Chip cleaning first time

Junior24xx

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Just cleaned about 30 aztar, lucky derby and paradice chips using the oxy-clean and Magic eraser method.
How much is that ultrasonic cleaner?
image.jpg
 

Tommy

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They look pretty good. A magic eraser, warm water and Dawn (or Oxy) is a proven method. No doubt about it.
The ultra sonic method has two benefits over it IMO, it cleans the same or better with almost no effort and it saves lots of time. (especially when you have hundreds of chips to clean)
 

ski_ex5

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They look pretty good. A magic eraser, warm water and Dawn (or Oxy) is a proven method. No doubt about it.
The ultra sonic method has two benefits over it IMO, it cleans the same or better with almost no effort and it saves lots of time. (especially when you have hundreds of chips to clean)

In my opinion, I'd say at least three benefits. I admit I may be the Lone Ranger here, but I really dislike the chip fading you get with the longer hotter (relative to ultrasonic) Oxi baths, particularly with most reds, purples, and some greens. The fading is most noticeable on the edges of the chips.

See the three racks of Empress secondary SCV $25 chips (all cleaned and oiled) in the photo below.
  • Left Rack - $25 chips (darker green variety) cleaned in a "nice hot bath of Oxi" by the previous owner.
  • Middle Rack - $25 chips (darker green variety) ultrasonic cleaned with sodium metasilicate (details in my Ultrasonic Chip Cleaning thread). Well... there's a barrel of primary hundos in there, too!
  • Right Rack - $25 chips (lighter green variety), also ultrasonic cleaned.
To me, the fading of the Oxi cleaned chips is so bad that it almost makes the darker green version secondary $25 chips look like a different color, which is why I put the lighter green version chips in the photo for comparison.

If you're going to do manual cleaning, and if the fading bothers you, I recommend considering cooler temperatures (115F or less), shorter bath times (10 min or less), and using a light concentration of Dawn rather than Oxi. That will mean more scrubbing with the Magic Eraser and/or toothbrush, but it will help limit some of the color fading.

If anyone else has any other suggestions for reducing chip fading with manual cleaning, please share!

Empress_Oxi_Chip_Fading.jpg
 

beaver

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I've only cleaned a handful of chips, and only using a Magic Eraser in a warm water with a few drops of dish soap. Even with this process, I was surprised by how much color ended up on the Magic Eraser. Red was by far the worst. I can't imagine how bad it would be with oxy-clean.
 

guinness

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Although I have vowed to never be put into a situation where I need to clean chips again (such a pain in the ass), I will voice not to underestimate DAWN dish detergent and warm water. Personally I like filling up my kitchen sink with warm water and Dawn, let the chips soak for 20 minutes, then shove them around under water to loosen any remaining dirt then some spot checking. It worked great for these Bicycle fracs. Before, nasty and gross. After, so delicious looking you want to bite into that awesome mold.

BikesDirty.jpgbikes.jpg
 

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I am not a pro cleaner by any stretch however I have cleaned about 2500-3000 chips and from my experience Oxi does fade as mentioned. To me this is just not acceptable so after testing the methods I did all by hand with a quick dip in room temp water and dawn followed by a good nail brush scrub for paulson par-a-dice. For my Hard Rock ceramic just a damp magic eraser does the trick just fine.

yes this is much slower than Oxi but I just really don't want to damage the chips so I took the slow but sure method.
 

Tommy

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I've only cleaned a handful of chips, and only using a Magic Eraser in a warm water with a few drops of dish soap. Even with this process, I was surprised by how much color ended up on the Magic Eraser. Red was by far the worst. I can't imagine how bad it would be with oxy-clean.

I've only notice the color transfer with dark blue chips. I don't think I have cleaned and red chips yet. I've use different brand erasers, but prefer the original Mr. Clean Magic Eraser even though they fall apart faster.
 

OklahomaBill

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I guess I need to find some grubbier friends to play poker with. I haven't really noticed my chips getting very dirty. Of course most of my peers have regular Manicures and servants to do the manual labor around our Estates.

I have been been know to take my silk handkerchief dampened with Perrier to a spot of Caviar once. Needless to say the scoundrel was banned for life. I kind of miss Father.

Bill

Mild detergent, warm water, soft brush.
 

Shaggy

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I guess I need to find some grubbier friends to play poker with. I haven't really noticed my chips getting very dirty. Of course most of my peers have regular Manicures and servants to do the manual labor around our Estates.

