Protecting Your Vinyl Collections In Storage

Posted on: 11 September 2015

Vinyl record collections are valuable and need to be stored properly to preserve their value. If you're new to collecting vinyl, you may not be clear on the proper storage techniques to keep from warping or otherwise damaging your newly-acquired vinyl records. Here are some tips to help you get your records ready for storage.

Clean Them Up

Before you store the records, you'll have to make sure that they are clean. Any residual oil, smoke, dirt or other debris on the records can deteriorate the records slightly. Dust is particularly problematic, as it can embed into the grooves of the record and lead to distortion and scratches.

Before you play them and before they get put away for storage, you should make sure that they're clean. Always work in a circular motion when cleaning them, too, because that works with the grooves, not against them. It lessens the chances of any scratching.

Use distilled water with a lint-free cloth to clean the surface of the records. Then, you can clean the turntable itself with a disc cleaning brush to eliminate any particles on the player.

Packing and Handling

Always make a point to wear white linen gloves when you handle your records so that you're not transferring skin oils to the record. Handle records by the label and the rim, even when packing them. Pack them away into their protective sleeves so that they aren't exposed to the elements while in storage. Polyethylene sleeves are a better choice than paper, because the paper ones will deteriorate over time.

Storing The Records

Stack the records so that they remain vertical, not horizontal. This helps to protect against warping. Put them in boxes that are properly sized to fit the sleeves or in milk crates. The goal is to keep them supported upright so that they store safely.

Keep the temperature in the storage unit between about 50 and 60 degrees if possible. You don't want it too warm, because that can warp the records. You also don't want the unit too cold, because freezing temperatures could cause the records to become brittle. Keep them out of direct sunlight and away from extreme heat sources.

The more proactive you are about protecting your vinyl, the longer your collection will last. If you're able to find any valuable older records, keeping them in a secure storage unit when you aren't playing them ensures that they stay safe and protected at all times. To learn more, speak with a company like King Arthur Self Storage.


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