Any tips for whitening paulsons?

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I saw the thread below about whitening plastic chips with H2O2 and UV light.
Has anybody tried that on clay chips?
Are there other more conventional cleaners that have worked for whitening chips?
These chips are all cleaned with TSP substitute, dishwashing soap, soaked and scrubbed. But as you can see, even though the dirt has been cleaned off, the old, used chips remain dingy, compared to the few that probably saw little play.
Anybody have anything that works?
425EFDFE-A7F4-4BF6-A27F-35028642514C.jpeg
 

Alex Lundstrum

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When I cleaned some Horseshoe Clevelands, I ended up using a Magic Eraser on the white chips. There is much debate on using these as they are an abrasive and will remove a small amount of material, but it worked wonders on the chips, came out bright white, which no amount of scrubbing with TSP would do.
 

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Try letting them soak in mixture of OxiClean and warm water for 15 min or so. That has worked for me.
 

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When I cleaned some Horseshoe Clevelands, I ended up using a Magic Eraser on the white chips. There is much debate on using these as they are an abrasive and will remove a small amount of material, but it worked wonders on the chips, came out bright white, which no amount of scrubbing with TSP would do.
I’m one of the guys who avoids magic erasers as much as possible. Partly because they’re abrasive, but mostly because they’re very labor-intensive to use.
I’m gonna try oxyclean first.
 

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The magic eraser should work.
It really doesn’t. I just scrubbed the top half of this chip with a magic eraser and I can’t see that it made any difference. I’ve got it next to a white one for comparison, though the difference between the two chips is not showing up great in this light.
3BD8F79A-DB31-4796-824A-B0947B9978D5.png
 

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I’m just commenting here so I don’t miss out on anything lol.. I’m new what about those ultrasonic cleaners are they worth it?
 

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Just keep the soak times short for older-style shaped inlays.
That’s interesting, Dave. Is it something about the shaped inlay or the older style? Those Rio chips I posted have are the same age and material as the shapes inlays, but obviously not shaped.
What would you say is a short soak time?
5 min?
15 min?
30 min?
 

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It really doesn’t. I just scrubbed the top half of this chip with a magic eraser and I can’t see that it made any difference. I’ve got it next to a white one for comparison, though the difference between the two chips is not showing up great in this light.
View attachment 456915

I never soak more then like 5 minutes, they really don’t need more then that and you might get some inlay damage if you leave them to long. The oxy is more to remove the dirt and hooker juice not the stains. I have a bunch of older AC $1’s that have a similar yellowing issue and I am guessing here but I believe they are discolored from years of cigarette smoke. Unfortunately you will likely never get them as white as the newer looking chip in your picture.
 

BGinGA

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That’s interesting, Dave. Is it something about the shaped inlay or the older style? Those Rio chips I posted have are the same age and material as the shapes inlays, but obviously not shaped.
What would you say is a short soak time?
5 min?
15 min?
30 min?
15 minutes will certainly pose a significant risk for seepage under most shaped inlays -- I'd keep it to 5 minutes or less, and go with multiple soaks (if needed) to brighten up the chip, letting it thoroughly dry between soaks (like days of drying).

Older round inlay chips also face a (lesser) risk, simply because they a) don't have a plastic laminate, and b) are often made of paper.

But the shaped inlays definitely absorb water/oil faster -- dunno if it's because of the extra circumference area (vs round), or if it's because the intricate edging tends to eventually lift and/or not get as sealed during pressing.

Clean water under inlays will sometimes eventually dry out clear, but not if the water gets dirty during the soak... and sometimes the paper darkens without recovery or the ink bleeds (no fix for that). Oil has a tendency to alter the appearance permanently if it gets wicked underneath.

In addition to Oxy, you might experiment trying to whiten with a hydrogen peroxide solution using a Q-tip to apply it just to the chip surface. Might work, might not, but I don't think it would harm the chip itself. Inlays? That's another matter..... and unknown.
 

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I’m just commenting here so I don’t miss out on anything lol.. I’m new what about those ultrasonic cleaners are they worth it?
I’ve never used one, but yes, I believe they’re great and worth the investment if you’re cleaning A LOT of chips. But I don’t think they’ll get rid of years old staining like this.
 

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I’ve never used one, but yes, I believe they’re great and worth the investment if you’re cleaning A LOT of chips. But I don’t think they’ll get rid of years old staining like this.

You're absolutely correct. Ultrasonics are not foolproof. They will get rid of mostly dirt and other crap that has adhered itself onto the surface of the chip, but what it will NOT do is reverse this type of staining that has likely come from prolonged environmental exposure or something that has directly reacted with the materials on the chip surface, or penetrated below.

An abrasive might be the only way to go here. The easiest way to tell if it might work is to first use your abrasive (magic eraser, or whatever) on the rolling edge of the chip. Line up a barrel of the chips in an old rack. Dampen your magic eraser. Then work lightly but furiously over the the rolling edges of the entire barrel at a time, and see if there's a difference in 'cleanliness' over the erased area compared to the parts beside them. If so, then it will continue to work. Rotate the barrel, and keep at it.

When it comes time to do the faces, you should see a similar improvement to any you saw on the rolling edge. I have yet to do any permanent damage to the hat and cane portion of a chip mold with magic eraser work.

I'm not sure I'd be willing to try the peroxide method on a surface as porous as compression clay. Plastics, yes.
 

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I’m just commenting here so I don’t miss out on anything lol.. I’m new what about those ultrasonic cleaners are they worth it?

Most people who don't need to clean at least a couple thousand chip on a semi-regular basis will not require an ultrasonic cleaner (unless you plan/need to use it to clean lots of other things as well).

If you were hosting a weekly (or more frequent) game with 1 table where a few hundred chips will get used constantly in and out, then you'd probably only need to use the ultrasonic on them twice a year. If you've got a monthly game, you probably only need to clean once every few years.

Out of all the chips I've received, handled, sold, or bought, the only once I haven't cleaned with the ultrasonic were the Jack Detroit (because they were mint unplayed when I received them), the Big Easy Casino (ditto), and most of my ASMs (because they react badly with the detergent I use in the cleaner).
 

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Here’s some an oxyclean result. I tried doing single chips for 5 min, 10 min, 15 min, and 20 min. I didn’t notice much of a result after a 5 minute soak. But a 15 minute soak made a noticible difference. 20 minutes do don’t seem much better than 15, but still no inlay damage. Here’s a comparison. This chip that I’ve tried to mark with a yellow line, was just as dingy as his neighbors. After a 20 minute soak, he’s much whiter. Not factory white, but much much better.
DB84BF2D-CF16-4B4B-8D45-A7F5BB201D9D.jpeg
 

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At first I mistakenly thought the darker blue spots of the upper chips faded after the oxi. (which they can if left too long)
1589573577175.png


But then I realized you're just talking about just the bottom 9 chips, with the 1 whitened chip in between -- nice results, thanks for sharing!
1589573523816.png
 

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At first I mistakenly thought the darker blue spots of the upper chips faded after the oxi. (which they can if left too long)
View attachment 459569

But then I realized you're just talking about just the bottom 9 chips, with the 1 whitened chip in between -- nice results, thanks for sharing!
View attachment 459567
Thanks for clearing it up. I rushed through that pic - should have edited it better
 

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That came out pretty good. I might have to soak some of mine again to see if they come whiter.
 
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