Do Vinyl Records Go Bad Over Time?

This is actually a common question among vinyl record collectors. Vinyl records are made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC), which is a material that’s been known to last for over a century. That said, there are many outside elements that can damage and even destroy PVC products, including extreme temperatures, moisture and much more.

So, do records go bad over time? While everything can deteriorate over time, your vinyl records could last over a century as long as they’re well taken care of.

Read on to learn some great practices for preserving the lifespan of your vinyl records.

Don’t stack your records

Stacking your records horizontally is never a good idea. This puts pressure on the records and can easily cause warping or even cracking. While fixing a warped record is possible, there’s no way to repair record cracks, so the pressure put on records stacked horizontally could eventually render them unplayable.

It’s best to store your records next to one another on a shelf, vertically. This will help avoid putting any extra pressure on your records, thus, potentially preserving them for decades to come.

Avoid touching the surface

While it might be tempting, it’s best to avoid touching the smooth surface of a vinyl record. This is because our natural oils can cause grime to build up on records over time. This grime can contribute to the wear and tear of a record. You should, instead, hold your records via the outer edge. If you do accidentally touch the surface of your record, gently clean it with a record-cleaning solution. It’s important to do this before attempting to play the record.

Avoid sunlight exposure

As mentioned above, extreme temperatures can negatively affect PVC. Over time, constant exposure to sunlight can cause records to warp. That’s why it’s best to store your records away from the sunlight. Proper storage techniques will keep your records safe for a long time.

Don’t leave your records out

If you aren’t playing your record, be sure to keep it in its sleeve. Records left sitting out can collect dust, dirt and other materials that may damage the surface. Even worse, a record left out could fall and accidentally get stepped on.

Clean your records

Proper vinyl record maintenance involves routine cleaning. This will help keep your record free from grime, dirt and dust. Routine cleaning will also help preserve the quality of your records and ensure they last for years to come.

When cleaning a record, it’s best to utilize a carbon fiber brush and record-cleaning solution. Many people recommend cleaning records before and after playing them.

Do vinyl records go bad over time? They can if you don’t take care of them properly. However, if you follow the techniques mentioned above, you can help ensure your records last as long as possible, potentially even to be enjoyed by future generations of listeners.

If you’re on the search for records or other collectibles, visit The Book Broker. We have a vast collection of fairly-priced vinyl records, CDs and cassette tapes from many different eras of music.