How to Clean Playing Cards? – Tips to Clean Pokemon and Magic Cards

How to Clean Playing Cards

I belong to a time when there were no cell phones or laptops. We generally played outdoor games during the day time and cards after that. So for me, cards are actually a magical play and sweet memories of my childhood. Playing cards is the best way to sharpen your brain. But of course, card games were incomplete without snacks! Being children, I always had something to eat during any card games. You can imagine how dirty a card deck can become when 5 to 10 kids play with it while eating!

So just like mine, if your cards become dirty after each play session, you have to take a little extra care to keep them clean. Dirt on your cards makes shuffling difficult. So, it is essential to keep your cards clean. So here, I am mentioning a few methods to clean them. I have tried and tested all of them!  You are free to pick your favorite from these!

How to Clean Playing Cards?

1. Wet Tissues

Wet Tissues
If your cards are not very dirty, but you want to clean them after one or two uses, wet wipes can be of great help. Keep wipes or tissues handy at your place and clean your cards after game day. This way, you can protect your cards for a longer period and get rid of dust, dirt, or crunchies.

2. Cornflour or Talcum Powder

Cornflour or Talcum Powder

You can clean your magic cards quickly using this secure method. Get some help from the basic household stuff. Firstly, take a paper bag and add several tablespoons of cornflour and talcum powder in it. Seal the bag and shake well. Then, take a paper towel and wipe off each card. This way, you can quickly get rid of oil and grease marks from the cards. The cornstarch will absorb the oils & residue without the need for water.

3. White Bread

White Bread

If you want to remove stains of fingerprints, rub the card with a piece of white bread. Make sure that the bread is fresh and soft. After a few repetitions, take a dry cloth and wipe all the cards. This method not only cleans the cards but also provides shine.

4. Cold Water and Mild Soap

Many of you may have plastic cards. So, how do you clean plastic playing cards? Well, plastic cards are easy to clean. If you have high-quality plastic-coated cards, you can try this method. Take a clean microfiber towel or old lint-free cloth. Dampen it with cold water. You can also add a little amount of mild dish soap or shampoo. Rub the damp cloth over both sides and clean them again with a dry cloth. Never use detergent instead of soap as it may harm your deck.

Also, try to keep the cleaning and drying process fast. You can also leave them on the bed for drying. Avoid direct sunlight, though. Some people even suggest using hair dryers or microwave to dry wet cards. But, these techniques are a big no for plastic cards. They can surely speed up the process but can also cause other issues with your favorite deck of cards.

5. Camphor Spirits and Cotton Balls

Reviving old cards is quite a complicated process. Such playing cards may need special attention and extra time. To clean the super dirty deck, you should dampen a cotton ball with the spirits of camphor. Then, wipe off each playing card with it. If you don’t find cotton balls around, you can use crust-free white bread with Camphor spirit. This method is highly effective to make your old cards look entirely new.

Things to Keep in Mind

  • Using water or solvents on playing cards can cause warping.
  • If your cards are badly stained or greasy, it is time to buy a new set of cards.
  • Plastic cards may fade in hot water. So, always use cold water to clean cards.
  • Never scrub cards with cleaning tools. Always use a microfiber towel for cleaning.
  • If your card box is ripped or lost, store the cards in a travel soap bar container.
  • You can also consider old bounce sheets to wipe out any plastic-coated cards.
  • It is suggested not to buy inexpensive cards for better quality.

How to Clean Pokemon Cards?

How to Clean Pokemon Cards

It is advisable to prevent your playing cards from getting dirty in the first place. It is the best approach to protect your Pokemon cards or magic cards for a longer period by card sleeves. So, always keep a few hand-wipes ready and don’t feel shy to tell your guests to clean their hands after eating. Or, don’t offer greasy or oily snacks at the time of playing cards. The oils are easily transferable to the cards and make them sticky. 

If your cards have nasty stains and fingerprints, then buy a fine art gum eraser or dough. These products can help you to clean your favorite card decks. This process removes loose dirt from your card’s surface and provides shine. Work slowly and gently. Check these amazing playing card facts here.

These are my top five ideas to clean magic cards. I hope you have found these tips and tricks useful. Try each method once and decide the best one for you according to your card’s type. Happy playing and cleaning!

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