The Dos and Don'ts of Videotape Care

By Jim Wheeler


  1. Store tape in a COOL and DRY place: 40° F to 70° F @ 20% to 30% RH. The environment should not vary more than ±3°F and ±5% RH.
  2. Use only new, brand-name tape when recording a tape for long-term storage.
  3. Use a Cleaning cassette after playing a damaged tape.
  4. Protect the VCR and tapes from dust.
  5. Follow the recommended maintenance practices for the VCR.
  6. Record at Standard-Speed with VHS.
  7. For long-term storage of Consumer formats, leave the tape on the take-up hub after it has been in record or play.
  8. Before recording or storing non-consumer archival tapes, shuttle the tape to the end and back.
  9. Always eject tape at the beginning or the end.
  10. Break off the Record tab to protect the recording.


  1. Don't leave VCRs or tapes in the sun or hot vehicle.
  2. Don't store tapes in a basement.
  3. Don't store tapes in a room with wood shelves or other combustibles.
  4. Don't use Extended-Play tapes for long-term storage.
  5. Don't store the tapes in cardboard sleeves/boxes (acid) or vinyl boxes (clorine).
Tape Restoration & Archival Services
1732 Tierra Nueva
Oceano, CA 93445

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