Best Ways to Keep Old VHS Tapes and Vinyl Records in Good Condition
Whether we’ve grown up, moved ahead in technology and have so much content just a few clicks away, many of us have some old-school media stored in our house somewhere. It can be old films, VHS tapes, vinyl records that are no longer in regular use but have a special place with memories filled in them.
Video players that a lot of us grew up with are all but obsolete these days. Yes, the days of heading over to Blockbuster or Video-Ezy to grab a rental for the weekend are all but gone. Same goes for record players and turntables. We rarely use vinyl records these days, even if we have a collection of them.
These old media formats were great in their days, but given that they can be around 50 years old and hardly being used, they’re in grave danger if not stored correctly. Here are some important tips on how to store VHS tapes and vinyl records for safekeeping to preserve for a long time.
How to Store Old VHS Tapes
Old VHS tapes can be extremely meaningful to most of us. They can include precious memories, or home movies, old films and series we purchased long ago. To keep them in good condition:
Convert your tapes to digital format
Whether it’s a home movie or an old film, a hard copy VHS tape may hold a certain sentimental value with you and there are lots of reasons why you should convert VHS tapes to DVD sooner. But the fact is that doing so can extend the life of the original tape significantly, given that it can be kept safe and used only rarely, given that you have the video elsewhere.
There are many VHS to DVD transfer services available that are affordable and ensure the highest quality picture and sound quality. You can also choose to have the footage transfer to digital, which means you can copy and edit it on your home computer.
Place the tapes upright vertically
A lot of people put old VHS tapes in large cardboard boxes for ease of storage. Unfortunately, this isn’t going to give them the best chance of staying in good mint. If they are laying flat for a long particularly long time (months or years) gravity can cause the tape to sag on the reel, which can result in a poor quality picture.
Use plastic cases to store you tape
If you have a particularly valuable or important tape and you have lost or don’t have the case for it, you might consider going and buying one. Airtight plastic cases are ideal. They will help keep dust and moisture out of the tape which can cause damage in the long term and make reduce picture and sound quality.
Store the tapes in a cool, dry place
Generally, a cupboard will do just fine. Keep away the tapes from direct sunlight and any kind of heat. Avoid humid places and moist environment to give the tapes a long life. Your room temperature should just be ideal and dry.
Do not store near magnetic devices
Avoid placing your VHS tapes near magnetic devices and speakers when you’re not using. Tapes are essentially made of a lot of small magnets to create a record. Because of this nature of VHS tapes, magnetic devices and loudspeakers can distort your record, damage your tapes, or even erase them in some cases.
Rewind after watching
Remember to rewind the tape every time you finish watching or before you store it. It’s essential because it keeps the tape tight and responsive, as well as avoids sagging.
Handle your tapes carefully
Unfortunately, even if you do everything to keep your VHS tapes in tip-top shape, they are eventually going to be unusable one day. Speak to Cineclair Productions today about our VHS to DVD and VHS to digital transfer services and ensure you have backups forever!
How to Store Vinyl Records for Longevity
Vinyl records are great for music, but they are comparatively fragile than VHS tapes and therefore, in need of careful storing. Below are some of the effective techniques to store vinyl records and keep them in good condition.
It’s no surprise that you have to be extra careful when you’re handling vinyl records. Try not to touch the surface or any part of the record that possibly has storage. Hold them only by the edges and the inner label. Dirt, sweats, prints can affect the music negatively, so keep it clean at all times.
Clean with a record cleaning brush
Use a carbon fibre brush to clean off the vinyl record each time before and after you play it. Gently hold the brush over the record and spin it slowly to remove dust without damaging the record surface. Record cleaning brushes can be found in your local music store, or you can purchase one online.
Deep clean with a record cleaning agent
If necessary, use a verified record cleaning agent to wipe off dust and dirt from your vinyl record. Be very careful while using cleaning solutions because they can permanently damage the record. You can use a mixture of alcohol and distilled water for a homemade solution, or buy a record cleaning agent from nearby music stores.
Minimise exposure to air
When you’re not using your record, always store them in proper sleeves to minimise contacts with air. Airborne dust and debris can affect the record’s surface and damage the music quality for good.
Avoid humidity, direct sunlight and heat
Store your vinyl records away from direct sunlight and excessive heat. Avoid humid environment to keep off moisture, choose cool and dry places as your records’ storage.
Convert vinyl record to another format
As much as we love vinyl records as collectable items, it is also clear that maintaining them can be a handful nowadays. It’s been a long time since vinyl records were the go-to audio format. While they’re very strong, they get scratches easily and accumulate dirt and dust that takes its toll on the music. Transferring old vinyl records to CD is a considerable way to ensure the record’s longevity. There are services who provide Vinyl to CD conversion and guarantee the highest sound quality. Contact the professionals at Cineclair Productions about our Vinyl to CD services today.
There’s something special about old fashioned media devices like films, vinyl records, and VHS tapes. While these collectable items still hold special places in our life, storing and keeping them secure for a longer time should be a concern. Follow our guide and consider using VHS to digital, VHS to DVD, and vinyl to CD conversion for the safekeeping of your treasured memories and enjoying them at the same time.