How to care for your vinyl collection

[Another article by Jess Walter. – AC]

Useful Tips To Keep Your Vinyl Collection In Great Shape

Vinyl is expected to outsell for CDs for the first time since 1986, according to a recent report by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). While building up an impressive vinyl collection is both pleasurable and admirable, it’s important to remember that you need to take good care of your vinyls if you want them to remain in good condition. Although the best place for a vinyl is undoubtedly on a turntable, it’s impossible to play your entire collection at the same time. How you choose to store your vinyls will have a huge impact on how long they remain in a great condition, as well as their sound quality when played.

Store them upright

When storing your vinyl collection, make sure that they are always in an upright position. When you lay a number of vinyls on top of one another, the weight can cause them to warp or crack, rendering them unplayable and financially insignificant. Apart from the warping concern, you’re also putting the album jackets at risk of damage if you stack your vinyls on top of one another. If you prefer to have your records displayed in a vertical stack, ensure that you have a suitable vinyl rack or display case with sufficient slots or grooves to keep the vinyls separated from each other.

Keep them dry and cool

If you want your prized vinyls to last a long time, you need to ensure that they’re always stored in cool, dry conditions. Mold is likely to grow in warm and humid conditions, and the last thing any avid record collector wants is a beautiful jacket sleeve ruined by mold growth. In order to keep mold at bay, you need to store your records at a comfortable room temperature of between 65 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit, and avoid any relative humidity of above 40%. To remove mold from your records, you can wipe them clean with a soft cloth and some isopropyl alcohol, while affected jackets can be gently wiped with a damp cloth (use distilled water), patted dry, and left in the sun for 30 minutes. If your vinyls are being kept in self-storage, you can benefit greatly from a climate-controlled unit. Alternatively, for home storage, invest in a thermostat and hygrometer that will allow you to keep track of both the temperature and humidity in your home effectively. Also take extra care to keep your collection away from vents, radiators and your BBQ to prevent it from being severely damaged.

Vinyls belong in their jacket sleeves

It’s important to never, under any circumstances, store your vinyl collections without their jacket sleeves. The only time a record should ever be out of its jacket is when it is being played, or if it is framed and put on display. By leaving a vinyl on a turntable longer than necessary, you allow dirt and dust to accumulate, which can cause scratches that will impact the sound quality. Put your vinyls away as soon as you’re done listening to them, and refrain from allowing people to take them out of their sleeves simply to ‘have a look.’

Whether you have 10 or 1,000 vinyl records, it’s important to look after them. By making the effort to store your vinyls in the correct manner, you can ensure that they will remain in great condition for many years to come.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

2 thoughts on “How to care for your vinyl collection

  • September 26, 2019 at 12:22 pm

    Vinyls? [facepalm]

  • September 26, 2019 at 10:50 pm

    Right?! I just started listening to Alan Cross’ The Ongoing History of New Music podcast. I am a little disappointed to read this — at best — rudimentary article on how to care for records and to discover that Cross doesn’t know that the plural of vinyl is vinyl.


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