People get nostalgic when listening to old records. They recall the days when life was much simpler and more laidback. This is why even with the surge of digital music and CDs, vinyl records are still holding a special footing in the hearts of music enthusiasts. But unlike modern music formats, vinyl records are much more delicate. In fact, they require a lot when it comes to storage. And it’s one thing collectors don’t compromise. With proper storage, old records will stay longer and will play as good as before.
If you are starting to collect old records, here are some storage tips.
- Find a good storage location. The ideal location is somewhere the temperature is around 65 to 70°F. It should also have low humidity and should not be under direct sunlight. Remember that old records are particularly sensitive to heat, moisture, and light. Exposure to such elements will have an effect on the life span and quality of old records. Sudden temperature changes are also not good for them.
- Keep the old records away from dust. Dust is damaging to LPs, so if you are deciding on a storage area, make sure the place is dust-free, is away from a dusty area, or has a filter system.
- Clean the LPs before storing. It is a good idea to clean the old records after playing and before putting them in storage. This will remove all dirt and dust that can potentially affect the playback and might eventually lead to scratches. When cleaning, make sure to hold the LPs by the rim to prevent scratching or leaving bodily oils on the surface. Use a lint-free cloth and wipe the surface with a cleaning solution, making sure to follow the grooves. Alcohol and distilled water mixture is a good and cheap alternative cleaning agent.
- Put the records in the sleeves. Sleeves protect LPs from dust and moisture. This is why you always have to put the records back into the sleeves before storage. The best sleeves are made of plastic and are labeled as acid-free. If you so decide to change the wrapper of your LPs, make sure to choose Polyethylene sleeves.
- Store the LPs vertically. Remember to never pile the LPs on top of one another. Horizontal piling can lead to warping, which is what causes LPs to skip while playing. What you need to do instead is to set the old records in a vertical, book-like position. But unlike books, LPs should not be slanted. They should be standing straight on their sides and should be spaced properly to avoid damaging the grooves.
- Invest in good LP shelving. Shelving is important in LP storage. You can buy ready-made shelves or pay someone to make customized shelves for you. What’s important is to have shelves that provide enough space for your collection. Remember, overcrowding is a no-no.
To make your LPs more organized, make sure to arrange them following an order. You can, for example, arrange them by genre, year, or artist.