What Temperature Should Vinyl Records be Stored At?


What Temperature Should Vinyl Records be Stored At?

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If you are a vinyl record collector then you must have felt the pain of moving your vinyl collection from one place to another. Especially when you are moving to a location that you know it’s going to be hot. Before you know it, your vinyl collection starts to warp and fixing warped records is no fun at all. 

Taking care of your vinyl records can be a large task and isn’t something that you should take on lightly. But if you are storing your records what should the temperature be to keep them in good shape? 

Vinyl records should be stored in temperatures that you are comfortable in. Most experts agree that the ideal temperature is between 65-75 degrees Fahrenheit but having it be a little bit warmer or colder than that shouldn’t have a huge impact on your records. 

Despite the fact that records don’t begin to warp until 140 degrees Fahrenheit that doesn’t mean that you should allow your records to be stored in places that are 139 degrees! 

When records are stored in places that are outside the recommended temperature ranges you are increasing the possibility of your records warping or being damaged.You need to put them in a place that isn’t very humid without any direct sunlight exposure as well as keeping them at the proper temperatures. 

Novice vinyl record collectors often make the mistake of wrapping the records in a paper bag. Needless to say, it often results in damage to the vinyl surface since the paper acts like sandpaper and completely scratches up the vinyl record. 

If you no longer have the paper sleeves that came with your records you can find a  wide array of affordable and good quality thinner paper covers to protect your vinyl records from getting scratched or dust on them. 

 If you are new to the vinyl collection then you have come to the right place, we have compiled a list of helpful tips to keep your vinyl records in as good of shape as possible by keeping them from getting warped or damaged. 

Avoid keeping your vinyl records in a car

If you are wondering about what temperatures are ok for vinyl records it is important to note that you should never keep them in the car for long periods of time.

There are a number of reasons for that. For instance, the temperature inside the car can dramatically increase after just one hour of sitting in the sun. Experts say the temperatures inside a closed car that is in the direct sunlight can go up 43 degrees in one hour! Temperatures that high can cause significant harm to your vinyl records. 

Another possible issue with keeping your records in your car is that they could get broken. Even if you have kept them carefully inside a special case or box there is still a chance that they can get broken if you go on a bumpy road. The odds of this happening is pretty slim but it is something that can happen. 

Records become especially brittle in cold weather so if the records have been sitting in a cold car and then you go over some bumps, the records breaking is a real possibility. 

Even if the 43 degree temperature swing isn’t going to be an issue and you aren’t going to be going over any bumps your records can still get damaged in your car. 

Most vehicles have windows on all sides making it incredibly difficult to keep your record collection out of direct sunlight for the entire day. Direct sunlight is a record’s worst enemy and that will cause the records to warp incredibly fast. 

Since records are normally black then they absorb the heat from the sunshine incredibly quickly and start to heat up. Once they heat up they will begin to warp and then you will have to try and fix the warping before you play then again. 

Having your records in the car while you are going somewhere won’t hurt them as long as they are boxed or packaged carefully. However, leaving them in the car for just a few hours can prove to be disastrous! 

If you have some records that have been warped in a car or through another method you can try and fix them by following the steps in the video below. 

Where should you store vinyl records?

In order to make things easier for you; you need to apply this simple rule of thumb. 

If the temperature in your room is not comfortable for you to sit in then it is not an ideal place to store the vinyl records. 

Basically you want to store records only in a room or place where the temperature would be considered a “normal” indoor temperature year around. In addition, you need to keep track of the temperature fluctuation of the place where you are storing your records. If you are living in a place that is poorly insulated and the temperatures can fluctuate a lot from room to room or even based on the time of day then it is not worth the risk to keep your vinyl records there. 

For example, I currently live in Arizona. In the upstairs of my house I have a room that stays 10 degrees warmer than the rest of the house. That would not be a good place to store my records because of the higher temperatures and the temps fluctuating regularly. 

You also need to make sure your vinyl records are away from the sunlight. Sun rays are the arch enemies of vinyl records, and the dark color of the records doesn’t help either. The color black is more prone to absorb the electromagnetic spectrum and will lead to them heating up even more! Having records in a room that gets light is fine but they should never get direct sunlight on them through a window or door. 

The last thing I will mention in regards to storing your records is that you need to avoid storing them in places that are prone to being moist. Most basements, garages, or similar places are likely to have moisture and that moisture can easily turn to mold or mildew on your records which is a mess to try and clean/fix. 

Just store your records in a place with normal temperatures, that isn’t exposed to direct sunlight, and that is not moist and your records should be just fine. 

What to do with vinyl records that are warped? 

If your vinyl records manage to get warped then there’s no need to panic. There is still a good chance that you can repair them but it would be foolish to expect the same quality as before. Most of the time even a repaired warped record will still be slightly off which might affect the sound quality or even cause the record to skip.  

If you find yourself with a warped record there are numerous DIY tutorials on the internet that could help you get your records back to working condition. 

The easiest method to unwarp your record is to take two glass panes and carefully place the record in between. Then just add a little weight on top and leave it for a few days. This method will work best for records that are only slightly warped. 

You can also use the glass panes and put your record in an oven for 2-3 minutes. This method is a little more advanced and something that you would be better off to watch someone doing before trying it. You can watch the video below to see how it is done. 

If after trying all of these different methods you are still unable to fix your warped records then it is decision time. If your record is valuable then calling a professional is the next step. If not then it might be time to just buy a new record and use that one for decorations or a new DIY project. 

Conclusion

Avoiding your records getting damaged or warped is always the best course of action. Prevention is a lot easier than trying to fix your records after they are damaged. 

You should always store your records in temperatures that are comfortable for you. If the temp in the room or place you are storing them is not comfortable for you then it will most likely hurt your records to be stored there long term. 

If you want to learn more about storing your records you can do so in the video below. 

Matt Robbs

There is nothing quite so enjoyable as bringing back memories from your childhood. We used to spend hours playing pinball in my friends basement and that really got me involved in everything retro!

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