Magic Eraser, warm water and 10 seconds

KingZilla

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The magic eraser method sounds good. Probably easier on the hands. I used the Dawn bath with dish pan type scrub brush. After my first batch of chips it was necessary to wear a glove on the chip holding hand. I was holding each chip in my palm and going at it with the brush, not realizing I was brushing the exposed skin on my hand too! The method did work fine though (with the glove). Quick soak in warm dawn bath and take each chip making a circular motion with the brush over the chip, then if any stubborn spots remained, an up and down or side to side brush as needed. All my chips cleaned up great. LOT of work though so now I TRY to buy new chips whenever possible.
 

Tommy

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Holding the chip in the palm of your hand works well but a magic eraser will do the same to your hand if you clean the chips that way. I know! ;) I used gloves the last time I did it that way. If I ever had to clean more chips, I will either use ski_ex5's method if it's a lot of chips or DCC and a microfiber if not so many.
 

ski_ex5

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I've read about many different ways to clean chips, but this way couldn't be easier.
Really?! I mean... seriously??? :D Challenge accepted!

I'll spot you, I am a big fan of Magic Erasers for light rack checks and other marks on chips other than dirt and grime. However, let's compare time and effort for 1,000 chips (general cleaning only - no dry time, rack check removal, etc. included):

Manual cleaning with Magic Eraser
1000 chips * 10 sec/chip / 60 sec/min = 166.67 min or ~2.8 hours of manual scrubbing.

Ultrasonic cleaning in TSP
1000 chips / 40 chips/batch * 45 sec/batch / 60 sec/min = 18.75 min or ~0.3 hours with NO manual scrubbing.

To be fair, the ultrasonic cleaner costs more than a few dozen Magic Erasers, but it also does a more effective job at removing dirt and grime from small deep recesses (especially the Paulson LCV mold, and the thin radial lines on some Bud Jones chips). Along with the greatly increased speed, I especially love the "zero manual scrubbing/brushing" part.

Sorry, Tommy... I would have sworn that you already knew this, but hey, I had to call you on *that* bet! :D

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Holding the chip in the palm of your hand works well but a magic eraser will do the same to your hand if you clean the chips that way. I know! ;) I used gloves the last time I did it that way.
Gloves: Excellent advice!

Don't hold the chip in your hand: Excellent advice!

When I *do* use a Magic Eraser, I place the wet Magic Eraser on top of a wet sponge. Wearing thin latex gloves, I hold the chip by the edges between my thumb and index finger and swipe the chip gently back and forth a few times across the top of the Magic Eraser. For tough rack check marks, I find CT member Gear-X's technique of using an X-Acto knife works best (described in a Poker Chip Care post on CT).
 

Tommy

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You quoted me from March 2013. LOL

For a small amount of chips or doing a one time batch, using dish soap, warm water and a magic eraser OR DCC/TSP and no scrubbing or minimal scrubbing is the way to go IMO. Just not worth the cost of a sonic cleaner that would probably never get used again.

If I had a 1000+ chips to clean or plan on buying hundreds of used dirty chips, then your method is much easier. I thought we already came to that conclusion.
 

ski_ex5

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WOW! My serious BAD in a really BIG WAY!

I was surprised by your post (for obvious reasons), and immediately checked the post date, and I saw April, 2014... so I thought! Obviously, I was wrong! Man, old age is a terrible thing. (But not a Terrible's thing!)

Sorry about that! :D
 

Tommy

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Geeze...don't be so hard on yourself. Go sonic! :cool:
 

ski_ex5

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http://www.harborfreight.com/ultrasonic-cleaner-3305.html

Something like this? I only have a 2 racks of empress $5's to clean, very similar condition to the pres chips earlier in the thread so it wouldnt take long with a magic eraser, but I am sure I could find something else to clean with it as well.
I'd strongly recommend something better. Your link points to an inexpensive, small, presumably very low power (they don't even list the power, which is a clue), single transducer unit marketed for cleaning jewelry.

Even assuming that the unit is powerful enough to eventually get the job done, you'll clean far fewer chips at a time, and the chips will be in the ultrasonic TSP bath for a much longer time, which is not a good thing. Especially with red, purple, and some dark green chips, the long bath times will result in significant *permanent* fading of the chip edges. Note that even with short bath times, the faces will appear faded, but that's just a result of the strong detergent/surfactant drying out the chip, and the deep color comes back completely after oiling the chips.

See my "Ultrasonic Chip Cleaning" post in this same forum for details, but I bought the Hornady dual transducer ultrasonic cleaner, which has worked exceptionally well. Also note that I need to update my post, as I've switched from using Oxi Clean to TSP (trisodium phosphate), which works SIGNIFICANTLY better and faster and Oxi in an ultrasonic unit. Here are the key differences:

- I'm using 2 tablespoons of TSP in 8 cups of distilled water.
- I'm now keeping the TSP/water temp down at only 100˚F.
- I modified the chip barrel cage with four "quick ties" that provide edges inside the cage to give much better chip turnover while rotating the barrel cage.
- I'm now cleaning 40 chips at a time.
- The ultrasonic bath time is now only 45 seconds for "easy" molds like Paulson RHC (Aztars, Garden City, Par-A-Dice, etc.), and only 60 seconds for "hard" molds with deep recesses like Paulson LCV, Paulson "ROULETTE" mold, and Bud Jones roulette chips.

If you REALLY think that you'll NEVER have any more chips to clean (ha ha!), you might just want to clean the 200 Empress $5 chips with a Magic Eraser. I'm concerned the small cheap ultrasonic unit would prove to be a waste of money, and leave your nice chips with faded edges.
 

rcpokertables

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Yea, I don't think I'll be able to justify the cost of the one you have especially since I can't think of anything else I would use it for. I picked up some magic erasers and I'm pretty happy with the results of the couple I cleaned but my finger tips were not happy....
 

RenoGamblerFootball

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Thank you guys!

For the longest time I was worried that washing/cleaning my chips would dry them out. ThenI came across the magic eraser trick. Unreal. Its like night and day. A bit time consuming so I sat and watched a whole season of the walking dead a few Saturdays ago and it was well worth the time. Thanks again guys for the heads up.100_1884.jpg100_1885.jpg
 

Tommy

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Nice. How many magic erasers did you use? They tend to fall apart fast when you clean the edges especially when you do one chip at a time. Cuts into it like a knife. Doing about 5 at a time makes them last longer.
 

RenoGamblerFootball

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2 full erasers and a "soft" toothbrush got me through my whole set of 540. I also very lightly oiled and buffed them. They pop again like they did out of the box. I cant wait to bust them out for my March tournament this weekend "Catch Lucky". Anyway. Thanks again. - RGF
 

spikeithard

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I have noticed after only about 10-12 games with the terribles, the brand new .50 pieces are 'gunking' up pretty easily compared to the rest of the chips. Have to give them their first tune up bath this summer. My ASM set which I use just as much is not doing this.. maybe there is something special about that color with Paulson that leads to gunking up more?
 

10centguitar

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I have tried the magic eraser with water only and also used my phillips electric toothbrush. I jsut save the brush heads that im goig to throw away for cleaning chips.
Works like a charm.
I find that if I use a magic eraser on chips with a lot of texture, it will shred up the eraser too fast.

I get the kind without the dawn soap in them. Just the plain magic eraser works great.
 
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