Use gravity to let the disc slide out of the sleeve, and hold it by putting your thumb on the edge of the disc and a finger or two on the label. That lets you then use your other hand to hold the opposite edge of the disc ... on the edge only. You now have to hands holding the disc ... by the edge only.
There are two ways to remove an LP from it’s inner sleeve: with your left hand (if you’re right handed) tilt the LP in it’s sleeve and let it slide out, an edge of the LP coming to rest in the palm of your right hand.....or with that right hand reach into the inner sleeve and, without touching the playing surface of the disc, put three or all four fingertips on the label and guide the LP out of the sleeve.
Once you have the LP out of the sleeve and balanced on the fingertips of your right hand, put down the inner sleeve and with your left hand now free put the edge of one side of the disc into the palm of that hand and put the fingertips of that hand onto the label. That will allow you to then let the edge of the opposite side of the disc come to rest in the palm of your right hand, such that you no longer need the fingertips of that hand to support the LP, nor the fingertips of the left hand. You will now have the LP held between your two hands, opposite sides of the disc in the palm of either. Balancing the disc in the palm of your left hand, move the fingertips of your right hand to the edge of the disc, then the fingertips of your left hand to the edge of the opposite side.
You will now be holding the LP in the exact way you need to place it on your table’s platter, all without having touched the playing surface of the disc, which you should never do. If you accidentally do (we all have), hold the LP up to a strong light source with one hand, locate the fingerprint left behind, put a drop of cleaner on the spot, place the LP on a clean surface (your table’s platter, for instance), and remove the finger oils with your brush or cloth.
I went into excruciating detail for the sake of clarity, which makes it sound much more complicated than it really is. It will soon become second nature.
+1 cleeds. That's the method I've been using for 40+ years and it hasn't failed yet. Vinyl records are pretty resilient, too. The only time I've ever damaged a record surface was a vertical abrasion against a sandstone hearth when I was careless sliding the dust jacket into the sleeve. Plain stupid on my part; ended up buying 2 new copies. The first wasn't as good as the one I'd damaged, but the second was better. Silver linings!
Hold the record sleeve with your left hand and then tilt so the record slowly slides out if the sleeve.. You’re basically pouring it into your right hand.. Allow the record's edge to rest on your four fingers of your right hand and when the label comes out just use your right thumb to balance the record on the label.. Now you’re holding it kind of like you hold your pizza.. Easy stuff buddy.. Put it back the same way..
I think to must be an age thing…it drives me nuts to see somebody like Jimmy Fallon grabbing an LP by its edge and pulling it out of the sleeve when for about 50 years or so I've been avoiding ever touching anything but the edge using the previously described "palm with fingers on the label" move. When Hippitty Hop DJs came around I thought damn…get yer fingers off that record! (old…I'm old..) Now Mister Fussy record cleaner man with anti static Mofi rice paper blah blah and WAY better gear says NO NO NO…I had a friend back in the day who for reasons I never understood would do a quick weirdly habitual forearm rub on his LPs before playing them…shocking! Saw LPs made into bowls (really ugly bowls at that) at a craft show recently…tragic…I pointed out to the seller that it must be hard to play them at that point, and then wept silently (not really…but still).
Dropping a record on a hardwood floor should not be a problem. Just clean it and play. After all you wouldn't do it too often.
Also, take a record that is not valuable and intentionally drop it on the floor. Or, if you wish, I can do it for you and report what happened. I have a hard wood floor and can drop it from, say, five feet.
But I am carefull not to drop my Maxell Vertex cassettes that I regularly play. This could be unfortunate, though most likely even the cassette would survive the drop on the hardwood floor from three/four feet.
I also use Spin Clean. May I suggest buying an special attachment for a small shop-vac (covered with micro-fiber or velvet) and vacuum the water containing the dirt off the record. Better than simply wiping them dry. Easily available on eBay. Here's one that even comes with a spinner for the records. Other people sell just the attachment.
I certainly am more careful with my records now than in the past. I have at one time or another cleaned all of my records which count over 1200. When I play them, I have a light over them where I can see dust and fine hairs. Before turning the turntable on, I dust them off. About every fifth record I play I clean of the stylus.
I have abandoned all paper and plastic sleeves for soft fabric like sleeve that offers easy entry.
Well I have been working with the sliding the the record out of the sleeve and using one hand to hold and guide it routine. I can do it but I'm pretty clumsy at it or at least if feels very clumsy to me. I think like many of us I am much more careful with my albums now than I was when I first got a turntable. I have always had a turntable of some type. I think now I am finding my inner audiophile lol. I wish I could have and store 1200 plus albums! I have about 600 and I am working my way through them cleaning them all up. I have always used the brush method to keep fine dust and hairs off before playing, Stylus cleaning using a soft cut down paint brush. I am just very interested in keeping my record collection as pristine as I can. Next will be trying to figure out how to organize them so I can find what I am feeling lol. Thank you for the responses.