how to

Blueee77 / Shutterstock

Most people are unfamiliar and uncomfortable with vinyl. They know that analog audio is fairly fragile, and are often too terrified to hold a record in their bare hands. But what happens when a record goes back into its jacket? Suddenly, it’s not such a fragile thing—it ends up in a big pile, collecting dust or absorbing sunlight like a cold-blooded animal.

Improper storage, rather than mishandling, is often the thing that destroys or damages a vinyl record. If you want your record collection to last a long time, you need to learn how to store this stuff.

Why Is Proper Vinyl Storage Important?

Analog audio needs to be treated with care. Over time, simply playing a vinyl record will reduce its fidelity. So, in order to extend the life and preserve the quality of vinyl, you need to eliminate any external sources of wear and tear—you need to store your records properly.

To be clear, I’m not telling you to baby your records. They’re pretty dang durable. Billions of vinyl records still survive from the 20th century, and I can guarantee that most of those records have endured mistreatment.

But here’s the thing; exposure to heat, humidity, dust, mildew, insects, or pressure will reduce an LP’s fidelity and damage the cover art. This process usually occurs over several months, years, or decades due to poor storage. Tons of vintage records are still playable, but they’re often damaged in some way.

And poor storage will eventually make a record unplayable. Again, this is something that often takes years or decades. But in the most unfavorable conditions, heat or pressure can destroy a record very quickly, even within a few hours.

Clean Your Records, Use Sleeves and Inserts

how to

Invest In Vinyl

Proper vinyl storage starts with cleanliness. Records tend to accumulate static, which attracts dust. This dust can work itself into the grooves of a record or scratch its surface, reducing vinyl fidelity or playability.

Ideally, you should clean a record with an anti-static brush before and after each use. If you have a bunch of records that never get used, clean them with the anti-static brush to ensure safe storage. Older records may need a deep cleaning to remove dirt, chemicals (which seep out of paper inserts), or other nastiness.

A record’s sleeve and jacket (the inner and outer packaging) also need to be kept clean. Any dust, dirt, mildew, or insects inside of this cardboard and paper packaging can harm your vinyl. For your most valuable records (or vintage LPs with disgusting inner sleeves), I strongly suggest buying and using poly inner sleeves, which won’t accumulate static or mildew.

But even if you skip the inner sleeves, you should buy protective plastic covers. Not only will these covers protect the art on your record’s jacket, but they’ll keep dust and other crap away from your record.

To use these plastic covers properly, take a vinyl record (with its sleeve) out of its cardboard jacket. Then, place both items in the plastic cover so they’re side by side. This reduces strain on the jacket and limits your record’s exposure to friction. Additionally, it helps you avoid the “ring wear” that’s often found on vintage record jackets.

Note that the above information applies to all vinyl records, not just LPs. If you own a ton of 7-inch singles, store them in acid-free sleeves and plastic outer covers.

How to Clean Your Vinyl Records

how to

You’ll Need a Cleaning Brush

Boundless Record Cleaner Brush

how to

Protect Your Vinyl

Invest in Vinyl LP Inner Sleeves

how to

A Basic Record Cleaning Kit

Big Fudge Vinyl Record Cleaning Kit

how to

Spin Your Vinyl Clean

Spin Clean Record Washer

how to

High-Performance Vacuum Motor Cleaner

Record Doctor Vinyl Record Cleaning Machine

how to

Pulse Tough Particles Out of Grooves

WEWU ROUNDS Vinyl Ultrasonic Cleaner

Temperature, Humidity, and Light Are Your Enemy

how to

Vespa /

Vinyl records are made of PVC and can warp in extreme temperatures. Once you get past 90 degrees Fahrenheit (that’s about 32 Celsius), a record may start to bend or curl. Temperatures exceeding 140 degrees Fahrenheit (about 60 Celsius) can melt a record.

And while humidity doesn’t present an immediate danger to vinyl, it will slowly destroy a record’s cardboard and paper packaging. Humidity also encourages the growth of mildew and mold, which may reduce an LP’s fidelity (and pose a health hazard, of course).

Direct sunlight can also have a cumulative effect on records. Over time, UV rays will bleach a vinyl’s cover art (or make a record brittle if it’s sitting around without a jacket). Direct sunlight can also lead to fluctuations in temperature, which may create condensation and encourage mold growth in certain environments.

Now, these requirements are pretty easy to follow. If you’re comfortable inside your home, then you already have a good environment for your records. Just keep them away from direct sunlight, don’t place them in a hot attic or garage, and consider buying a dehumidifier if your air is that humid.

Just to reiterate, records are pretty durable. I’ve bought some pristine vintage vinyl from outdoor flea markets, open-air stores, and stuffy warehouses without air conditioning. And I’m in Florida. If you’re comfortable in your home, then your records are probably comfortable too.

Records Belong on a Strong Shelf or in a Nice Box

how to

Way Basics

Most people, even hardcore collectors, fail to keep their records in a safe place. And I’m not talking about temperature or humidity; I’m talking about actual placement—where the records are sitting.

Your average LP weighs about a third of a pound. So, if you stack 25 records on top of each other, the record at the bottom is enduring about eight pounds of pressure. That’s enough to wear out the cover art and create unnecessary friction on the vinyl. (After a long period of time, of course.)

Don’t stack your records in a big pile. Instead, place them horizontally on a strong shelf or organizer, like you would with books. (Just don’t place a ton of records at the top of a really cheap bookshelf, because it will either break or tip over.)

