Card maintenance (1 Viewer)


Apr 25, 2013
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Bramalea, Ontario
Okay, maintenance for paper cards is easy . . . chuck 'em in the bin, and get your plastics out.

So, how do we keep those plastic cards looking new and flat?

Well, first thing we do is wash them periodically to get the crud off them, particularly if you allow players to eat during games.
Warm water and a VERY mild soap is all that is required. I actually use generic baby shampoo. This is a trick I learned from my daughter who uses it to care for her make-up brushes (and if you thought Kems were pricey . . .). I just fill the sink with a mild solution of warm water and baby shampoo and pitch the cards into the water . . . literally. This ensures that all surfaces get covered. Once the deck is in the bath, I lay out a clean bath towel on the table. I take each card out and wipe them down with a wash cloth, dip the cleaned card through a bowl of clean water to rinse any soapy residue off, and place the card on the towel. Once the entire deck is cleaned in this manner, I lay another towel over top and gently pat it down onto the cards. Then I let them dry. An hour or so later, I will wipe any remaining moisture away with a Sham-Wow and put my cards away.

Cleaning your cards is also a good time to check for damage. Nicks and chips are going to happen, and the cleaning process is a good time to discover things. You might also discover small little indents on your cards from time to time. the most likely cause of these marks is someone who covers their cards with a chip, or card protector in an Airtite, and then pushes down on it while pulling the cards up to see their hand. I had a set of Torcellos ruined in this fashion, and they are almost as sturdy as Modianos. Keep an eye on your players if you notice this issue.

Plastic cards will, eventually, develop a "bow" to them. How long this takes to happen depends on how often you rotate your set-ups. This "bow" can be corrected with a little bit of effort. You will need a round container with STRAIGHT sides on the interior. I started with a wide coffee cup, but now used a clean tomato can. Here is how you fix the problem . . .

1. Place your cards in the container so that they are bowed in the opposite direction to how they flex at rest.

2. Fill the container with HOT water. Not boiling water, just hot from the tap.

3. Let the cards sit until the water cools, and test them for "flatness". Repeat if necessary.

I managed to keep my Gemaco Sextants going in this fashion for over a year, until one chipped and I got rid of the deck.

Any other tips?
crazy... but I guess if you buy extra decks you can rotate them so you won't get the bowing or crud build up very often. Or you can always throw them my way...

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