Whether taking them to play at a club, party or just to a friend’s house to show off your cool taste in music, you’re going to want to take your vinyl records out of your home from time to time. Though it can last 100 years or more with good care, vinyl is a fragile material and can warp or even grow mold without proper care.
Let’s look at some important things to consider with regard vinyl records and how best to
Best Storage Tips
The first thing to remember is that records need to be stored edge side down – not flat. The material weighs a lot and a stack of records can press on the lower ones, ultimately deforming them. Misshapen records won’t play well!
. As with the flat/edge tip above, if singles are stored together with albums, the smaller ones will put pressure on the larger ones and can, long-term, lead to deformation. If you are carrying a mix in your bag, make sure you have a sturdy plastic or even wood separator between them.
Though you may want to show off how deep an interest you may have in a particular genre or how eclectic your taste is, remember that records are quite dense. Limit how many you carry to a max of maybe 15 or so – if this is just singles, that’s still 450 minutes of airplay! (Okay, if you’re talking serious Prog, this could be a while longer…)
A padded record bag is essential. Yes, records are fragile beasts and dropping or knocking a rare and valuable one will break your heart! A good record bag will protect against knocks and bumps on public transport.
Air circulation? All sorts of molds and bugs love vinyl as a medium on which to grow, especially if you don’t handle them with clean hands and in a dusty environment. This is why you should only really use the carrying bag to get the records from A-B and take them out at the other end – don’t use the bag for permanent storage.
Dust, Acids and Oils
Dust particles on your hands and in the atmosphere can get into the grooves, leading to a static sound when the needle hits it. If possible only handle with clean hands – the alcohol-based hand sanitizer you carry for COVID-19 safety is excellent as it also breaks down oils that help the dust stick.
Acids also break down the grooves too. Dust, acids and oils can stick to the paper inner sleeves so it might be an idea to invest in acid-free tissue paper inner sleeves. Replace the standard inner sleeves as soon as you get the record home from the record store.
People have been carrying records around for decades – the medium is widely considered the original and best. With the right care you can move your vinyl records anywhere, and that does mean choosing the right record bag for your needs. In doing so, they will last for many years to come!
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