Storing vinyl the proper way

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Kraan, Jan 9, 2018.

  1. Kraan

    Kraan Active Member Thread Starter

    Hi everyone!

    I'm a vinyl rookie (also first post here) as I only bought my first record last February; since then I bought quite a few more! After my first record I immediately bought some outer sleeves but I was not really concerned about the inner *ouch*... Last couple of weeks I became more and more concerned by the way vinyl has to be stored as I saw some scratches appear on new, almost unplayed, records. Therefore, I did some 'internet research' and now I keep my records in the following way:

    - outer sleeve: poly (thick sleeve, 150micron) - stored in the way the opening is on the upper side as I found it annoying that my records don't totally stay within the sleeve if the opening is on the right side
    - inner sleeve: polypaper (picture included) - stored in the way the opening is on the upper side within the original album sleeve

    Furthermore, I keep my records vertically (some in a Kallux, but as this is not near my turntable, most of them on a bookshelf supported by a book end) and dust them off with a Tonar nostatic brush before 'the needle hits the record'.

    Am I doing the right job to keep my vinyl in a good condition or do I have to make more adjustments?
    - at the moment I do not wash the records; should I? New and secondhand ones?
    - I've read a lot about Nagaoka and MOFI inner sleeves; are those even better solutions? (However, I also read stuff about plastic inner sleeve damaging the records??)

    Thanks in advance!

  2. Chris Schoen

    Chris Schoen Forum Resident

    Germantown, Md.
    Looks good. I would not go crazy washing records (some folks do...) New records are usually clean, and if they play quietly, I would not wash them. Same with clean, good condition
    used records. Bush them off, and play them first. If they play fairly quiet, you are good. I use the Mofi poly inner sleeves.
    Folloni, H8SLKC and Morbius like this.
  3. jkull

    jkull Active Member

    Fwiw I don't wash any of my records. And haven't really felt the need to. I have cloths for a quick wipe if need be, but mine are in their own room, in their own closet, on their own shelving, stored in their sleeves. After play, they go right back. Finger prints don't even touch the faces of my records. So basically, I don't bother with it. Sounds like you're storing them fine.
    Folloni and H8SLKC like this.
  4. KT88

    KT88 Forum Resident

    What you are doing now for storage and cleaning is fine. It really isn't even necessary to use aftermarket inner sleeves if you handle the records carefully. I don't use outer poly sleeves either as I find that they take up a lot of space. That isn't an issue with 100 or so records, but when the count grows into 2000 or more, you can lose a couple of feet of shelf space. The outer protects the records fine. If you are worried about keeping those in like new shape, then poly outers will help. They also create another step to go through when plying records, before and after, and I try to minimize the time spent messing around with the product and more time listening to it.

    If you get used records, you need to be concerned about condition, including cleanliness. I wet clean any record that looks like it needs it. For regular use before each play, I also use a simple wet velvet brush. That removes any stray fibers of dust that find their way onto an otherwise clean record and reduces surface noise significantly. It also protects the record groove and the stylus, as well as just keeping the stylus clean. No debris on the record, no debris gets on the stylus. Lastly, I'd not worry too much about very fine scuffs on the surface of a record as most all of these that are fine enough to have been caused by the paper sleeve or harder turntable mats, etc will only be on the landing of the record side. ie, on the surface flats between the groove cuts. The actual groove is cut deeper into the record and that is where the stylus rides and so doesn't pick up noise there from most small scuffs. Larger scratches can deform the groove wall and effect play as can records that have been left dirty and played or played with poor equipment. That sort of groove damage is permanent and can't be cleaned out, so you need to inspect used records for that sort of thing.

