You may be damaging your vinyl collection simply by how you store it. Vinyl collectors invest a lot of money into their records. It’s essential to invest in proper storage, too. Use our top tips to store and maintain your record collection correctly.
Vinyl records are valuable treasures you and your family can enjoy for many years. Quite often, they can even be something that gets passed down from generation to the next as loved ones will share the music of their days.
However, if you’re a true vinyl collector, you understand the importance of preserving and storing your records correctly. Your records must be treated with care, as they are fragile and can easily be damaged if you don’t follow precautions. Records that are scratched, scuffed or bent can result in skips in the music – or worse, not playing at all!
Here are some of our top tips on properly storing vinyl records to preserve and protect them, regardless of their age or condition.
1. Clean your records before putting them in their jackets.
One of the most important things to remember when taking care of your vinyl records is to clean them before putting them away. Dust and dirt can build up on the surface of the record, and over time this can cause damage. There are a few different ways to clean records, but one of the most effective is to use a record cleaning brush. These brushes are designed to remove debris without scratching the record’s surface. Once you’ve cleaned your records, place them in their jackets or sleeves to protect them from further damage. With some care, you can keep your vinyl collection in excellent condition for years.
2. Always store your records in their album jackets.
If you care about your music collection, it’s essential to take steps to protect your records. One of the best ways to do this is to store them in their album jackets. Not only does this help to keep them clean, but it also prevents them from being scratched or damaged in other ways. In addition, storing records in their jackets helps to prevent warping, which can occur when they are exposed to extreme temperature changes. Taking these simple precautions can help ensure that your records will remain in pristine condition for years to come.
3. Don’t store records stacked on top of each other.
Like many people, you have a few boxes of old records stored away in your attic or basement. And while it may seem like a harmless way to keep them out of the way, it’s one of the worst things you can do to your records. Stacking them on top of one another can cause them to warp and bend, damaging the grooves and making them unplayable. Additionally, the weight of the records can cause the stack to collapse, resulting in scratches and other damage. So next time you grab a box of records, take a few minutes to arrange them side by side instead carefully. Your future self will thank you!
4. Make sure you’re playing your records correctly.
If you’re a vinyl fan, there’s nothing worse than hearing your favorite record crackle and pop. Not only is it incredibly frustrating, but it can also damage your record over time. The good news is that there are a few simple steps you can take to ensure that your records are adequately taken care of:
- Always make sure that your needle is clean and in good condition. A dirty or damaged needle can cause all sorts of problems, so it’s essential to keep it clean.
- Be careful when handling your records. Avoid touching the playing surface with your fingers, as this can leave a residue that will attract dust and dirt.
- Make sure that your turntable is level.
An uneven surface can cause your records to skip and wear down over time. Following these simple tips, you can keep your vinyl collection sounding great for years.
5. Consider keeping your records in a storage unit.
More and more people are using self-storage to store their belongings. However, many people are unaware that self-storage can be used for more than just extra furniture or holiday decorations. One type of item that can benefit from self-storage is vinyl records. Vinyl records can be delicate and difficult to store, but self-storage units provide a safe, temperature-controlled environment. In addition, self-storage units can be rented for as long or as short a time as necessary, making them a flexible storage solution. So if you’re looking for a safe place to store your vinyl records, self-storage may be the answer.
6. Keep your records in a climate-controlled area.
If you’re a music lover, you probably have a collection of vinyl records at home. And if you want to keep those records in good condition, it’s essential to store them properly. Vinyl is sensitive to extreme temperatures, so keeping your records in a cool, dry place is best. A closet or an unused room in your house is a great option. Just ensure the room is climate-controlled, so your records don’t get damaged by heat or moisture. With proper care, your vinyl records will give you years of enjoyment.
7. Store your records vertically to prevent warping.
Warped or damaged discs can render your favorite albums unplayable, so it’s essential to take care when storing your vinyl collection. One way to protect your records is to keep them vertically. Storing your vinyl records vertically prevents the weight of the discs from bearing down on each other, which can cause warping over time. Additionally, vertical storage helps to prevent damage from handling and keeps the discs clean and dust-free. When storing your records vertically, use a sturdy shelf or crate that won’t tip over. You should also avoid stacking too many records in one place, as this can make them difficult to remove and could lead to scratching. With some care, you can keep your records in pristine condition for years.
8. Use acid-free cardboard sleeves.
One way to protect your records is to store them in acid-free cardboard sleeves or paper sleeves. This will help to prevent damage from vibrations and can also help to reduce the amount of dust that builds up on the surface of the record. You can also use plastic covers, but ensure they are well-ventilated to prevent condensation from damaging the vinyl.
9. Label your records clearly to make them easier to find.
Even if you take good care of your records, they can still become challenging to find if they’re not correctly labeled. Fortunately, there are a few simple tips you can follow to help you mark your records clearly:
- Include the artist’s name, the album title, and the year of release. You can also include additional information, such as the genre or the format (LP, 45, etc.).
- Use a contrasting color for the labels, so they’re easy to see.
- Use a uniform font size and style for all of your labels.
By following these simple tips, you can be sure that your records will be easy to find when needed.
10. Invest in a good record player.
If you’re a music lover, there’s nothing quite like sitting down and listening to your favorite record on a high-quality turntable. Not only does vinyl offer superior sound quality to digital formats, but it also provides a more tactile and immersive listening experience. Of course, playing records can also be a somewhat delicate process. If you don’t have the right set-up, it’s easy to damage your cherished collection. That’s why investing in a good quality record player is essential. A well-made turntable will ensure that your records are played correctly, minimizing the risk of damage. Additionally, a good record player will help you get the most out of your vinyl collection, allowing you to enjoy your music for years to come.