Since the mid-1990s, baseball card manufacturers have put out a stellar collectible featuring the use of chrome. These offer a stylish and sleek appearance of a rainbow-like sheen. But, sometimes these sustain damage, either through printing or mishandling.
These damages are complete with scratches, nicks and print lines. So, how do you get these kinds of blemishes out of chrome baseball cards? There are some methods you can try in an attempt to rub them out. The most recommended method is by using auto scratch remover. But it’s not advisable to do this for several reasons.
Chrome baseball cards have high value in the trading world, with some being worth as much as $24,000. So, if you have something like Derrick Jeter, Alex Rodriguez or Mike Trout in chrome, you are going to want to do your utmost to keep it in tiptop condition.
Most of the methods for removing scratches from chrome baseball cards will be similar to what you would do to a car. But, before delving into the methods, there has to be a brief discussion about alterations and doctoring.
Alterations ; Doctoring
If you intend on selling your chrome card to the highest bidder or want it graded, refrain from any sort of removal efforts. This is because it’s potentially illegal and can land you in a world of trouble with federal agencies like the FBI. You could experience some fines and perhaps even some jail time for fraud.
If your card is very valuable and can still get a good price for it without trying to remove the scratches, just leave it alone. Accept that it’s a lost cause and remove the dollar signs from your eyes.
Using anything other than water and a microfiber cloth may constitute fraudulent alteration. When in doubt, visit your local baseball card dealer/trader and inquire about what’s acceptable and legal. But, it may be best to contact a professional baseball card restoration expert.
How to Get Scratches Out of Chrome Baseball Cards
In the event that you want to do this only for yourself, then there are some things you can try. But, you should attempt these on cards that won’t develop a lump in your throat if it gets destroyed.
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For any of the methods below, cover your working surface with a soft cloth or silicone mat. If it’s possible, wear form-fitting gloves. Whatever you do, don’t touch the card with bare fingers.
Simple Wipe Down
Wipe down the card’s surface with a microfiber towel, paying close attention to the affected area. If you have to, use a drop of warm water. Ensure the area is thoroughly dry with a clean, white towel.
Car Wax or Polish
If a simple wipe down with water doesn’t get the scratches out, try car wax or polish. Just take a teeny tiny droplet and apply it to the card. Work the product in circular motions over the blemish, wait a few minutes and buff it out with a clean microfiber towel or white cloth.
In the case that you don’t notice a change, you can try vehicle scratch remover. There are many products out there, so you’ll have to shop around. However, many people report mixed results with this. The application will be similar to car wax or polish.
Some collectors say acetone works well on chrome card scratches. You can find this in auto detailing solutions but you can also use regular nail polish remover. But, ensure the polish remover is 100% acetone. Use a clean, white cloth and lightly saturate the towel. Wipe down the card with this in gentle motions until the scratches disappear.
When you find that none of these work and the blemishes are still there, you can give up or you can try some other things for the heck of it. But a huge caution comes with these because you may create more problems than you hope to solve.
Some people claim that you can use toothpaste in the same way as car polish, auto detailing solution or scratch remover. Others say that car rubbing compound with a buffing pad is quite effective.
Sandpaper is also another option. You only wet down ultra fine-grit sandpaper and, with a super-duper OCD-like attention to detail, rub out the scratches in small circular motions.
Notes ; Suggestions
You can do all these methods together, in a step-by-step or use only one depending on the severity of the scratch. When you’re finished, wipe down the entire card with a microfiber towel or soft cloth to ensure all debris, compounds and solutions are free from the surface.
How Do You Clean Chrome Baseball Cards?
If you simply want to clean your chrome baseball cards from schmaltz, fingerprints and light stickiness, wipe it down with a microfiber towel. If you have to, add a drop of warm water and wipe clean. In the event you really want to shine them up, apply something like Monster Screen Clean.
With the shiny, reflective effect of a chrome baseball card, you want to ensure they stay in good condition. But, sometimes they’ll get nicked, scratched or damaged. This is a bummer if you’re trying to sell and trade for the value.
So, you may be looking for a way to remove these blemishes. This will keep their value high and in a pristine state. But, you have to be careful when dealing with the big leagues. Anything considered doctoring or altering the card can get you into some legal trouble.
But, if you already have a card you like but have signed off on the damages, you can try any of the suggested methods mentioned here. None of these are certain and you’ll have to experiment, which may end up in wasted time. In most cases, trying to rub these out will be a lost cause in more ways than one.