap, not what’s on top of it, ditch the shrink wrap together with the sticker. You can also decide to keep only the stickers that have nice graphics or art and throw away those generic stickers, together with the shrink wrap. A lot of people can’t be bothered to peel off or cut out hype stickers and find them useless.

How do you remove stickers from vinyl records?

Removing stickers from vinyl records without damaging the album cover can often be a challenge. That is why we would like to present you with 3 methods that can help you get this done. To learn how to remove shrink wrap from vinyl, take a look at our blog.

Method #1 – Rip the sticker off

If there is already a loose part, try to remove the sticker with a quick pull. If the sticker is a bit harder to remove, you can first try using a hair drier set to low. It goes without saying that you should take the record out of the sleeve first. Be careful not to hold the hair drier in one place for too long. 

After two or three minutes have passed, it should be easier to remove both the sticker and any remaining glue residue. Finally, make sure that the album cover is back to room temperature before you put it back.

Method #2 – Use lighter fluid

Lighter fluid, such as a bottle of Ronsonol, together with cotton balls, will do wonders when it comes to removing stickers from vinyl records. It dries quickly and it doesn’t dissolve printing inks. Lighter fluid won’t stain or damage LP covers or record labels. Here is how you should use it:

  • Soak a cotton ball in the lighter fluid and apply the fluid thoroughly to the entire sticker.
  • Remember that plastic stickers will need to soak longer than paper ones. It’s important that the lighter fluid gets to the sticky side of the sticker’s adhesive.
  • Start peeling the sticker off gently. If a sticky residue is still on the surface, gently rub it with a wet paper towel soaked in lighter fluid.

Method #3 – Use adhesive removers

When it comes to using adhesive removers, such as Goo Gone, you have to exercise caution. Many LP collectors found it to be effective. There are also those who say that it can damage print or ink on the cover. Some also say that Goo Gone leaves a smell. We’ll leave the decision whether you use adhesive removers to you.

A person standing near vinyl records with stickers and a vinyl record player.

Why do DJs put stickers on records?

DJs that mix on turntables often use stickers to mark and modify their vinyl records. This technique was especially popular in the past before everything was digitized. Using stickers DJs can indicate a moment when a beat kicks in, or even modify a song to skip the intro.

For this purpose DJs usually use less adhesive stickers, such as white printer stickers. Stickers help DJs visually know where the start of the beat is for a particular song.

How do I know if my vinyl is in good condition?

When you go shopping for used vinyl records, you are bound to notice certain acronyms on them. These acronyms serve as metrics in the vinyl grading system and here we’ll help you understand each one of them. Read our blog to learn if small scratches on vinyl are normal.

Poor (P), Fair (F)

Vinyl records with poor or fair ratings usually have major noise issues. These records can be warped, scratched, or cracked. They usually play with skipping and repeating. The LP covers of such records are usually badly damaged as well. Learn if warped records are worth anything in our blog.

Good (G)

Records with good ratings can be played without skipping. However, some noticeable surface noise and ticks are likely to occur. Such vinyl records usually have visible groove wear and scratches that might cause light distortions in the sound. There are often seam splits at the bottom or on the spine of an album’s cover or sleeve.

Very Good (VG)

A VG record has been used a lot, but it’s still usable. It might have noticeable groove wear and little scratches that might affect the sound in such a way that light pops and clicks might occur. Labels often have tape or stickers and their residue attached.

Very Good Plus (VG+)

VG+ records show some signs that they have been played. These small faults and defects are typically more of a cosmetic nature and they don’t affect the quality of the actual playback. Signs of wear and very light scratches shouldn’t affect one’s listening experience. An LP cover might show some slight signs of wear. The same goes for picture sleeves and inner sleeves.

Near Mint (NM)

NM record is an almost perfect record except for the fact that it might have been played several times. That being said, the record that is near mint should not have any obvious signs of wear. An LP cover and any inserts shouldn’t have any noticeable defects. Many dealers decide not to give any record a grade higher than near mint, even when a record has never been played. Dealers are thus implying that no record is ever truly perfect. 

Mint (M)

A mint record is an absolutely perfect record, one that has certainly never been played and that has possibly never been removed from its package. Since mint records are fully sealed, without blemishes or audio distortions, they are rare, and thus, incredibly valuable.

To sum up

For many vinyl collectors, stickers on records are invaluable parts of the original package and they look for ways to keep them. In this article, we here at Music Gear Heads have tried to bring you closer to the stickers’ appeal and give you some suggestions on how you can keep the stickers intact if that’s what you decide you want to do. We’ve also helped you understand the grading system better so that you know if your vinyl is in good condition.