Sounds x
photo of a vinyl collection
Photo by Samuel Regan-Asante on Unsplash

Make sure your records last a lifetime (and then some).

There’s nothing quite like listening to vinyl. What was once seen as an old-fashioned way to listen to music is now known to be one of the best ways to enjoy the songs you love. The depth of sound and the atmosphere created by vinyl is something you can truly appreciate—- but are you taking proper care of your vinyl collection? Here are just some reasons why you should take care of your vinyl collection and how you can ensure your records last.

You can listen to your favorite records for longer

Improper vinyl storage can have a big impact on your collection and perhaps the most important is playability. You want to be able to slip your vinyl on whenever you fancy, without worrying about warping or scratches. Storing your vinyl with care ensures that they last for longer and are still in good condition. Although Spotify now has shareable features that help to make it more sociable, there’s nothing quite like building up a vinyl collection that you can add all your favorite music to. Vinyl collecting is quite popular with many music lovers too, so the social aspect is there when you talk about your favorite music with others.

Think about the future of your vinyl collection

Do you know that feeling of finding some old vinyl that is so beautiful and still in excellent condition? It can really capture a moment in time. This is part of the joy of keeping vinyl carefully. This is not just a way to listen to music —vinyl records are keepsakes that you might want to preserve, even if your tastes change.

Passing your vinyl records onto a loved one

If you ever want to reduce your collection or want to pass your vinyl on to others, you don’t want to be gifting them with unplayable vinyl records. While the aesthetic of vinyl matters, what is really important is the sound — so think carefully when storing, as you might be impacting the enjoyment of future listeners. You may even be able to pass vinyl down to the younger generation sometime and give them the same thrill you feel when finding old vinyl that plays as beautifully as it did when it was brand new.

You might even have some interesting albums, such as those from “Now That’s What I Call Music,” that you want to pass down to children and grandkids. The history of “Now That’s What I Call Music is a long one and while it has now reached its 111th volume this year, vinyl records of the series are available up through Now 35. Why not dig out your old volumes or look into buying second-hand vinyl records to pass down to others?

Consider the environment you store them in

So, how should you store your vinyl to take the best possible care of it and give it the longest life? The first consideration should be the temperature and atmosphere around them. Keep your vinyl out of the sun as this can promote warping, and away from damp areas which can cause mold to grow. Your vinyl should be kept at between 18C and 21C — so that means inside, and away from cold walls and damp windows, or hot radiators.

Don’t stack your vinyl records

Do you love the way that stacked vinyl looks sitting next to a record player? This might be the ultimate Instagram aesthetic, but it is actually a pretty damaging way to store your vinyl. There are many great vinyl record storage tips that are good to know when you’re a collector and one of them is to avoid stacking them. Store your vinyl vertically to prevent them from being weighed down on, and preferably in an archival box. Some people like to have their vinyl displayed on shelves, and while this can be a great alternative, make sure they are away from the environmental damage mentioned earlier.

Always handle your vinyl collection with care

Handling vinyl can be one of the biggest causes of damage, so take care when removing yours from their sleeve. You should not hold your vinyl in its center, as this can promote a buildup of dirt and oil from your hands — and the grooves in vinyl are especially vulnerable to this. Hold your vinyl by its outer edges only, and never be tempted to wipe them with a dry cloth, which can cause scratches. If you do clean your vinyl, do so with an anti-static brush, gentle micro-fiber cloth, and a specially formulated cleaning solution to keep them looking and playing their best.

Now that you know how important taking good care of your vinyl collection is, and how you can do this, there is no excuse to not give your own vinyl a little TLC. Future you, and perhaps even future generations, will thank you for it!

Leave a Reply