It's fascinating to think about the many different formats we've all gone through in just a couple of decades. It doesn't seem like this transition will be slowing down any time soon, though, which is something to keep in mind.
You might think that VHS is still alive in some parts of the world, but you would be wrong. CDs and DVDs have already become somewhat obsolete.
So, what are you supposed to do with those old VHS tapes?
Is it worth saving those old home movies, or should you get rid of them so they won't be in the way when you move again?
The good news is that you can still get a lot of use out of them. There are plenty of creative things to do with these old video cassettes so long as they're not moldy or damaged too severely already.
One option would be to digitize your old VHS tapes. There are services like iMemories that take your old media and convert them into modern digital format. We will talk more about these services later in the article.
Throwing Away Old VHS Tapes
It's not so simple throwing out old VHS tapes with the rest of your garbage. All audio, Betamax, and video formats almost always have a plastic casing, which should be recycled.
Throwing entire VHS tapes is not recommended because that would cause immense pollution, and it's illegal too.
When it comes to tape insides, they are created from a different plastic material that you can't recycle. Plus, the magnetic tape contains metal which can be toxic.
Tapes alone won't represent an issue as long they don't start to disintegrate. But even though the toxicity of e-waste is high, tapes still contain more than enough to qualify as such.
Most people are aware that throwing away any metal can lead to pollution. Yet, most do not know or understand how this affects our environment more than the stench itself.
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How to Recycle Old Tapes?
After you decide to throw away your VHS tapes, how can you ensure that it's done right?
Unfortunately, the magnetic strips inside the casing are not easily recyclable. Therefore, they need to be disposed of differently so that metals won’t be in contact with someone and ensure they don't compromise anybody's health.
The best thing you can do is find a local recycling company that specializes in techno trash. They will ensure these old recordings are disposed of safely and efficiently so they don't harm anyone else after disposal.
To find the nearest center to service your VHS tapes, try Earth 911.
Donate VHS Tapes
You can get rid of those old movies without sending them into a landfill. If you hate the idea of throwing away or recycling old VHS tapes, why not donate them.
Did you know that there are markets and collectors out there just waiting for your vintage VHS tapes? Maybe the perfect solution is right in front of you, but it could also be someone else's treasure.
You can post on eBay or Facebook Marketplace and other websites such as Craigslist, so it can get noticed by someone who will appreciate its value as much as you do.
How To Store Old VHS Tapes?
VHS tapes should be stored in a cool, dry place so they won't degrade as quickly. The best way to keep your old VHS collection is out of direct sunlight for optimal playback quality.
Please do not leave tapes in a VHS player where they can get stuck or accumulate more dust and debris.
Store your VHS tapes away from anything magnetic. In some instances, the magnetic fields can erase the contents of tapes.
VHS tapes should not be stored alongside speakers, which may contain magnets. Surge protectors and high-voltage electrical lines can also disrupt their magnetic fields.
Store Them Using Cases
You should always take care not just of the tapes, but also their packaging. In other words: be sure to store them in their original plastic wrap or boxes.
If you don't have a case for your old videos, there is always an easy solution. Local video stores usually sell plastic cases that fit all the same size tapes, and they are not expensive at all.
The most important thing is that they will do an excellent job protecting your tapes from moisture or dust. This is the primary step of ensuring this never occurs, which will preserve the video and audio quality for many years to come.
Keep VHS Tapes In Upright Position
Some of the things we've talked about so far have been relatively logical and something you may already know how to do. However, these tips won't be as apparent for some people.
If you want to save your VHS tapes for a long time, ensure they are stored vertically. If not in use and left lying horizontally, gravity will slowly degrade the quality of the picture.
One of the most important steps to preserving your old VHS tapes is rewinding them after watching. This will keep their responsiveness and tightness so they can last for many years before degrading and becoming unplayable.
Archiving and restoring old-school media is the best thing you can do. The sooner you do it, the better. With each passing day, the quality of your memories will decrease.
Best Solution: Converting Old VHS To Digital
Those looking to preserve their wedding videos, home movies, and other types of unique content for posterity's sake should know that tapes are not necessarily antiquated.
