Vinyl records are durable and long-lasting, but they’re not immortal. If you don’t care for them, they’ll eventually wither, fade, or become damaged. Follow our tips for preserving your vinyl record collection to ensure your LPs last for the long haul.
Keep Them Cool
When storing your vinyl record collection, you’ll want to avoid keeping them in spaces that tend to get hot and humid. Exposure to hot temperatures over a prolonged time can cause the record to warp and become permanently damaged.
Ideally, you should keep your LP collection in a climate-controlled space around 65–70 degrees Fahrenheit. The attic is a typical storage space for many, but you’ll want to avoid that as attics are rarely air-conditioned and can get quite hot, especially in the summer months.
It’s not just the heat; it’s the humidity you have to worry about when it comes to preserving your records. Just as warm temperatures over a long time can warp records, humidity and moisture will do the same.
The perfect storage room for vinyl records would have no more than 40 percent humidity. Anything higher than that, and you risk causing damage to the records. Finished basements work great, but you’ll want to avoid musty cellars.
Convert to Digital
If your LPs are near and dear to your heart, the best tip for preserving your vinyl record collection is to convert them to digital. It may seem blasphemous to some vinyl fanatics, but a digital conversion guarantees preservation with minimal effort and resources.
Converting your vinyl record collection is relatively straightforward, and you get peace of mind that no matter what happens, you’ll have digital backups for all your LP records.
Don’t Stack or Lean Them
Hold your records by their edges, and never by the record label.
When you’re storing or displaying your record collection, ensure that you’re not putting undue pressure on them, which can lead to bends and warps. Typically, a vinyl record weighs about five ounces, so if you have 30 LPs stacked or leaning against one another, that’s another 10 pounds of pressure on the final record.
It may not seem like a lot, but 10 pounds of pressure against a record at an awkward angle can easily cause a bend. Damage is especially likely if you’re storing the LPs for an extended period.
Avoid touching the record surfaces. Oils and dirt on your hands can damage the record by leaving a residue on the record surface.
Pro Tip: Invest in shelves and displays for vinyl records that allow you to store your LPs without putting pressure on them.
Clean Them Consistently
If you want something to last, you keep it clean—it’s one of the oldest pieces of advice because it’s true. Vinyl records are no different; you’ll want to avoid allowing dust and dirt to accumulate on them and become embedded in the grooves, which distorts the sound.
Keep your records in sleeves and give them a quick cleaning with an anti-static brush before and after use to ensure no dust gets on them or your record player’s needle.
Use a carbon fiber brush to clean your records. A carbon fiber brush can help to remove dust and dirt from the record surface. Invest in a quality record cleaning solution. A quality record cleaning solution can help to remove surface dirt and oils from records.
Keep your vinyl records away from direct sunlight
Exposure to direct sunlight can cause records to warp, fade and become brittle.
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