When not in use, vinyl records need proper storage otherwise they can be subject to various distortions in their shape (warping) as well as their makeup owing to heat, abrasions, unwanted deposits etc. That means ruining these music-storage masterpieces requires very little effort, and remarkably caring for them requires just as much if not more or less.
First and foremost, every record that is not being played at the time needs to be in its individual sleeve which should then go into its own jacket. Some people get lazy and stuff two records into a single jacket. This is a strict no-no even if each record has its own designated sleeve.
Excess heat, light, moisture, even sunlight can do irreparable damage to vinyl records. And frankly, quantifying the number of harmful factors for these plastic discs is an improbable task. However, simple steps like keeping records in their individual cases upright as opposed flat, in a place that’s relatively cool, dark and dry should prove adequate.
Handling is the second part of the care solution, and while we will discuss this aspect in greater detail in subsequent posts, here’s the bare basics. First off, never hold a record like a Frisbee. Instead, use both hands and handle it from its edges. Dust, smudge, oil, etc easily get transferred on to a vinyl’s surface during handling so remember to clean your hands when handling them.