Whether you have old or new vinyl records, how you store them affects their quality. If your vinyl records sustain damage, it can be catastrophic for your collection, as their value will decrease. Keeping records in perfect condition can be difficult if you don’t how to protect your vinyl record collection. Luckily, we have some essential tips to point you in the right direction.
Store Records Properly
Vinyl records can be extremely fickle if you don’t store them properly. If you want your records to remain in pristine condition, you need to store them in a cool, dry environment. Hot, humid storage can lead to the vinyl peeling or warping. If you can, keep each record upright vertically—but not in a way that crams them all together. Laying them flat or in stacks for a long time can also lead to warping. Make sure you clean the area regularly so that it doesn’t get dusty or dirty. Plastic storage containers or metal chests can help in all these areas, so if you’re serious about keeping your records safe, consider purchasing a couple.
Re-Sleeve Your Collection
Old paper sleeves don’t hold up to the passage of time too well. A quick transition to plastic sleeves (which you can put inside of the original paper sleeves) can save your record collection. Try to invest in plastic sleeves with seals on the ends to prevent any debris from getting caught inside. You can also purchase plastic protecting sleeves for the original sleeves to keep them looking beautiful for longer.
Clean the Records Regularly
If you have any VIP members in your record collection, you’ll want to keep them clean and check on them from time to time. Record cleaning kits will help you keep your vinyl records in presentable condition, especially if you use them a lot. Even if you keep them in sealed plastic sleeves or storage containers, records can still use a cleaning every so often. Remember that your hands need to be clean, if not gloved, when you’re handling records to avoid fingerprints and smudges.
Back Up Your Records Digitally
As you organize your record collection, you may realize that some of your recordings are especially hard to find today. For these special records, you should back them up digitally and keep them on a modern media device that you use more often—such as a CD or a file for a smart phone or computer. This process doesn’t harm your record as long as you mail or deliver it with the right precautions. Archiving your records is an important step for protecting your vinyl record collection, as it can help with organization or figuring out which records you can part with. The sound and memory can last forever with a digital copy.