Tips For Packing And Storing Vinyl Records
When it comes to preserving your vinyl record collection long-term, it's important that you pack them carefully. If you have never stored vinyl records before, you may not know the correct techniques to keep them preserved. Here are a few great tips to help you get the most from your records.
Clean Them First
Vinyl records should be cleaned before they're stored because any dirt, oil or debris on the surface can deteriorate the records quickly. Even dust is problematic, because it can cause distortion and may scratch the vinyl record surface. Wipe the surface with a lint-free cloth dipped in distilled water. Move it in a circular motion around the records so that you move with the grooves, not across them. That way, you don't risk scratching them by dragging something over the surface.
Protect Them When Packing
When you're ready to pack the records, wear a pair of white linen gloves. That way, you don't transfer any oil from your skin on to the records. Make sure that you're handling them by the label and the outer rim for more protection. This reduces the risk of accidental scratching, too. The less contact you have with the playing surface of the record, the less chance you have of accidentally doing any damage.
Put each one into a protective sleeve first. Opt for a polyethylene sleeve to get a longer lifespan from the cover than you might get from the paper ones. Stack the records in boxes sized properly for the records or in milk crates and put them in so that they are vertical. This prevents them from being warped, cracked or crushed by weight.
Store Them Safely
Look for self storage units with climate control so that you can keep the temperature moderately cool. The goal is to keep it cooler than the typical room temperature for the longest storage life. Room temperature won't hurt them for normal use, but the cool space would reduce any potential deterioration on the vinyl and the cover. Any space that is humid or particularly warm can warp the vinyl. You'll also want to avoid freezing temperatures, because temperatures that cold can make vinyl brittle and cause it to crack.
Being proactive and taking steps like these will help you protect your vinyl collection. The better protected it is, the longer it will last. If you're looking to be able to pass this down as part of your estate, protection is key. Talk with a local self storage company about more storage tips.