The vinyl record revival is not running out of steam. This musical relic has come to re-establish itself in many interiors. Imposing is literally the right word because the black cake offers a better sound and an extra soul when listening.
It also takes up more space than a digital sound or a good old CD. Now that your collection begins to grow gradually, you face a new problem – “Storage.”
Remember that if your vinyl records are poorly maintained or poorly stored, you will not expect quality sound. So it is essential to store your vinyl records properly.
This article will present you with the best way to store vinyl records and basic methods to keep them in good condition.
WHY SHOULD YOU MAINTAIN YOUR VINYL RECORDS?
Generally, people focus on getting a good turntable. But the most important point that users should often overlook is vinyl record maintenance. The black discs are made of polyvinyl chloride (yes, PVC!), A material that is easy to work with and light. Unlike CDs, the disc works by mechanical contact between the read head and the signal.
Consequently, the quality of reading and, therefore, restitution will be directly impacted by the condition of the disc. Cleaning an old vinyl record bought second-hand can reveal unexpected or forgotten sound quality. And I’m not even talking about the premature wear of the cartridge diamond, the dust accumulated in the grooves having a recognized abrasiveness.
The vinyl records are fragile; therefore, they can be severely damaged by everyday life: dust, heat, humidity, etc. I recommend that you follow the tips below to protect your vinyl records.
PROTECT YOUR VINYL FROM HUMIDITY AND HEAT
- Do not expose your vinyl records to heat: vinyl melts in the heat, so be careful not to store your records near a window in direct sunlight, in your car, or next to a radiator.
- Protect your vinyl from humidity: Discs are less sensitive to humidity, but cardboard sleeves may warp. There is also a risk of mold growth on the vinyl record as well as on the cover. So avoid garages and cellars that are too humid.
PROTECTING VINYL RECORDS AGAINST DUST
Heat and humidity are certainly problematic, but there is a much more insidious enemy for vinyl records – Dirt & Dust! Dust indirectly damages your vinyl and even your stylus. Reading a vinyl clogged with dust will result in depositing grimes on the stylus. This can deteriorate the listening quality and at the same time damages the stylus.
Even if the records are old, cleaning them will not be essential if they have been treated and maintained correctly. It is quite common to come across a garage sale on vinyl records little listened to, well handled and stored, and which seem close to new despite a certain age! And very rarely, you might find dirty and dusty discs. So, here are some tips for cleaning them without risking damaging them.
- Use an Automatic washing machine: They can clean your discs quickly and thoroughly for an impeccable result. Cleaning is done on both sides using a specific product, a brush, and a dry vacuum cleaner.
- Mechanical washing machines: Fill the machine with a record cleaning solution, immerse your vinyl in it using a rotation axis, and let it spin! The 2 brushes inside the tray do the rest, and you then dry your records using the drip tray provided.
- Micro-fiber and cleaning sprays: This type of product can dust and degrease your vinyl on the surface, as well as discharge it of its static electricity. It’s economical, fast, and sufficient for a few lightly soiled records.
Always clean the vinyl record before and after using the record every time. So we are done with cleaning the record; it’s time to store the records properly.
BEST WAY TO STORE VINYL RECORDS
1. STORE THE VINYL RECORDS IN SLEEVES
I cannot repeat it enough, but you must always store your vinyl records well in protective sleeves. There are many models of vinyl protection sleeves. They include interior sleeves, exterior sleeves, paper sleeves, plastic sleeves, sleeves for 33 rpm, for 45 rpm, for the double album. In short, you will have no excuses for tidy up your vinyl.
- The Inner Sleeves allow your LPs to stay clean, limit static effects, and avoid the deposit of residues in the furrow.
- The Outer Sleeves, on the other hand, protect the packaging of your vinyl record. These sleeves are generally made of plastic which also makes it easier to store your vinyl records.
2. STORE THE VINYL RECORDS VERTICALLY
To properly store your vinyl records, they must be stored vertically (or upright). Above all, never stack your precious pancakes horizontally.
If your discs are laid flat, then they may warp and warp. In reading, the sound will therefore be impacted, and you risk damaging the diamond of your phono cartridge. When you store your LPs, the best thing is to tighten them a bit against each other, always to prevent them from becoming deformed. This is particularly why, in record stores, the vinyl records are always stored vertically!
3. STORE FURNITURE AND STORAGE BOX
If you want to transport your vinyl records, then there are storage boxes specially designed to accommodate your black cakes safely. There are many types of furniture for storing vinyl records, so it’s difficult to give a clear answer to the question “how to store your vinyl records”: it will depend on your habits, your desires, and your tastes.
But there are 3 main types of furniture and storage methods:
- Vinyl Bookcase
- Vinyl Bin
- Storage Box
4. STORE AND ORGANIZE YOUR VINYL RECORDS
Now that you have all of these tips, you can be sure that your vinyl records will be tidy and not damaged. For the rest, you do as you want! You can arrange your vinyl records in alphabetical order, by label, by Artist, by year of production (chronological order), you can also arrange your LPs by musical genre or even by color!
5. EXHIBIT YOUR VINYL
When you’re a vinyl fan, you can display your records so that you have them in front of you all the time. It creates a real atmosphere and reminds a few nice places like the record store, for example.
There are several ways to display your vinyl. If you want to display them on the walls, you will need to use a vinyl frame. Other ways to display your vinyl, are using easel-type vinyl stands to display the vinyl being played, or magazine rack-type racks, which allow you to have vinyl records.
Finally, we are at the end of the article. If you have just 20 records, then consider storing them in a plastic case with sleeves. Check if the room you are planning to store them in is very hot or humid. If it is, I recommend you store them in a closed plastic crate with several old sheets to add extra protection.
If you own a turntable and a pretty good collection of records, you have to protect them by storing them properly. To help you with it, I have provided the 5 best ways to store vinyl records. Try them out. I hope these tips will help you store your vinyl records properly.