    Warps are also something to look for and can be hard to spot when looking at records. Keeping them stored vertically with all of their weight on their bottom edges, and without leaning on their top edges, will prevent that from forming in storage. Direct sunlight will cause records to warp rapidly, so always keep the record storage shelving on a shaded wall.
    Folloni and Bill Why Man like this.
  5. McGuy

    McGuy Active Member

    I clean every single record when I get it. Even new records have some minuscule amount of debris created during manufacturing that can get on the stylus. After that, never need to be cleaned again. And yes, MOFI sleeves inside the jacket are better imho.
    jeffrey walsh, benzo, Paully and 3 others like this.
  6. Mike from NYC

    Mike from NYC Forum Resident

    Surprise, AZ
    I use poly antistatic sleeves from Sleeve city as well as their outer sleeves for my more valuable albums and I always clean my records with my AudioDesk if they haven't been cleaned before with it.
  7. sublemon

    sublemon Forum Resident

    the "proper" way is:

    -Clean the record and replace the inner with a clean one of the various kinds available (plain paper is the least desirable though IMO). Save *all* original packing even plain inner sleeves, store in the outer sleeve/jacket. --My preference is usually to open the record if sealed and leave the shrink wrap on the jacket. There is an easy way to do this if anyone needs to know how)

    -Place the outer sleeve/jacket in a protective outer sleeve with the opening of the protective sleeve facing up.

    -Store the record in the replacement inner sleeve outside of the jacket, inside the protective outer sleeve, with the opening of the inner sleeve facing to the side (i.e. not up like the opening of the protective outer. this will prevent ring wear on the jacket and dust getting on to the lp.

    -Store upright on shelves like kallax or whatever works.

    If you don't use protective outers, eventually the jackets will get worn especially if you remove shrink wrap. Of course some wear over time is inevitable regardless of what you do...
  8. Preston

    Preston Forum Resident

    KCMO Metro USA
    +1 If you buy used records, an RCM is indispensible, but even new records sound better after a good clean IMHO.
    Scott in DC and Paully like this.
  9. Sir Talbot Buxomly

    Sir Talbot Buxomly Active Member

    Glasgow, Scotland
    I use polylined inner sleeves just like the ones in the picture you posted. For me, they're essential.

    It's ridiculous the amount of brand new pressings that come in paper or, worse, hard cardboard inner sleeves. These simply scuff the surface of the vinyl every time you take it out or put it back in. These things cost pennies and we're getting charged a lot of money for new records, it's a ridiculous state of affairs.

    I've bought numerous brand new records in the last few years that are scuffed or scratched straight out the sleeve and each and every time it's on a record that has no polylined inner. In my experience, only around 10% of new records I buy have a polylined inner. It really boils my piss.
    elvisizer, Folloni and Lambert75 like this.
  10. McGuy

    McGuy Active Member

    Exactly how I do it too but I have the opening of the inner liners facing up. Smarter to have them To the side for dust purposes. Need to fix that project!
  11. Aftermath

    Aftermath Forum Resident

    As others have posted, you're doing fine storing your vinyl. The inner sleeve you posted is a great choice. For the outer sleeves, I strongly recommend using polypropylene instead of polyethylene. Polypropylene sleeves don't cloud up, and they create much less friction on album covers than polyethylene sleeves.
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2018
  12. This has worked for me for decades. I will admit getting far enough along in Martial Arts to learn levitation has aided in retrieval quite a bit.
  13. Sir Talbot Buxomly

    Sir Talbot Buxomly Active Member

    Glasgow, Scotland
  14. Aaww, thanks Nanna, gimmie a hug. How as your day?
  15. Diskhound

    Diskhound Well-Known Member

    Your storage method is excellent. You sound like you are serious about your records so I highly recommend picking up a new or gently used VPI 16.5 or other vacuume based machine now and cleaning all your records as you acquire them and definitely before you put them in the new inner sleeves you are investing in.

    Don't let anyone tell you it isn't a good idea to clean your records with a vacuume based machine like a VPI unless they are advocating an ultrasonic machine, which is probably the only more effective solution.
    benzo, Scott in DC and JNTEX like this.
  16. Kraan

    Kraan Active Member Thread Starter

    Thanks for all the answers! Really good help!
    Gonna think if I want to make some adjustments.

    To answer 2 specific posts:

    Thanks, but it is really a big problem? Because can't find any polypropylene sleeves on any dutch websites.

    Good suggestion, but it's a bit expensive for me. Prefer to buy vinyl for that amount of money..
  17. GroovyGuy

    GroovyGuy Well-Known Member

    Halifax, NS Canada
    First off OP - welcome to the forums !!!

