A Guide to Properly storing your vinyl record

Vinyl records hold a dear place in the hearts of music lovers, offering a warm and authentic listening experience. The right storage is essential to preserving your vinyl collection. In this guide, we address common questions, including the best storing position, the importance of using protective sleeves, and effective methods to prevent warping.

How should vinyl be stored: flat or upright?

When it comes to storing vinyl records, the recommended method is to keep them in an upright, vertical position. Storing vinyl vertically helps prevent warping and guarantees that the record maintains its shape over time. Storing them flat can result in warping due to their weight and, especially if exposed to fluctuating temperatures. There is also the possibility of a ring forming on the record cover, which experienced collectors call ring wear. The most fitting way to store vinyl records upright is to use a sturdy vinyl record stand. With a reliable record stand, like the one available at Audio Anatomy that fits 12″ and 7″ records, your collection stays well organized and protected.

What is the best position to store vinyl records?

In addition to storing, it is necessary to consider the storage environment. Here are some critical factors to keep in mind:

  1. Temperature: Vinyls are sensitive to temperature changes. Store them in a colder environment, ideally between 65-70°F (18-21°C). Avoid storage in locations with temperature fluctuations. Places like attics or garages are not suitable for storing your records, as it leads to damage due to extreme heat or cold.
  2. Humidity: Mold is common on old vinyls due to exposure to high humidity. Try to aim for a humidity level between 40-50%. If it’s too high in your storage area, consider using a dehumidifier to maintain optimal conditions.
  3. Sunlight: Exposure to direct sunlight can fade the album covers and deform the vinyl. Keep your record away from windows or areas with excessive sunlight. If you have a space with windows, consider using blackout curtains or UV-protective window film to shield your record.
  4. Avoid heat sources: Keep your collection away from heat sources, such as radiators, vents, or heating units, as they can warp your LPs and affect sound quality.
Protective Vinyl Record Sleeve in Red
Preserve your vinyl record with protective sleeves.

Should vinyl records be kept in sleeves?

Big Yes! Using protective sleeves is a must for vinyl lovers. These sleeves provide an extra layer against external damage like dust, scratches, and other potential damage. Besides protecting the record surface, they also prevent ring wear forming on album covers. When selecting sleeves for your vinyl record, choose a material that suits your needs. Material choices include PVC (with or without flap), PP, and PE. You can find high-quality vinyl record outer sleeves here for your 12″ record, which offer excellent protection and ensure a proper fit. Put your records in an antistatic inner sleeve to discharge them automatically after listening. Most records these days come with a poly-lined paper inner sleeve with a HDPE foil in it to prevent charging. This helps to keep dust away and therefore prevents scratches. Always put the inner sleeve back in the cover with the opening slit facing upwards. It prevents your record accidentally from rolling out your cover and smashing on the ground and is also another protective mechanism against dust.

Left: Record in 12-inch protective outer sleeve.
Right: Record without sleeve exposed to dust, scratches, and wear over the years.

How to store your vinyl record to prevent warping:

How to store vinyl records to prevent warping: Store your vinyl records in a cool, dry, and stable environment. Avoid direct sunlight or extreme temperature changes to give potential damage and degradation no chance. Besides, keep them away from heat sources, such as radiators or vents. Optimal temperature and humidity levels can help preserve the vinyl and prevent warping or mold growth. Last but not least. Use a shelf (some got perfect measurements for records) or a sturdy vinyl record stand like the ones available at Audio Anatomy for displaying your records on shelves and also desks. You can choose from several colours and inches. If you don’t like the stand to hide your covers, use our crystal clear (see-through) options. The stand will keep your record upright, organized, and fully protected.

Proper storage is essential to handling your record collection with care so that sun damage, loss of sound, and warping don’t stand a chance. Be sure to store them upright, use protective sleeve covers, and maintain recommended temperature and humidity levels to ensure the longevity of your collection. So take care of your collection and give them the treatment they deserve.

Happy listening!

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