Most of us had a prized album suffer to damage. Surely it hurts all of us and we never wanted that to happen. Whatever it is a scratched surface, a bent sleeve, a worn artwork, or a warped record, the damage is equal and can never be undone.
If you don’t know how to store vinyl records? In this article, we will discuss some methods about how you can store your vinyl record.
However, the only solution is to prevent it in the first place. What is the first cause of damaged records? It’s improper storage. In fact, anything can get damaged if placed improperly.
Household Factors to Consider for Vinyl Record Storage
Here are the major points for the storage of vinyl records you should know:
If you are collecting vinyl records in your home then you should have room temperature or below that. Those who live without air conditioning should consider setting their temperature between 15 to 25 degrees. Also, you need to make sure that your records are clear of vents, radiators, and your home appliances.
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Make sure there is minimal exposure to all kinds of light and no exposure to intense or direct light. Vinyl records are susceptible to ultraviolet light as they can damage your records in just a few seconds. To get the best settings, never consider storing your records near a bright window, a tanning bed or a grow room.
This is the point where guidelines for vinyl records and indoor plant care part ways. You should store your vinyl records in a dry environment with 35 to 40% humidity or RH. In this regard, you can get a hygrometer that is cheaper and efficient to make you know about the humidity.
Never stack things on your records. In fact, do not stack records over records. Yes, it saves space but it can damage it. Also, you should not consider storing your records tighter.
Leave some space in between to flip through your vinyl easily. Here are some other things that you should consider while storing your vinyl records.
Regardless of whatever good vibes your record gives you, strong vibrations can badly affect your records because of their structural integrity. Following this, always keep your records away from your speakers, dryers, washers, and stampedes of wild stallions.
Separate According to Diameter
You should never tuck your 12 inches records with 10 inches vinyl records. Separate records and group them according to their diameter. Same diameter records can be much easier to set.
Handling Tips for Vinyl Records
Here are some ways to hold your vinyl records. As they are older so need extra care.
- Make sure you wash your hands before handling your vinyl records. Your dirty paws contain oils and that can end up promoting fungal growth on sleeves and records.
- Handle the grooved discs like 78s, 45s, LPs, picture disc, lacquer disc, and those star wars creatures shaped too by their label areas or edge. Yes, it demands practice but takes time, and make it your habit to touch edges only.
- Make sure to keep your machines clean and maintained. Your mat should be free from dust and must get new needles when your older ones begin to get worn.
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Tips for Properly Storing Vinyl Records
Above mentioned things are the basics. Here are the actual tips you should know for storing vinyl records and keeping them safe and away from getting damage.
Get Inner Sleeves as They are Essential
The very first crucial step you need to make for the maintenance of your record quality is getting an inner sleeve for each. Get inner sleeves that give a smooth and silky feel to protect the vinyl record from scratch.
Keep in mind to not go for paper-like sleeves at any cost. It is because they work like sandpaper and slowly scratches the surface of your vinyl. You can easily find high-quality inner sleeves online and in retail stores too.
Pair Inner and Outer Sleeve for Additional Protection
Don’t think that if you have an inner sleeve that your records are protected because the inner sleeve is not enough. You need to pair it with an outer sleeve that goes over the cardboard sleeve making it safe for a long way and protecting your vinyl from any kind of dirt and debris totally.
Similar to the inner sleeve, the best recommendation is to go for a light and smooth material. It is because heavy plastic will weigh on your vinyl, get stick to the artwork and peel off with time. Keeping this in mind, make sure to get a sleeve that has a lot of room too.
Don’t Want Double Sleeve? Go for Vinyl Bags
Even if the inner and outer sleeves protect the vinyl 90%, still the outer sleeve leaves it exposed to one side. This is needed to be solved and for this, you can go for vinyl bags that have a sealable fold at their top keeping your vinyl records airtight assuring you 100% protection.
The usage of the inner and outer sleeves is enough for your daily vinyl collection. However, if you have collected things for long-term storage then definitely you should choose a vinyl record bag for extra potent protection.
A Strong and Sturdy Shelf is On Top of Everything
When you have piled up high your vinyl records or in a horizontal direction then it can end up causing your shelf to collapse just like a pack of cards. Just in a blink of an eye, your entire collection will get ruined.
To keep your shelving balanced and sturdy here are the points that you should follow;
- Spend your money to get a metal, L shaped brackets to get that skip under each corner.
- Make your own dividers with labels. This is a great help in maintaining balance throughout the shelved alongside put firmly the organization of your vinyl record.