    I also clean all my LP's when I get them regardless if they are new or used. I've cleaned batches of 30 used LP's and couldn't believe the "crap" for lack of a better term that came off them. I also believe in MOFI sleeves and am in the process of replacing all my current sleeves with these.

    Enjoy the vinyl experience :)
    Chrome_Head and McGuy like this.
  18. Aftermath

    Aftermath Forum Resident

    I would just stick with what you're using then and make sure the LPs aren't pressed tightly together. The polyethylene sleeves yellow over time and don't slide as easily against LP covers as new ones do.
  19. Congrats on joining the vinyl collectors(or hoarder).
    I've been an avid record hoarder for 60+ years. No matter the type of plastic outer sleeve, I've never had one change colors. The only ones I religiously avoid are the resealable type and those with that stiff crinkly type. I prefer the 2.5 or 3 mil weight.
    The resealable type have a sticky strip on them and I've had several stick to the album cover sliding it in and out and tearing the cover. The stiffer type splits on the seams.
    As far as the inner sleeves go, I shy away from the lined types. I stick with the original and plain white paper types. The British(Decca) lined inner sleeves were pretty good which came with the LP's back in the 1960's and 70's. I haven't found any of the modern lined inner sleeves up to par, so if a new record comes in one, it goes in the trash and the record is put in plain paper ones.
    Here's the problem with the modern lined inner sleeves, static electricity. You can have a perfectly professionally cleaned, static-free record and sliding it in and out of a lined sleeve creates static electricity. Just like rubbing a balloon on your hair and it will stick to the wall. In comparison, I've had records which were charged with so much static electricity that they wouldn't slide out of the lined inner sleeve(even when holding the opening down by the corners of the bottom of the sleeve).

    Now, before the henhouse choir chimes in, I have spoken with MoFi about their inner sleeves and static electricity. They've admitted a problem and blame it on the atmospheric conditions. I live in a semi-arid dry climate. I've had static electricity problems even on humid or rainy days. Another problem with using the lined inner sleeves, static electricity or not, hard chunks can stick to or become embedded in the plastic, so your records may get scratched sliding them in and out. The old British Decca lined sleeves don't seem to have a problem.

    Depending how a record is stored, vertically or horizontally, the outer sleeve opening should be in a position that sliding the record in and out of your storage system that the outer sleeve stays on the record. With the album cover in a plastic outer sleeve, the record should be removed from the album cover and stored next to the LP cover, in the plastic outer sleeve, with the opening of the inner sleeve sideways so it is up against a seam of the plastic outer sleeve. The is to help prevent ringwear on the album cover. Vinyl enthusiast record retailer, like Soundstage Direct, prefers to ship their records that way. If you want to totally remove the chance of ringwear, the record covers and records should be stored separately in their own plastic outer sleeves.
    Folloni likes this.
  20. Wallflower

    Wallflower New Member

    How do you adjust this method for 2LP releases?
  21. McGuy

    McGuy Active Member

    Still works for double LPs
  22. sublemon

    sublemon Forum Resident

    store both LPs in replacement inners in the outer protective sleeve. There is almost always plenty of space, at least with the ones I use (sleeve city)
    The FRiNgE likes this.
  23. McGuy

    McGuy Active Member

    see above. sometimes the outer covers a bit fiddly to get on a gatefold but I haven't had one not fit yet. The only issue I've ever had are with triple fold albums - those I just have to leave out of an outer cover. So far the only triple folds are Sufjan Stephens and Elton John goodbye yellow brick road.
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2018
  24. Wallflower

    Wallflower New Member

    Cheers for the replies.

    Given that it would leave the two discs virtually touching (especially with thin inner sleeves such as the MoFi ones), I would've thought it would be ill-advised. But if not, then that's a useful option to have.

    Another quick query: If you store records the traditional way (with discs inside the jacket), does this make ring wear inevitable? I was under the impression that the sole cause of ring wear was LPs being placed together too tightly on the shelf.
  25. McGuy

    McGuy Active Member

    I can't really answer that as I've only had vinyl for about 2 years, BUT, in those 2 years, I have no ring wear on the album covers. I'm obviously using my new albums and those that never had ring wear in the first place as a basis for my opinion.

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