Storing your vinyl records correctly has got to be one of the most important elements of enjoying them for a long time. People who are new to vinyl sometimes unbeknown to them are damaging the vinyl with how they are storing them. A record collection can run into hundreds if not thousands of dollars. So some simple tips on how to store vinyl records are well worth taking knowing.
Steps for correctly storing vinyl records
- Clean before putting them in their jacket
- Put your vinyl in an Inner dust Sleeve
- Put the protected vinyl in album jacket
- Put the album into a PVC outer dust sleeve
- Store your vinyl in an upright position
My vinyl records are treasures and I plan to hand them down to my next generation. I was handed down vinyl records from my father these are family treasures. Music never gets old however listening to a handed down warped vinyl is going to be no fun. So storing is paramount so we can hand them to the next generation and I will lay out the tips in more detail below.
Clean before putting them in their jacket
After playing your record before putting the vinyl away it’s advisable to give them a quick clean. No matter how soft you may feel your t-shirt is it’s no good for cleaning. This can lead to scuffing your vinyl and this is what gives pops and crackles.
Use a vinyl record brush to brush any dust off the surface. Then follow up with a record cleaning velvet brush if you have put your finger prints on the surface.
If your record needs a deeper clean make sure you follow the correct process on how to clean vinyl records.
Put your vinyl in an Inner dust Sleeve
This is the main item that is going to come into contact with your precious vinyl. I recommend a PVC inner sleeve. I find these much easier to put in and out of the album card and you will get a lot less static build up.
Think of this not so much of a step more of a replacement. I replace all my inner sleeves with these PVC sleeves. I find them make it easier to get the vinyl in and out of the album card with the added benefit of less static.
Put the protected vinyl in album jacket
When I first got handed down my vinyl from my father I was always told “the only time the vinyl should be out of the album jacket is when it’s being played”.
I have always stuck to this advice and leading experts in the field also tend to agree with the words of my father.
Leaving it out of the protection of the dust sleeve and album jacket you are allowing dust and dirt to gather. This will impact on the sound quality and no one wants to listen to pop and crackles.
Put the album into a PVC outer sleeve
This is an extra step when putting your vinyl away however its one I highly recommend. The PVC outer sleeve will help with two things and for vinyl lovers this is great.
First being that it will protect the vinyl album card sleeve and isn’t this part of owning vinyl the brilliant artwork. Who want to own an album with a tatty album cover I know I don’t.
Second being it will prevent dust from getting in and onto the vinyl. Dust is a big problem for vinyl owners and any help to keep this away is always a plus.
I was always told to get sleeves that are a little bigger. Don’t have one that you need to force the album in this can lead to warping. Also, being overly tight can lead to the sleeve sticking to the cover and pulling off the artwork.
That end sounds bad however get the correct size cover for your vinyl and you will be fine.
Store your vinyl in an upright position
One of the biggest mistakes newbies to vinyl make is where they keep them to store until the next play.
You MUST store your vinyl in an upright position not doing so can lead to warping. Warped vinyl can render it unplayable vinyl is not cheap so make sure you store them upright.
Other FAQ on how the store vinyl records
What temperature should vinyl records be stored?
The perfect temperature to store vinyl records is between 65° to 70° F with room humidity between 45% to 50%.
Now, these are perfect conditions and we can’t always get perfect but if you try to keep them as close as possible you should be good to go. With that said going way over or way under these temperatures can damage the vinyl.
I personal don’t test the room temperature I just store them in a dry damp free room and if you do the same you will be good to go.
Can I store my vinyl records in the garage?
Storing vinyl records in a garage is not going to be the best idea due to the damp cold conditions. If you must store them in the garage then you are going to need to take precautions.
I would put a dehumidifier in the garage as damp will most likely be your main problem. Set the dehumidifier to keep the air 45% to 50% RH this should help with the damp.
This is the best I can come up with for garage storage but I would always try to avoid it if you can.
Is cold weather bad for vinyl records?
Vinyl is a hardy material however sub-zero temperatures will make the vinyl brittle and easy to break.
As this is a hardy material once warmed back up they will become as they was.
If you are warming them back up from sub-zero temperatures it’s important that you carefully take them from their album sleeve. Condensation can build up on the warming vinyl this can wet the album cover and ruin it.
Storing Records Horizontally
As we have said in our guide you should always store your vinyl upright. Storing them horizontally will warp the vinyl and make it unplayable.
Don’t panic if you have left your vinyl on the side horizontally overnight we are talking over an extended period of time. However, a caveat to this is if you pile multiple onto of each other horizontally this can quickly lead to warping.
Is it bad to leave records on the turntable?
Yes, once you are finished playing your records it’s important to follow are how to store vinyl records guide.
Leaving them on the turntable can lead to many problems but two main ones come to mind.
First is the collection of dust and second being if the sun is on the turntable for a long time. This can heat up the vinyl and cause it to warp and cause it to become unplayable.
No longer are vinyl records the thing of the 80s they are coming back with a bang. If you’re not someone who grew up in the heydays of vinyl you can be unsure how to store vinyl records correctly.
I really hope this guide steps out some basic tips that will have you playing your new vinyl for many years. Also, these tips allow you to keep them in excellent condition that you can pass them onto your next generation.