Now, even when records are sitting horizontally on a shelf, they’re still leaning into each other. The weight’s still there. To avoid this problem, I suggest limiting the number of records you put on each shelf and using hard dividers to distribute the weight. These tips will also make your records easier to find, which is a nice bonus.

You can also store records in sturdy wooden or plastic boxes (cardboard will break), specialized cabinets, or in a pinch, milk crates. And if you have a relatively small collection, fancy carrying cases, standing racks, or smaller magazine dividers are perfectly acceptable.

how to

Way Basics Vintage Vinyl Record Cube 2-Shelf Storage, Organizer – Fits 170 LP Albums (Tool-Free Assembly and Uniquely Crafted from Sustainable Non Toxic zBoard Paperboard) Grey

This small two-tier storage shelf can safely hold dozens of records. Plus, it makes a nice stand for a turntable or other accessories.

how to

Victrola Vintage Vinyl Record Storage and Carrying Case, Fits all Standard Records – 33 1/3, 45 and 78 RPM, Holds 30 Albums, Perfect for your Treasured Record Collection, Black

Keep up to 30 records in this handy and portable case.


Stuck on WoW Dragonflight loading screen – How to fix

Screenshot by Pro Game Guides Ah, it’s the most exciting time in a live service game. You’ve settled down with your snacks and drink, all ready to explore a new continent. World of Warcraft is about to drop its hottest expansion, Dragonflight, and…you’re stuck at the docks in Stormwind ...

View more: Stuck on WoW Dragonflight loading screen – How to fix

Can Hong Kong preserve its historic buildings before it’s too late? From Nan Fung Group’s The Mills to New World Development’s State Theatre, the race is on – but not all projects are tastefully done

The 68-year-old State Theatre in North Point is just the latest historic Hong Kong building fated for a facelift. The Grade I listed building, a former cinema and local landmark, is being revamped by New World Development into what it calls a “new cultural performing arts landmark”. It comes ...

View more: Can Hong Kong preserve its historic buildings before it’s too late? From Nan Fung Group’s The Mills to New World Development’s State Theatre, the race is on – but not all projects are tastefully done

Elon Musk joins the war against Apple and its App Store rules

Elon Musk has chosen the next target for his fans to go after: Apple. Over the course of the last week, Musk has already threatened to build his own phone company if Apple were to continue to impose its 30% commission on products sold through the Twitter app. Musk ...

View more: Elon Musk joins the war against Apple and its App Store rules

You don’t want to miss this nerve-shredding new Netflix documentary coming tomorrow

If you’re looking for more true crime content to keep you up at night after Dahmer, Netflix has you covered. On Tuesday, November 29, Netflix is releasing a limited series called Crime Scene: The Texas Killing Fields. This is the third season of the Crime Scene series, each of ...

View more: You don’t want to miss this nerve-shredding new Netflix documentary coming tomorrow

Samsung might release an app that helps you repair its phone

Need to make a repair on your Samsung phone? The company might soon have an app for that. As reported by SamMobile, Samsung has made a trademark filing for a new app that has sparked rumors the company could take on repair companies like iFixit for its own devices. ...

View more: Samsung might release an app that helps you repair its phone

How to defeat Poppy of the Elite Four in Pokémon Scarlet & Violet

Screenshot by Pro Game Guides Poppy is the second member of the Elite Four in Pokémon Scarlet & Violet and uses Steel Type Pokémon. Steel Types are powerful on the defensive side and her highest level Pokémon is 59. She will go all out on the offensive and hit ...

View more: How to defeat Poppy of the Elite Four in Pokémon Scarlet & Violet

The Witcher Remake Is Getting a Big Change - IGN Daily Fix - IGN

On today’s IGN The Daily Fix: CD Projekt Red has confirmed that its Unreal Engine 5 remake of 2007's The Witcher will be fully open-world single-player RPG. DC Studios co-CEO James Gunn has confirmed that the new DC film universe will be linked to future video games that exist ...

View more: The Witcher Remake Is Getting a Big Change - IGN Daily Fix - IGN

How to increase Shiny odds in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet

Screenshot by Gamepur Shiny Pokémon are some of the rarest forms of Pokémon you can find while playing any Pokémon game, and they return in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet. It’s incredibly difficult to find a shiny Pokémon in the wild, and the odds of having one appear are extremely ...

View more: How to increase Shiny odds in Pokémon Scarlet and Violet

Elon Musk signals Twitter going to ‘war’ with Apple

From Chaucer via Jitter and Twitch, how Twitter got its name – and why posts were called tweets, not twits

Last Chance for Best Buy Cyber Monday Deals Amazon Can't Beat

These Cyber Monday Google Store Deals End Soon: Save on Pixel, Nest, Fitbit and More

Last Chance: 8 Cyber Monday Deals at Their Lowest Prices Ever

Microsoft Defender Vulnerability Management Preview Can Now Check for Firmware Vulnerabilities

Malicious Android app found powering account creation service

Acer fixes UEFI bugs that can be used to disable Secure Boot

How to Use the ”Show Windows” Button on Your Chromebook

How to get all free items in Dunking Simulator – Roblox

Tencent and Alibaba’s AI models understand Chinese better than humans, new rankings show

Cyber Monday Deals Ending Soon: Don't Miss These 77 Sales Under $50


Top Car News Car News