Let’s say it went like this: you’ve recently browsed the record collection your uncle’s left you. You didn’t know he was such an avid record collector until the unfortunate thing happened (we won’t get into that). Anyway, let’s also say that you’ve noticed that, while being something you’d call rarities, some of the records seem to be warped. If this little intro sounds even the tiniest bit familiar to you, you must’ve wondered: are warped records worth anything? Needless to say, you’re minutes away from finding out! 

You’ll have a hard time selling warped records online, even if we’re talking about a minor warp. However, that doesn’t mean warped records are worthless. There are methods you can utilize to fix your faulty records. For instance, you can put a warped record between two heavy books and simply give it a few weeks to flatten. 

Skimming through the snippet won’t fix your warped records nor will you find out whether they’re worth anything. So, yeah, read the whole thing! Make sure to also check out our blog to learn what to do with stickers on records and whether they are worth anything.

Table of Contents

How do vinyl records end up warped?

Before we consider whether vinyl records have any value, let’s see what causes them to end up in such a condition in the first place. So, what’s the deal with warped records? 

You’ll want to know that there isn’t a single cause why vinyl records get warped. There are many reasons why that happens, but here are the two most common ones: 

  • Heat, or direct sunlight. Once vinyl records heat up, they become soft and will warp into a certain shape depending, of course, on the pressure that’s applied to them. Also, here are some facts: a vinyl record will begin to warp at a temperature of 140°F (60°C). If the temperature reaches 212°F (100°C), it will begin to melt. 
  • Pressure. Even without outside heat, vinyl records can warp under pressure. There’s probably no need to emphasize that one must be very careful when storing vinyl records. 

Wait, but can you still play warped records?

Well, it depends, really. If the warp’s a minor one and you can’t say that it’s not hurting the main portion of the records, then there’s a chance that you might still be able to play it. On the other hand, if the record looks like it’s seen better days, then it most likely won’t be playable. All in all: even if we’re talking about a minor warp, you’ll probably have some issues playing the record. 

Okay, you can say those were the basics. Without further ado, let’s tackle the main question this article has proposed: are warped records worth anything? 

Are warped records worth anything?

We’ll try our best to be as little discouraging as possible, but here’s the thing: a warp, even if it’s a minor one, will most likely affect the price for which you’re trying to sell your vinyl. Also, don’t think you can get away with not mentioning the warp in the item’s description. That won’t do you any good, trust us. Read our blog to find out if small scratches on vinyl are normal and how they affect your records’ worth.

However, we still haven’t answered the main question: are warped records worth anything? Here’s our answer: even though your records are warped, this doesn’t mean that they’re worthless. If it’s a minor warp and you’re still able to play it – there’s still a small chance you’ll be able to sell it in such a state, although you probably won’t get rich from the transaction. Quite the contrary! 

Anyway, there’s also the possibility of fixing the warped records. In the rest of this text, we’ll show you ways you can fix your faulty records. Also, we’ll include some words on the proper storage methods. Just so you don’t have to deal with warped records ever again. Stick around! 

How to fix warped records?

As we’ve said, here we’ll introduce you to some ideas on how to fix your warped records. Let’s not waste time, but kick-start this section! Be sure to also take a look at our blog and learn how to remove shrink wrap from vinyl.

Idea #1: Pressure & time

Even though it sounds like some book that philosophy majors would pretend that they’ve read, this idea might just solve all your warped-records-related problems. Anyway, this solution’s alright if you’re not in a hurry. That’s because some good time will have to pass before your records straighten. Here’s the main idea: you put the record between two large books (or similar items) and wait, wait for, most likely, weeks on end. 

Putting your record(s) between two heavy items in order to straighten them out is probably the most effortless way to do it. Constant pressure will do its thing, while you sit & wait. Try not to add a ton of weight in the process, and clean your records before you put them in the sandwich. 

Don’t have to wait as much? If so, we’ve got another suggestion! 

Idea #2: Pressure & heat

Somehow, this title doesn’t sound like something a philosophy major would talk about. Guess that’s got something to do with time and all. Anyway, here’s a suggestion for folks who don’t have weeks to waste, waiting around for pressure to handle everything. 

A small disclaimer before we begin: if you stumble upon some article telling you that you should fix a warped record by placing it between two large glass panels and putting it in the oven, make sure you steer clear from implementing such an idea. In other words, don’t put your records in the oven. 

Okay, so here’s a little step-by-step guide on how to flatten your warped records using a combo of pressure and heat:

  1. Clean your warped vinyl record in a thorough manner. 
  2. Allow the item to dry. 
  3. Clean two 12×12-inch (or bigger) ceramic (or marble glossy) tiles. Keep in mind: the larger, the better. 
  4. Find a way to heat the tiles. You can do it by using hot water or the oven. Also, you don’t want them too hot as that might melt the poly sleeves. 
  5. If you’ve used water, make sure you dry the tiles completely. 
  6. The next step’s pretty obvious: just put the record between the tiles. 
  7. Place something heavy on top of the tiles & let the whole thing sit like that until the record’s temperature’s back to normal. 
  8. You might need to repeat this process. 

Idea #3: Record flattener, anyone?

Okay, so we’ve said the that first idea was a bit on the effortless side. But, what about this one? Did you know that there are companies manufacturing vinyl record flatenners? Now that you do, let’s see whether it’s worth it to spend some good money buying such an item

Here’s the thing: buying a record flattener isn’t the most popular idea out there since they’ve received mixed reviews. That’s because most of these you’ll find for a cheap sum ain’t too good. However, the ones that are good are quite expensive. So, yeah, it’s not like we’d suggest you do this. 

Alright, that’s that in terms of ideas on how to fix your warped records. Now we’ll see how you can prevent the so-called warping scenario in the first place. In other words, let’s see how you should maintain your records. If you want to learn how to save hype stickers, check out our blog for tips.

How to prevent records from warping?

Last but not least, here are some vinyl record maintenance tips! By following these, you’ll make sure that you won’t have to deal with warped records anytime in the future. Okay, shall we start?

#1 Keep your records away from direct sunlight

As we’ve mentioned at the beginning of this article, leaving your trusty vinyl records in sunlight or close to direct heat exposure will result in warping. So, yeah, avoid keeping your records near windows or any (potential) heat sources. Also, keep one thing in mind: you should never leave your records inside the car on a hot summer day. It’s a mistake that most folks make, so avoid it. 

#2 Avoid stacking your records

That’s right! You shouldn’t store your vinyl stacked on top of each other. That’s because you’re dealing with items that are relatively heavy. Therefore, the records that end up on the bottom will have to endure some serious pressure, and pressure will, of course, cause your records to warp. If for any reason you have no other choice but to stack your records, read how long vinyls can be stacked in our blog.

#3 Store your records away from humidity

Even though your basement seems like the best place to store your records, you should avoid it if you want your records to enjoy a safer environment. The humidity one can stumble upon in a basement won’t do anything good to your vinyl collection. Quite the opposite!

You’ll want to find a place that isn’t excessively humid. If you don’t have any other options except the good ol’ basement, install a dehumidifier. 

Final thoughts

Alright, folks, that’s about all there’s to say when it comes to the question of warped records being worth anything. We’re sure that you’ll do your best at trying to fix the issue with these tips we’ve shared above. Anyway, if you’re on the lookout for more record-collection-related info, pay a visit to our blog