How to Store Vinyl Records So They Last

The Best Way to Store Vinyl Records so they last for a long time

How to Store Vinyl Records So They Last

Vinyl records — what's not to love? Aesthetic, sentimental, and a true masterpiece, vinyl records are still one of the best things to collect even after all these years when everything seems to go digital.

However, a true vinyl collector knows that there's much more to just growing your collection. For your records to last for many years, proper storage is a must. These tangible pieces of music treasures must be treated with the utmost care as they are very fragile. If not looked properly, vinyl’s biggest drawback has always been its susceptibility to scratches, scuffs, and bents which could result in skips in the music or worse, when it will no longer play at all. Another thing to consider is that vinyl records take up a lot of space. If you are short on home storage, then you might find it necessary to store them in a storage unit.

Whether you want to free up space or just looking for a better place to store your collection, here are six handy storage tips for keeping your records safe so you can retrieve them in pristine condition in the years to come.

Never use your t-shirt to clean vinyl. The fibers, texture, and traces of dirt can scuff and scratch your record no matter how soft or clean your shirt is. Using the right tools is the way to go so make sure to have a reliable cleaning brush for a quick and easy way to remove dirt and dust. To do this, you just have to hold the brush on the vinyl while spinning it slowly. Sometimes, a record needs a more thorough cleaning and for this, you can use a vinyl-cleaning solution that you can easily purchase at a local music store or online. Simply spray the solution onto the vinyl record, making sure to avoid the record label then wipe it off with a microfiber cloth in a circular motion. Doing this every six months ensures that your collection stays in tip-top shape.

The importance of 'Album Jackets'
As a rule of thumb, the only time the record should be out of its jacket is when it's being played. Don't leave it on the turntable for longer than necessary as this will just accumulate dirt and dust which can affect sound quality. So put it away in its jacket as soon as you're done listening to your favorite jazz.

Positioning is the key
Vinyl records are pretty in their own way but don't be tempted to leave them lying around the rack or tabletop. To ensure your collection stays in good condition, make sure to keep them stored in an upright position. Keep in mind that records that have been stored at a slanting position for an extended period can warp due to the uneven pressure that has been placed on them. Using crates to store your vinyl records is recommended. Crate dividers allow your records to stay in place — with little or no slanting. Another thing to keep in mind is that, when it comes to record storage, never stack your records on top of one another. This is because, whether they’re in their jackets or not, the weight will lead to warping or even cracking and no collector would want that.

Play it properly
In the mood for some rhythm and blues? Never touch the surface when picking up your vinyl record. This is crucial because by touching the surface, you are inadvertently transferring oils from your fingers to the vinyl record, and doing this often can significantly affect its quality. Another thing to avoid is when you have the urge to find a certain song on the record by hand. This is because when you place the needle down randomly on the turntable, you are in a way putting it into the wrong groove, causing it some damage. So be patient. Play the entire record from the beginning and wait patiently for your favorite melody to come along.

Self-storage and its advantage
Vinyl records are treasured investments and the best way to protect these musical memories is by storing them correctly in a storage unit. If possible, opt for the climate-controlled storage unit. Choosing so will keep your records, their covers, and their liner notes protected against heat and moisture which can cause serious damage.

So how do you store your vinyl collection in a self-storage? Start by choosing the right container. This is an important step whether you have a temperature-controlled unit or not. Plastic bins and/or sturdy boxes are the best choices but using cardboard would be fine if you live in a dry climate. Just make sure to seal the boxes along all seams to prevent dust from getting in. Go for containers with square corners instead of the rounded ones since the latter can result in "cupping" of the corners. On the other hand, if your chosen unit is not climate-controlled and you live where the temperature can be extremely cold, then wrapping the boxes or bins in some blankets for the cold months is a smart move to protect them from damage.

With these storage tips, music enthusiasts can indeed enjoy their vinyl records collection for the years to come.

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