A vinyl record collection is just like a treasure that can stay with you for a lifetime. But maintain it in proper shape can be a really tough task. That’s why you need to know how to store records properly. Whether you are a newcomer or a true audiophile, it is essential to understand the importance of record storing apart from regular maintenance. The way you save the record collection has a significant impact on the longevity of your collection. Let’s take a look at some of the most effective methods for record storing.
Best ways for Record Storing
Essentials of Safe Storage for Record Collection
Commonly, people underestimate the importance of storing vinyl records because they thought that they are simple plastic plates and don’t need any care. Though the phonograph records are manufactured from durable plastic, they can bend easily and can get scratches on the surfaces with careless usage.
Keeping records in proper condition is one of the most effective ways to prolong the lifespan, and above all, you don’t need to play the replacement frequently.
The prime reason behind this is dust and debris that stays on the surface of the records. If they are appropriately covered or protected, there are fewer risks of being scratched or broken by hands.
The surface noise will disappear gradually, and also, the sound will be no longer bright and clear. The record may tend to skip or crackle. If the record is in bad condition, it may not be playable anymore. Do you know a low-quality record can affect the record player performance and may damage the stylus?
In simple words, proper record storing can help to maintain the original quality of the vinyl records and also prevent the disastrous impact of the record player.
The Do’s and Don’ts
Before you proceed, let’s take a look at some essential factors for record storing at home.
- Avoid Stacking
Proper arrangement of everything neatly is the best thing, but when it comes to record storing, it is not the right way. When you put records on top of each other covered with their jackets, you are actually damaging the plates permanently.
- Always Keep Records in Upright Position
You may think that this is as easy as you like. You are right, but most people don’t follow this rule. Such a position is the best way to keep them in ideal condition. Most users store the record collection at a slant when it makes the vinyl wrap due to improper pressure.
- Play it Carefully
When you are playing the record player, avoid touching the surface and just hold it from the edge. When you directly contact the top layer with fingers, you leave fingerprints containing acids and oil on the vinyl. As a result, the quality of a record will reduce with time.
- Keep them in their Jackets.
Whether before or after playing, always keep the records on their jackets. Another time to take the jackets off is when you are cleaning them. Leaving records in the environment will add dust and debris onto the surface. Not only records, but the needle will be affected with time.
- Regular Cleaning
When the needle of the record player is reading grooves on the record, the static electricity is created, which attracts a significant amount of debris and dust particles. It is essential to protect and maintain the proper condition of the best record player and vinyl records. Before putting them back into jackets, use a special tooth for cleaning.
Also See: Best Vertical Record Players
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There are countless ways to protect your record collection. But, the most effective ones are the following.
- Select Inner Sleeves
The first and most important factor is to never lever the record collection without sleeves. Besides preventing dirt particles, inner sleeves are useful to keep them away from unexpected damages from their surroundings. So, selecting inner sleeves is the most essential step for storing record collection.
There are two excellent types of inner sleeves. One is the variant form of the plastic sleeve along with the round bottom, and the other is the plastic liner with a paper inside. The first one is better as there is no issue to reach the corners on the inside paper that causes creasing and folding.
Never select the products which are manufactured with pure paper. They have a rough surface covered with sand or other substances.
- Finding Outer Sleeves
Though inner sleeve is essential, it’s not enough. It is crucial to have outer coverings for the record collection along with the inner counterparts. The outer sleeves ensure that the vinyl’s card sleeves will not get damaged and also prevent the dust from reaching the gramophone disks and rubbing the surfaces over time.
But, all types of outer sleeves are not useful for securing your record collection. Never buy thick and heavy plastic samples as they may stick to your record sleeves. It is better to save your time, money, and records by choosing cheap, soft, and roomy sleeves.
- Best Vinyl Record Bags
When it comes to record storing, best vinyl bags are one of the most convenient ways to keep your collection safe. These unique vinyl bags are manufactured from thick Myler and perfectly fit your collection like a typical outer cover.
The prime difference is that each vinyl bag comes with a wide flap and a sticky stripe outside. A standard sleeve remains open one 1 side only. On the other hand, a thick vinyl bag not only protects the discs but also prevents them from dust and debris from entering into the cover.
- Record Dividers are best.
Before you put a disc in place, it is vital to have some record dividers. This tool is best providing some space for discs to breathe, keep them in an upright position, and prevent stacking that may bend your record collection.
The best thing about these dividers is that they give you a clue to position the discs easily, and you can find them without any hassle. You can easily find the collection of plastic products scribbling alphabet or music genres. You should buy a set of premium quality and wooden dividers for decoration. Such typographic panels are available in 2, 7, and 12-inch records.
