How to Store Vinyl Records
Vinyl record purchases have been increasing more and more, giving music listeners an experience from the past. Records are larger than CDs and more fragile too, so you should take extra care when storing them. 5-Minute Crafts will show you how to do it properly.
There are 3 factors to always keep in mind when placing a record collection somewhere:
- Always keep your records away from heat sources like radiators and kitchen appliances. Records should be stored at room temperature or below, this means a maximum of 25ºC or 77ºF.
- Keep them away from direct or intense lights. Records are especially sensitive to UV light, so, avoid placing them near windows.
- Store the records in a dry place and keep them away from humidity. The cover sleeves and labels are susceptible to water damage.
1. Store vertically
- Always store your records vertically. Storing them on top of each other adds too much pressure and may lead to warping, which is when a record looks bent or twisted.
- An easy way to spot warping is by holding your record at eye level and seeing if it looks flat and even. It’s usually easy to spot since records tend to be really thin.
2. Shelving or boxes
There are 2 main ways to store your records vertically and prevent any damage.
- Find a bookshelf in your house that’s tall enough to accommodate your records, and organize them vertically inside their sleeves. Remember to avoid direct sunlight and too much heat.
- Another option is a milk crate or any other type of crate. This is the easiest and most affordable method. Make sure to not have too many records in one space — always leave space to flip through the records, meaning they shouldn’t be too tight against each other.
3. Record sleeves
A record sleeve refers to 2 things, the inner and outer sleeves:
- Inner sleeves are what the records come stored in inside their album cover, this is probably the most important thing in record storage. They make them so nothing comes into contact with your records when they are stored.
Usually, records come with paper inner sleeves, and these can leave paper flakes on your records. Replace them with plastic sleeves, since these don’t leave residue and even protect against static build-up.
- Outer sleeves are plastic protectors you can buy to store the album covers and keep them safe from the outside environment, protecting the artwork and preventing dust from contaminating your records. The best types are polypropylene or polyethylene outer sleeves.
4. How to handle the records
The discs themselves should be kept free from any oils and dust. Keep these tips in mind when handling them:
- Always wash your hands before touching them. Our hands have oils that can lead to fungal growth on the records and sleeves.
- Handle discs of any size or type by the edges and the label area. The label is the paper disc in the middle of the record.
- Keep dust off your turntables, speakers, or storage areas.