When starting from the digital format, it comes to storing music in physical form, that is, at the expense of vinyl records, some questions arise.
You can not only have a good collection or collect it, but you also need to understand how to properly store these kinds of things, because they are very sensitive to many surrounding factors like light, enormous heat, and humidity. Such records often become family heirlooms, which must be properly stored, protected from scratches, concavities, and dust, so that they do not lose their rarity and antiquity. Many collectors have a lot to learn from. Vinyl is not a CD that you can give to friends, carry it around the house, throw it around, and it will still often play the files recorded on it without any problems. Here, the approach of a connoisseur is needed, a person who understands how valuable things are in his hands. It is important to know that these kinds of things have long gone out of use which is why they are so rare. Therefore, I hope this material will help you to learn a lot more about proper record storage.
Clean Records Before Storing
First of all, you need to understand one obvious thing. Since you still treat rare and valuable items like vinyl records, keep in mind that you will need the best record cleaners. You need a special approach to them, in no case should you use sponges, a T-shirt, a rag, a shirt, or anything else to clean your record. As soft as the material is, you can still leave unwanted scuffs and scratches.
For cleaning, there are special products. Therefore, if you store vinyl records at home, you should definitely get a special brush for cleaning. It won’t leave unwanted dust if you just touch it and gently and roll the record 360 degrees around. You can find this at any record store, or in specialized vinyl stores. And in general on any specialized website as well.
If in your collection there are records that require more serious cleaning, you shouldn’t resort to “home” cleaning methods. The smartest decision would be to purchase a special vinyl-cleaning solution, drip it onto a napkin, and remove the dirt with circular motions. It is recommended to do this cleaning procedure every six months to keep the records in good condition.
Exposure to heat, light, and humidity on vinyl records
Room temperature or lower is recommended. In my opinion, starting at 15 to 25 ° C (59 to 77 ° F) is the most suitable temperature so that the heat does not affect the records, and therefore the cold does not spoil your vinyl. Please note that your collection should be kept away from batteries, radiators, or other sources of excess heat because this is very detrimental.
Here is the most obvious advice: avoid storing lp records in bright places, on windowsills, in front of direct rays of artificial or natural light. It leads to discoloration, especially ultraviolet light. He is actually the arch-enemy of vinyl, as he can ruin your record in just a matter of minutes. Create your folder in the closet, under the table, etc.
Humidity is another important aspect to consider. Vinyl records must be stored in a completely dry place. The humidity of the environment should not exceed 35-40%, otherwise, your records may deteriorate over time and only hiss and unwanted breaks will remain. For maximum convenience, you can purchase a hygrometer that will accurately indicate the level of humidity in the room. If it is higher than normal, you need to take measures to protect your collection.
Always store records in their album jackets
No matter how ridiculous and obvious it may sound, but this one is actually extremely important. ALWAYS put records back in their packaging. It is specially designed and developed for perfect storage, without rubbing and dust. Ultimately, none of us wants to spend money, time, and effort on cleaning, That’s why it is much easier to initially put everything in its place.
Store your vinyl collection in an upright position
In every store, you’ve probably noticed that vinyl records are stored upright. This must be done so that they can live much longer because if they lie in a heap, after a while they can deform under the pressure. Dividers in the drawers ensure that the vinyl stays straight and therefore can delight the user with its great sound and antiquity for much longer.
Never store records stacked on top of one another
As I previously said, while you place vinyl records stacked, they can deform under pressure. Assuming you have a vast collection of at least 30-50 records, you can easily imagine how much pressure is applied to the lowest record. In fact, after a month of lying like this, you won’t even be able to reproduce it, because it will simply collapse into a round layer. Therefore, I strongly recommend avoiding this type of storage.
Make sure you’re playing your records properly
Respect for such sensitive things as records is a must. When you take it out of the package, take it very carefully by the edges, in no case run your fingers along the entire length, because everything that is on your hands will leave sticky spots on the body of the plate. These impurities directly affect the quality of audio playback.
Another important tip is not to try to manually find the song you want, but move the needle where you think you need it. You can get caught in the wrong groove and damage is often inevitable. To avoid such incidents, it is better to put the needle at the beginning, and just wait for your desired composition. Isn’t it wonderful to listen to the entire album in a pleasant rare performance from a vinyl record? There is no need to violate the harmony and integrity of such a wonderful process, please have mercy.