Typically, a collection has vertical tabs for record boxes along with the horizontal ones for shelving. Otherwise, the manufacturer offers 2 lettering styles to select that include a stenciled and engraved.
Depends on the number of records, you have a couple of options. For big collection, you can go with a 26-panel set (A-Z) whereas abbreviated 6-panel version (A-D, E-H, I-L, M-P. Q-T, and U-Z) is made for mini collections.
- Put Records in Place
The final step is to put your records in order. There are four effective ways to choose from these putting them in place. However, it depends on how you play those disks, or you just want to collect records to make an attractive collection for vintage things.
- Mobile Vinyl Bag
Just like the name suggests, it is a mobile storage for records. But it is not similar to a typical flight case. This useful storage compartment can easily keep up to 40 vinyl records. These mobile vinyl bags are best for DJs or for those audiophiles who love to keep their record collection with them while traveling. If you don’t have proper space for storing records, then this is the best option for you.
- Vinyl record storage shelves
Properly arranging records is a great idea to prevent them from damages and find them quickly when needed. The best record shelf is a must-have tool for your record collection.
The size of your shelf depends on the number of your plastic plates and also the available space. Make sure to choose a durable shelf to handle the weight of the vinyl disks.
- Mobile Vinyl Box
If you have a large number of records and you don’t have enough space to store them, a DJ flight case or mobile vinyl box is an excellent choice for your needs. Made from aluminum, such a box offers enough space to store about 50-70 phonograph records inside. The combination of steel corners with internal padding provides extra protection for your music treasure. You will also get a lockable catch and a padded curry for maximum security and maneuverability.
- Archive Storage
If you are searching for a solution to achieve vinyl collection for a long time and don’t get any access to them, then a plastic box is made for you.
The best choice is to go with heavy-duty boxes to provide maximum protection to the disc. A nineteen-liter model can hold about 50 records with a durable handle for comfortable transport.
Some people buy cardboard boxes which are neither durable nor secure to hold your collection. Plastic may be expensive, but it is safe for storing records.
Storing vinyl records in the heat is a bad idea
Leaving vinyl records in a mailbox or in a car standing in sunlight is not a good idea. The car or mailbox both heats up quickly, and your records may get soft and damaged. Make sure to take the record as soon as possible to avoid damages. Remember, vinyl is made of hard plastic, and at a specific temperature, the plastic is affected.
Storing vinyl records in Garage
Storing vinyl records is not a good idea at all. So, it is wise to avoid storing in a garage or a damp environment. Even you place them in a vinyl shelf or any storage, there are still dangers of humidity, temperature, etc., which can damage the records. If you don’t have any other option for storage, then make sure to place a window unit air conditioner, proper windows for ventilation, or any kind of portable unit to prevent records for environmental effects.
Things to Avoid
Take a look at crucial things to avoid when storing the vinyl collection.
Try to leave your vinyl record for an extended time than necessary. Once you are done with the listening session, remove the disc from your record player and put it back in the inner sleeve quickly.
Pick the record up when the turntable is working. The flip side will easily get scratched.
Always use non-chemical cleaners to clean the record collection. Harsh substances may damage your vinyl.
Don’t use your T-shirt or towel to clean the surface. Always use a special record cleaning brush to avoid scratching or scuffing the surface.
Never leave your vinyl records in the garage. The humidity creates a conducive environment for developing mildew. As a result, the surface of the vinyl will be poorly affected.
Avoid storing the collection heat. Always keep disc away from direct sunlight. A room temperature of about 18 to 21 degrees is ideal for record storing.
Collecting your personal vinyl collection may take years, but if you are properly storing them, it will vanish in a few weeks. The best way to enjoy your favorites music on the best record player is by maintains your record collection properly. Always store them properly and clean them after a few weeks. Never use hard fabrics or strong chemicals to clean the vinyl collection. I hope you will find the proper way to record storing for your collection.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What is the best way to store vinyl record?
Never store record collection in a grow room, bright window, or a tanning bed. Always store your vinyl records in a dry environment. Heat, humidity, and other effects can damage your record collection.
- Is stacking vinyl bad?
Avoid stacking vinyl records on top of one another. No matter whether they are in jackets or not, stacking them may damage them permanently.
- Should I store records vertically or horizontally?
Horizontal storage means records are pressed on each other, which can damage them. For long term storage, vertical vinyl storage is the best option.
- Is it wrong to store vinyl flat?
You should always store vinyl is an upright position for food conditions. In a vertical position, records can last for an extended time. Never store vinyl in a flat position as the weight may damage them.
- Can a wrapped record damage my stylus?
If the wraps aren’t audible, it won’t harm the stylus. But if the wrapped part is hitting the cartridge, then it is better to avoid them. However, you are good to go with minor wraps.