I have been been know to take my silk handkerchief dampened with Perrier to a spot of Caviar once. Needless to say the scoundrel was banned for life. I kind of miss Father.

Bill

Mild detergent, warm water, soft brush.

Most of the chip cleaning discussed in these threads is because the chips were purchased as "casino used." If nice new chips ended up looking like these after some home games... I would definitely consider getting some new friends.
 

ski_ex5

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I am not a pro cleaner by any stretch however I have cleaned about 2500-3000 chips and from my experience Oxi does fade as mentioned. To me this is just not acceptable so after testing the methods I did all by hand with a quick dip in room temp water and dawn followed by a good nail brush scrub for paulson par-a-dice. For my Hard Rock ceramic just a damp magic eraser does the trick just fine.

yes this is much slower than Oxi but I just really don't want to damage the chips so I took the slow but sure method.
Agreed. I really don't like the fading. I hate the effort of scrubbing, too, so I use the ultrasonic unit with sodium metasilicate. Maybe Shaggy or I or someone else will figure out how to keep Dawn from foaming, yet without affecting its cleaning power, such that we could use Dawn in the ultrasonic for even less fading, not to mention a safe way to clean ASM chips.


I've only notice the color transfer with dark blue chips. I don't think I have cleaned and red chips yet. I've use different brand erasers, but prefer the original Mr. Clean Magic Eraser even though they fall apart faster.
You will have <sarcasm>fun</sarcasm> with red, purple, and dark green, too! :D Agreed on the original Mr. Clean Magic Eraser, which is also great for removing light chalk marks on the chips (heavy marks like most rack checks still need an X-Acto knife), and ground-in clay dust of the wrong color. You can't remove the chalk marks or ground-in wrong color dust in the ultrasonic unit, at least, I haven't found a way.


I guess I need to find some grubbier friends to play poker with. I haven't really noticed my chips getting very dirty. Of course most of my peers have regular Manicures and servants to do the manual labor around our Estates.

I have been been know to take my silk handkerchief dampened with Perrier to a spot of Caviar once. Needless to say the scoundrel was banned for life. I kind of miss Father.

Bill

Mild detergent, warm water, soft brush.
Best post I've read in a long time! :D I will definitely try the Perrier in the ultrasonic unit. I really should have thought of that before, and I bet it's safe for ASMs. BTW, has Father learned his lesson yet? Don't be TOO hard on him.

Kidding aside, what Shaggy said about cleaning casino grime is what we're talking about mostly. Home games eventually dirty up the chips, too, though. I've found that oiling them well with Johnson's Baby Oil GEL actually helps this, I guess because it helps keep finger/hand dirt and grime from adhering to the chip, but I'm not positive. I've found this especially noticeable with WHITE Paulson chips.

Bucking the conventional wisdom (sorry Dave!), for clay chips, I apply the Johnson's Baby Oil GEL quite generously to the chips with a Kiwi shoe polish applicator (thanks to Pug, Dave, and others who suggested this applicator). I want to ensure every ring, H&C, crack, and crevice in the mold is contacted with the GEL. I then leave the chips pretty wet with the GEL for DAYS, and often over a week. Unlike non-gelled mineral oil, the Johnson's Baby Oil GEL will not get under the inlays of the chips to darken them (and I've probably done over 10k chips without a problem). The downside of all this is that removing the excess GEL is a pain, but using bar mop towels for the job makes it a little easier. Along with helping to keep the chips cleaner longer, I also find that this method keeps them looking nice much longer than regular mineral oil. Note that you can get an unscented version of the Johnson's Baby Oil GEL, too; it comes in a pink capped clear bottle.

I even use a very light coat of the Johnson's Baby Oil GEL on Chipco ceramics to help keep them cleaner longer.


Most of the chip cleaning discussed in these threads is because the chips were purchased as "casino used." If nice new chips ended up looking like these after some home games... I would definitely consider getting some new friends.
LOL! Amen!!!
 

Tommy

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I've found that oiling them well with Johnson's Baby Oil GEL actually helps this, I guess because it helps keep finger/hand dirt and grime from adhering to the chip, but I'm not positive.

But is it tasteless? I prefer my chips to be tasteless. :p
 

OklahomaBill

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Admittedly I have never personally held a poker chip as dirty looking as some of the pictures I have seen. Some of the before/after results I have seen are pretty impressive. Ultrasonic cleaners appear to do a good job and allow you to do more chips in the same amount of time. I have also seen so pretty impressive results with mild dish washing detergent and a soft brush and/or a magic eraser.

