During the Christmas season of 2019, it seemed that everywhere a person turned there was a display of vinyl record players and actual vinyl records. In fact, the week of Christmas 2019 Billboard reported the highest sales since 1991 when it first started to tracking sales. From December 22, 2019, until December 28th, 2019 there were approximately 1.24 million records sold. With this “nostalgic” hobby coming full circle, it seemed only appropriate for us to provide our readers with an up to date way to properly store and care for these treasured, soon to be family heirlooms.
Dust your records before returning them to their jackets or sleeves.
Imagine you just got finished listening to Billie Eilish and you are going to place that vinyl record back into its sleeve. You take the bottom of your t-shirt and wipe the dust… WAIT! STOP! Do not use your t-shirt to wipe, clean, or dust any vinyl record! No, it doesn’t matter how soft it is, we promise! The fibers, dirt, and traces of bacteria could destroy your vinyl record before you can even get to store it! Read on for the correct way to clean your vinyl records.
Whether you are an avid record collector or a weekend hobbyist you should have a brush, cleaning spray, and stylus to clean your vinyl’s. We found this great set on amazon for around $25.00 and it even comes with a pouch to store it all in. The velvet brush makes quick work of removing any dust, just hold it gently on the record when you're done playing your favorite tunes while it spins slowly around on the turntable. If the vinyl record is a family heirloom, maybe it needs a little TLC and that's where the spray solution and stylus come into play. Just spray the solution on the record making sure to avoid getting any of the liquid on the label and wipe off with a microfiber cloth in a circular motion. To ensure that your vinyl records are around for your children's generation, set up a 6-month cleaning schedule to keep them looking and sounding like brand new!
Choose carefully how you store your vinyl records
There’s something to be said about properly storing your vinyl records. Believe it or not the way your stack or store your records can save the life of your vinyl’s for years to come! Just about everywhere you look there are tons of high priced record storing systems usually starting at around $25.00 for a small piece of plastic in a varying shape meant to keep your vinyl records standing.
We do believe that the best way to store vinyl records is to stand them straight up so that the vinyl does not warp for the pressure of the other vinyl records laying on top of it. Yes, in this new millennia even our vinyl records are falling prey to peer pressure… see what we did there? But in all reality when we were looking for the best-priced vinyl record storage solution we realized that a cheap storage option for storing vinyl records was really just a dish stand like this one. It is about 50% less expensive and does the same job!
Always store your vinyl records in their jacket (or sleeve)
The only time that your record should be out of its jacket is when your vinyl record is being played on the turntable! We know, it sounds slightly dramatic, but the truth is that the jacket is high-quality cardboard meant to add a strong bearer between the outside world and vinyl record. Use the jacket for what it was born to do, protect your vinyl with its life!
DON’T TOUCH THE SURFACE
You how your mother told you to always wash your hands because they had grim and dirt on them growing up? Well, the truth hurts, because not much has changed. Your hands are still full of dirt, grime, and oils that are all lurking right on the surface meant to destroy your favorite Bing Crosby record. Not a Bing Crosby fan? That’s only us? Touching the edges of the record will ensure that the record will stay sounding great for years to come.
There is an old wives' tale we would like to address in this section that says that you can run your finger along the record and locate your favorite song by counting the threads. However, we would like to assure that it is just an old wives' tale. While the millennial in us all has grown quite accustomed to getting what we want when we want it, which just shouldn’t be the case with vinyl records. Allow for the record to play its way through and we promise your favorite song will come on at some point!
Cool and dry is still best practice!
Storing your vinyl records out of direct sunshine and heat can keep your vinyl records playing for years. In fact, the ideal room temperature for storing vinyl records is 65-70 degrees. Humidity can also harm your vinyl records during storing, so try to maintain a humidity level between 45-50 percent. If you’re moving and know that your collection will have to be stored at your local storage facility make sure that you ask for climate control!