- Never consider storing different sizes of vinyl together. First group in sizes and then assemble. It will add overall balance to your shelf.
Here are some stands that are particularly for turntables. You can get those as it works well for vinyl records too until your collection is not overly large.
Use Plastic for Archive Storing
Do you want to store your vinyl records away? If yes, then heavy-duty plastic is something that you need. You should get a potential plastic box that features a good handle grip. The cardboard is not strong and is not safe for lifting purposes, so you should go for plastic.
Consider Vinyl’s Temperature Sweet Spot
That’s quite surprising and fortunate that vinyl records are great to bear low temperature too. All you need is to worry about the heat. Whenever it goes more than 50+ F that is 10 degrees Celsius, your records will step to warping.
It is okay if you are keeping your daily use record in higher temperatures like 65 to 70 F, but the long term storage records should only be stored below 50 F that is 7 to 10 degrees.
Most of the suppliers and manufacturers change the material of vinyl records as they get to know the current material is making the records crack in colder temperatures.
The material of these days that is softer with a more pliable texture is able to bear such cold temperatures. However, it begins to cause the warping effect if needed to bear a heated environment.
Following this, you need to make sure to stick to 45 to 50 degrees F for your vinyl records to store for the long term. Moreover, you cannot store your vinyl records in a garage until and unless it has climate control. During the summer months, the garage usually gets too hot and humid so avoid that too.
Swipe Your Records Using a Cleaning Brush
Like everyone, most probably you have also attempted to clean your vinyl records with the end of your t-shirt. In fact, this even gave you a positive thought that you did something good.
But the point you need to know is that regardless of how much softer your shirt is, still its fibers can damage or scratch your vinyl. So you need to consider doing something else. And here it is.
You can make use of record cleaning brushes as they are a quick and easy way to remove dirt and dust from your vinyl records. All you need is to place your brush on the vinyl and get in line with its line pattern and spin the record. A certain record cleaning brush is liable to wipe off all the dust and dirt even if it’s smallest and you cannot see that.
If this is not even enough for you then you should go and buy a vinyl cleaning solution from anywhere, it is both online and retail available. All you need is to spray that onto your vinyl, avoid spraying on the artwork and use a microfiber cloth and wipe it in a circular motion.
Edges is The Point For Your to Touch
Tried all these tips and still, you are not getting the sound you expected from your records? If this is the case then most likely down to the way you are handling them physically. Undoubtedly, it is crucial to store them with care but it is also important to handle them with care.
Try and make sure to only touch the edges of your vinyl records. Touching the surface of your vinyl records too much will unintentionally spread all the grease and oils from your finger to your vinyl and this comes in a way to give you the experience you want.
Some Vinyl Record Storage Ideas
For sure, vinyl record storage is something really important for a music enthusiast. Here are some ideas you can go for vinyl record storage.
You can go for installing record ledges and design them in your living room. You can go for shorter shelves that hold two each and gives you airy look or go for longer ones that hold four. Just make sure by measuring the wall space you have beforehand to avoid size issues.
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Triple Record Storage
This enables you to have triple storage capacity as this kind of rack has three-section storage. Each of its cubes can hold 30 to 40 records easily so you can also store other things in it.
Also, it has an open front that allows you to choose and place three of your favorites to show off and it will be easy to pick up whenever you want.
If you are like those who like to put your favorite album covers in front and center then go for pop-open frames as it is perfect to show off alongside easy listening to your vinyl records.
You can consider putting your daily usage records in a retro magazine stand for an easy to approach still elevated arrangements that are even functional. You can even place it anywhere like in your living room, study or bedroom, and enjoy your favorite music whenever want.
Dean Record Cabinet Console
This is like a console cabinet that will easily fit your entire record collection. To give it an abundant look, fill the cube wall to wall or assemble your albums into sections and groups with elegant bookends and decorative objects or bowls.
Two–Tiered Built Ins
To prop up your vinyl records, optimize to built-in shelves. However, do not place them like books spines facing out. Instead, place them with their face forward to allow its artwork admiration. h
If you are unwilling to go for customized shelving, choose ledges and mix with other floating shelves to display barware and books to end up with an eclectic effect. Configure yourself the number of columns and rows yourself.
So there you have, this is a detailed writ to help you with storing your vinyl records to make the last longer. Following these tips can make your records stand for 20 years or more and enjoy you the way you do now. I hope the information about how to store vinyl records is very helpful for you.
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