I don't have a lot of chips to clean but I do enjoy the time I have spent cleaning some chips.
stack of 100. Damp microfiber towel
 

courage

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If nice new chips ended up looking like these after some home games... I would definitely consider getting some new friends.

I'll let my players know. They are on average more degenerate than most poker players but also more clean. [emoji113]

I bought my ultrasonic to clean my 1300 pc mixed Paulson set (and others). The Flamingo $1's were all cleaned by me before being put into play and the pink Casablanca $5's and yellow hotstamped Longhorn 50c were mint but after a couple years of rotating use at my weekly game are getting grubby. I'll post some before and after pics when I do 'em.

I'd always read and believed the myth that home game chips would never get used enough to be gross. Not true. If I let mine go another couple years they'd be disgusting. In less than a decade they could rival Empress chips.
 

ChaosRock

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I'd always read and believed the myth that home game chips would never get used enough to be gross. Not true. If I let mine go another couple years they'd be disgusting. In less than a decade they could rival Empress chips.

^^^ That's been my experience as well... But I guess what surprised me the most was that different Paulson casino chips accumulated different amounts of dirt... I shuffled two barrels for a month, one of Par-a-Dice $25s and one of Ultimate Bet $100s, all chips cleaned in the exact same 'ski way'...The Par-a-Dice after a month looked like they were out of a casino table and the Ultimate Bets were as clean as a whistle... Different clay? Different color pigment? Go figure... I also shuffled a barrel of Aztar $25s Secondaries and they were super clean afterwards also...
 

ski_ex5

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^^^ That's been my experience as well... But I guess what surprised me the most was that different Paulson casino chips accumulated different amounts of dirt... I shuffled two barrels for a month, one of Par-a-Dice $25s and one of Ultimate Bet $100s, all chips cleaned in the exact same 'ski way'...The Par-a-Dice after a month looked like they were out of a casino table and the Ultimate Bets were as clean as a whistle... Different clay? Different color pigment? Go figure... I also shuffled a barrel of Aztar $25s Secondaries and they were super clean afterwards also...
GREAT point and question! All three - Par-A-Dice $25, UB $100, and Aztar $25 (Evansville, I presume) - are Paulson RHC, and reasonably close to being the same "vintage". Different colors, but other than that, pretty close.

Were any or all of the chips oiled? If so, were they oiled with the same stuff, and with the same technique?

Another possible difference: Were you shuffling the three different barrels of chips in the same LOCATION? For instance, if you were doing some at home, and some at work, and you eat a lot of pizza for lunch at work... :D
 

Junior24xx

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Just a note about the magic eraser. On both the red aztars and green paradice there was some colour transfer onto the magic eraser. I haven't done a second batch yet but when I do I'm going to try dawn and warm wager, no eraser and see how they look.
 

ski_ex5

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Just a note about the magic eraser. On both the red aztars and green paradice there was some colour transfer onto the magic eraser. I haven't done a second batch yet but when I do I'm going to try dawn and warm wager, no eraser and see how they look.
You'll always have color transfer to a Magic Eraser because it's abrading the surface of the chip, albeit very gently! Don't worry... the Magic Eraser is not fading (i.e. leeching the pigment from) your chips unless you're using hot water and/or some other harsh detergents along with it.

Regarding the abrasion from a Magic Eraser... I've looked closely, and even after scrubbing a minty chip face hard with a Magic Eraser, I haven't noticed any real loss of detail to the chip, even to the cross-hatching. If you have NEW chips with smooth *glossy* (i.e. not textured) inlays, you will notice that the Magic Eraser will ever so slightly dull the gloss finish of the inlay. If you're talking about a collector quality chip, the gloss can be quickly restored with a Dremel using a mini-buffer wheel at medium RPMs and a light touch.

Regarding the "dawn and warm wager"... I'd recommend checking your hand first. If you have pocket Aces, I'd take it up to a "hot wager". Jack/Five off-suit... I'd cool it down considerably. :rolleyes:

Sorry... it was a long day at work! :eek:
 

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Junior I just did about 1K Par-a-dice ... go to the drug store and get a fingernail brush. You will need it to get the hat and canes clean with the dawn and water. It is stiffer than a toothbrush but not stiff enough to hurt anything. Also don't let the water get too warm. Do a 1 at a time and see what works best for you at first.

