Vinyl records are like a treasure from another time and dedicated collectors spend a lot of money on investing in good, well-taken-care-of records. The problem is, however, that many collectors unwittingly damage their records once they bring them home by not storing them properly!
Here are a few tips for properly storing your records.
Tips for Proper Record Storage
Store your records in their album jackets.
According to most vinyl experts, the only time a record should be out of its album jacket is when it’s being played. This means that once you’re done with a record, you should put it away immediately and avoid leaving it on the record payer longer than necessary. By doing this, you’re allowing dust and debris to accumulate on the surface, which can scratch and damage the record.
Never stack your records.
Stacking your records is a no-no regardless of whether they’re in their jackets or not. Stacking them leaves them vulnerable to warping, cracking, and developing scuff marks. In addition, stacking them also has a negative effect on the jacket artwork.
Store your records in an upright position.
Instead of stacking your vinyl, store them in an upright position. You can position them on a shelf the way you would with a book, or keep them inside of a box or a crate — just make sure that they’re up-right and not on a slant or lying down. They will warp f they’re on an angle for too long due to the uneven pressure that’s put on them.
Keep records away from humidity and heat.
In terms of heat, records should be kept at room temperature or slightly below. Extreme heat can and will quickly ruin your vinyl collection. This being said, keep your records away from the heat that comes off of appliances and radiators, as well as the heat that comes from vents.
Humidity is also a bad idea. Your records should be kept in a relatively dry climate. They should never be submerged or exposed to rain, extreme humidity, or water in any other form.
Minimize the vibrations that your records are exposed to.
Records are particularly sensitive to vibrations, which are known to damage the structural integrity of vinyl. Avoid putting your records near vibrating appliances such as the dryer or near speakers, sound systems, and home theaters.
If you live near a set of train tracks that can vibrate the house, store your records up off the floor so that they don’t vibrate as much when the train goes by.
Since records are such a hot commodity, it makes sense to take care of them the best you can. By storing them away from heat, vibrations, humidity, and light, as well as storing them upright and practicing never stacking your records, you can ensure that they stay in good condition for a long time.
You could get decades out of them if they’re stored properly — talk about a good retirement investment!