How to Store Vinyl Records
July 13, 2017
Are you into old blues ballads, jazz greats, disco delights, or rock and roll classics? No matter what kind of music makes up your collection, how you store vinyl records determines whether or not they’ll stay in mint condition for years to come.
Why Store Vinyl Records With Care?
No one wants to hear snaps, hisses, crackles, and other background noises when they play their favorites. Time and the elements take a toll on vinyl records, and it’s up to you to protect them from dust, dirt, direct light, temperature fluctuations, moisture, humidity, chemicals, and even hands. Besides deterioration, some damages that occur include warping, breaks, scratches, and mold growth. Not only do these damages ruin the quality of the sound, but they cause the value of your investment to drop. A little tender loving care goes a long way in proper storage. Plus, it keeps your music organized!
Where to Store Vinyl Records
To avoid possible damage and devaluation, choose where you store vinyl records with care. The location should be dry, low on light, and be kept at a constant temperature. Attics and basements seem like good storage areas, but they are usually subjected to temperature variations, leaks, dampness, and the occasional pest. Consider them off the list of potential storage spots. Any area that comes in contact with sunlight or direct light won’t work. Also, keep your collection away from vents, radiators, and windows because heat warps albums. If you choose to store vinyl records off site, find a climate-controlled storage unit.
The Right Way to Store Vinyl Records
Whether you are putting them away for long periods of time or keeping them in reach for regular listening, there’s a right way and a wrong way to store vinyl records. Follow these tips.
- The correct temperature is important for properly preserving your collection. The range should be between mid 60s and low 70s to store vinyl. Avoid high humidity at all costs.
- Stand them up to store in the vertical position. And never, ever stack them flat on top of each other. That causes warping.
- Let’s talk about the inner sleeve. It’s constantly in contact with the record so it needs to protect, not contribute to deterioration. Never use ones made of paper, but look for high-density polyethylene sleeves. Even if your album comes with a paper sleeve, replace it.
- An album’s jacket is valuable for the artwork and information it displays, as well as the protection it provides. Investing in an outer sleeve to cover the jacket not only adds another layer of protection for what’s inside, but it helps preserve the design by keeping dirt, dust, and hands off. There are plastic or polypropylene outer sleeves that serve your needs well.
- Keep your collection well contained. Store vinyl records on the sturdiest shelving. One collapse can take out a whole collection. And use dividers along the shelving spaced approximately five inches apart.
- Lastly, handle the collection with care. Before you pick up a record, make sure hands are washed and completely dry. Only handle them by the edges or by the label.
If you have any questions on how to store vinyl records, audio tapes, CDs, photos, film, slides, or cassettes, call Disc Hounds today at 610-696-8668, and we’ll help you preserve what is precious to you.