PS ... eraser not so great for these much better on ceramics or a smooth mold in my opinion with exception of rolling edge if needed or if there is a non traditional stain of some sort that essentially needs to be sanded out.
 
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ChaosRock

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All of those were cleaned and oiled using the exact same process Ski... Regarding shuffling location, it's hard to say looking back... I'm assuming it was the same by the randomness of all the shuffles around the house... It was NOT the case one barrel was in the home office, another in TV room and so forth... Same for my hands oils...

I wonder if there is some sort of very light resin coating on the P-a-D as they do look shinier that most even with a lot of use... Comparing the greens P-a-D with the Aztar Secondary, one is a LOT shinier than the other although the Aztar is in better shape...

On that point, I also feel the WTH&Cs do get a little dirty faster and they are certainly shinier (for the same color) than the casinos... Maybe it's a slightly different clay composition with the same color pigments...

I have also used a Milano set for a specific 'wild crowd' game and after two years they are still brand new, almost no dirt...

GREAT point and question! All three - Par-A-Dice $25, UB $100, and Aztar $25 (Evansville, I presume) - are Paulson RHC, and reasonably close to being the same "vintage". Different colors, but other than that, pretty close.

Were any or all of the chips oiled? If so, were they oiled with the same stuff, and with the same technique?

Another possible difference: Were you shuffling the three different barrels of chips in the same LOCATION? For instance, if you were doing some at home, and some at work, and you eat a lot of pizza for lunch at work... :D
 

Andrew Marks

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I find that home Paulson chips (I have a set of Pharaoh's and a set of Classics) played with once a week get a bit grubby (as defined by starting to get those sticky black spots on the chips) after between one and two years. I have had great success cleaning such chips using a capful of high end car wash soap (such as Maguire's or Zaino) in a plastic cleaning bucket with about a gallon or two of warm water. I can put 300-400 chips in the bucket and I mix them around with my hands for 10 seconds or so and then let them soak for about 5 minutes or less. Then I rinse with cold water several times and lay out to dry on a towel. I find that this cleans the chips perfectly (the wash water is very gray). It is a painless process that takes about 30 minutes start to finish for the 800 or so chips I have in each set. Sure there may be a little fading, but nothing a little oiling can't restore. Of course the grime on casino chips may be much more severe, but this process will certainly provide some degree of cleaning for even those chips and does not require rubbing each chip or buying a sonicator and appropriate chemicals.
 

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2015-04-08 00.00.31.jpg
500 casino used chips later... dawn and hot water, then a sonic electric toothbrush and rinse. I am glad that is over.
 

72o

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Nice!!

Yeah honestly I am done cleaning chips which means I'm done buying casino used I guess...sometimes you have no choice. Given the choice though, I would pay the premium to grab unused/mint over used any day of the week. Every couple of years it seems though, I forget just how much of a pain it is to clean chips (to my satisfaction), and I go and buy some used ones. It doesn't take long before I remember why I hate it so much. Can't we (as the PCF community) just buy a couple of those ultrasonic machines and pass them around amongst us when we do need to clean chips? <<<kind of joking but maybe not.
 

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If anyone else has any other suggestions for reducing chip fading with manual cleaning, please share!
That's the reason I always used Diamond Chip Cleaner - no drying, bleaching or fading, even with chips that spent an hour (or even 24 hours) in DCC. (However, don't try this with ASMs or with hotstamped chips.)
 

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I almost bought a $25 ultra sonic jewelry cleaner to try it...can't control water temp and there is only 2 frequencies on it could of held 20 chips at a wack max...but i chickened out and went with toothbrush.
 

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The $150 or so I have spent on the ultrasonic cleaner as described in Ski's thread was a great investment. I have zero reservations about buying the next Chiproom offering of grubby used chips. Literally cleaning 1000 chips would be no big deal and be done in a single evening.
 

NiceShot

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I agree...
Nice!!

Yeah honestly I am done cleaning chips which means I'm done buying casino used I guess...sometimes you have no choice. Given the choice though, I would pay the premium to grab unused/mint over used any day of the week. Every couple of years it seems though, I forget just how much of a pain it is to clean chips (to my satisfaction), and I go and buy some used ones. It doesn't take long before I remember why I hate it so much. Can't we (as the PCF community) just buy a couple of those ultrasonic machines and pass them around amongst us when we do need to clean chips? <<<kind of joking but maybe not.

I agree... it's evil! $150 for a chip cleaner makes sense if I were buying more or 500 chips ago, but I think 3 more racks and I will be done with the dirty chip.
 
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