There are multiple ways of converting the content found on VHS tapes into digital files that any computer can play. And apart from ensuring you don't lose those videos, it is also possible to create an emotional gift for your loved ones with digitizing services.
This is the easiest and safest option to digitize memories without losing original files forever.
In our best video digitizing service 2022 guide you can find out which one we deem the best.
iMemories - Best Way To Convert Old VHS To DVD, Digital & USB
Do you have old VHS home movies that are sitting in a box somewhere, gathering dust? Well, with iMemories, it's possible to convert them into digital format.
iMemories is an easy way to have your memories preserved on multiple devices. A company that specializes in converting retro footage and returning your original copies along with new digital format. You can transform all those home movies and photos from years ago into a digital format so they will be accessible no matter what device you use.
iMemories is a digital photo and video management service that turns all of your home movies into an easily downloadable format. You can then take them on the go with you, so they're always available for viewing at any time.
If you would like to read more about converting old VHS tapes, you can do so by reading our full iMemories review.
Restoring Damaged Memories
The iMemories process is a little different depending on the amount of footage or photographs that you have.
It is essential to be aware of the nature and conditions in which old things will age. For example, old videos, slides, or negatives appear damaged when they are just covered with dust.
iMemories is a company that will accept any of your old memories, so you don't have to worry about the condition. Once they receive it, each piece gets cleaned by digital restoration specialists for them not to fall apart with time.
The good news is that iMemories can restore any torn film reels. In addition to this, the company has a team of specialists skilled in seamlessly splicing together multiple films into one long movie.
iMemories cloud is a fantastic place where you can access your film from any device. You'll be able to watch, edit and share the content with family members on every modern device.
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Why iMemories is a Good Choice
You can rely on iMemories for your precious memories. They're a company that has been in operation for years, and it's their job to make sure you have your memories back. They digitally transfer over six hundred thousand photos each year - so they know what needs doing.
iMemories has built a reputation for delivering the best possible customer service for your film and photo memories.
iMemories takes great care to return your original films, photographs, and videos in a better state than when they left and give you the newly digitized memories.
Storage After Digitizing
Video files can be saved to any cloud storage platform, such as Google Drive; you have 2GB of cloud storage with a free Gmail account. All cloud platforms ensure safety and reliability, but they allow users to easily share their files with others.
Now is the perfect time to clear out your closet and garage. You can get a digital copy of all those old family photos that will last longer than you think.
The process of digitizing old family footage can be an overwhelming one. Many companies offer this service, but we recommend iMemories because they have a well-established reputation for professional quality and customer satisfaction.
You can view your content online on a PC or through an app. Opt to get copies on the disc, so you don't have to worry about taking up space with physical media.
Yes, VHS tapes can be recycled. You'll need to find a recycling center that takes them for the process. The energy from these old videos will go towards green electricity production and landfill savings - so what's not to recycle.
With the rise of DVD and streaming services, many charity shops will no longer accept VHS tapes for sale. However, there are still some vintage stores that might buy them from you.
The old VHS tapes are safe until they start to deteriorate, but there's plenty of toxic metal in them to be categorized as electronic waste. You can't just dump your old tapes in nature. Those metals will eventually leak out and potentially contaminate land and water sources.
VHS tapes have a lifespan that varies depending on the tape quality and care of ownership. Generally speaking, 10–25 years will see about 10-20% degradation in the footage. Store them in a cool place with low humidity without exposure to extreme heat/cold conditions.
It's essential to clean your old VHS tapes because they can accumulate dirt and dust over time. The worst thing that can happen to a VHS tape is molding. You may need a mechanical cleaner, but it might be hard to find one. There are plenty of other cleaning solutions like alcohol or VHS cleaner fluid. For those who can't find or afford an expensive machine, there's always manual removal of the film, which may take some time but should still leave the tape clean enough for storage and handling without risk of contamination in safe conditions over long periods.
Abdo is a Zoopy writer who loves spending his free time outdoors, camping, and enjoying the peace that nature brings. He also enjoys fixing things - he's particularly good with electronics. His favorite movie is I Am Legend, and he's fascinated by survival gear and safety.