Modern vinyl records are made from polyvinyl chloride acetate copolymer (PVC), with an inscribed groove that carries the sound of your favorite tunes. Learn how to protect and store records of this material to keep them playing well for years.
1. Keep In Packaging
Dust and dirt fall into record grooves and negatively impact sound quality. Worse yet, once dust or dirt make their way onto your record, you need to choose your cleaning cloth wisely. Many materials leave scratches when rubbed against a record’s surface.
Keep sound and surface clean at all costs. Post purchase, remove and throw away shrink-wrap, but keep the rest of the original packaging. These pieces were made to protect your record—trust the engineering behind them!
2. Avoid Paper Inner Sleeves
Paper sleeves are the most basic (and often default) record sleeves. While they serve their purpose, they are better for short-term storage, not long-term use. Over time, paper sleeves can tear or shred, which can create paper dust or leave areas of your record unprotected. Paper sleeves also have a tendency to leave scratches behind.
Instead, DiscoMusic.com recommends selecting poly inner record paper with poly lined record sleeves or highest quality audiophile grade archival inner record sleeves. All come recommended as significantly more durable and are better at keeping dust out.
3. Find a Sleeve for the Outer Jacket
Outer jacket sleeves are even more prone to bent corners, tears and spills than inner sleeves. If stored incorrectly or made of flimsy quality, you could leave your record susceptible to damage. Invest in plastic outer jacket sleeves to add an additional protection layer.
4. Stay Away from Heat
It goes without saying; a melted record is an unplayable record. Heat at minimum warps records and at maximum melts. Keep your records out of direct sunlight, and avoid storing in conditions above 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Room temperature storage is best.
5. Position Albums Vertically
Records are more susceptible to warping if they’re stored horizontally, with a greater surface area in line for contact with sunshine. Horizontal storing also leaves records at risk to get stepped or crushed under the weight of other objects on a bookshelf.
Instead, position your collection vertically, with a little bit of space kept in between records to avoid cracking the discs under pressure.
Consider a Climate-Controlled Environment
Eliminate the risk of warped records. Keep your records at room temperature consistency with a climate-controlled self storage solution.
How do you keep your vinyl records in prime condition? Share with us in the comment section below.