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How to Clean Pokemon Cards for Grading

how to clean pokemon cards for grading

Pokemon cards continue to be a prized possession for multiple people these days, and their iconic history and invaluable collectible nature is what makes pokemon cards so precious. This is mostly for people who love trading cards and grading them to add monetary value to their collection. 

But what is the process of grading? Well, grading is the process by which your cards are analyzed critically and professionally by the PSA. Grades can then determine the resale value of your cards and how well they can do in value. 

Well, here are some techniques and methods we picked up that you can easily use in making your Pokemon cards cleaner and to help bring them back into mint condition. Alongside that, we have also mentioned our top tips for storing your cards in a way that they remain in mint condition for a long time. Let’s dive in!

Methods of Cleaning Pokemon Cards

While there are numerous ways of cleaning your cards and restoring their condition, here are a few methods that are helpful in cleaning the cards without damaging their integrity and condition. You can use these in combination or alone, depending on the condition of the cards you wish to restore. 

Using Windex

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Windex is one of the most common household products. Some think that Windex would ruin your card, but many people have used Windex on their cards to clean off fingerprints, and it works great.

Simply spray a small amount of Windex on a microfiber cloth to help minimize any risk of scratching or damaging your card. Gently wipe and rub off any markings. The Windex will quickly evaporate and leave you with a clean and shiny card.

We recommend only using a high quality microfiber cloth to minimize chances of damaging your cards. This microfiber cloth from Amazon will do a great job at cleaning your cards without leaving scratches or marks.

Using Wet Tissues

This is the easiest way to clean your cards, which is quick and foolproof. All you would need is a pack of mild, wet tissues, and you’re done. If the cards are not as dirty after inspection, one to two swipes should be enough to get the debris off of the plastic film coating. 

This is an easy method of maintaining the mint condition of your cards even after you’re done playing with them or using them for any other purpose. This removes all major imprints of dust and grease effectively. 

Using Talcum Powder or Corn flour

Known to be the effortless removers of any grease at all, corn flour and baby powder are your best friends when it comes to cleaning up cards effortlessly. You can easily find these items in every households, just take a walk around the kitchen, and voila. 

So, how do we use powders to solve your problem? Well, first off, you will require a paper bag, and then you’ll need to fill it up with multiple tablespoons of corn flour and talcum powder. Then you need to seal the bag and shake it vigorously. 

After this process, take out each card separately and wipe them off each card with a paper towel. In this manner, you will repeat for all the cards and remember to be careful and gentle with these cards. The corn flour will quickly absorb all the residues of oil and grease, and your card will be left spotless. This water free method of cleaning makes sure that your cards don’t get damaged during the process. 

Using Bread

Oddly enough, you can use bread to remove fingerprints off the card. All you need to do is rub the card gently with some white soft bread, and you’re good to go. You need to ensure that the bread itself is fresh and soft to touch. 

Repeat this process for a few times until the finger prints are gone completely. You will see that this method thoroughly cleans the cards without damaging them. You may even see a luster and some shine on the card after finishing the process. 

Using Spirits and Nail Polish Remover With Cotton Balls

Restoring and reviving badly damaged cards and those in unkempt conditions can be a hard task to achieve. You will need to give these cards special attention and extra care for every single stroke of cleaning you do. 

To revive these cards, you can dampen a soft cotton ball with spirit and camphor and gently wipe on the affected areas of the cards. In case you didn’t have cotton balls lying around, use soft and fresh white bread instead. You can easily revive your old cards from any condition through this method. 

Things to Beware of When Cleaning Your Cards

While cleaning your cards can be a tedious process, there are some things you should keep in mind before proceeding with cleaning your cards properly. These steps ensure that you don’t damage the cards during the process. 

  • Don’t use excessive amounts of water or solvents as it could end up warping your playing cards
  • Never ever scrub your cards with rough and scratchy fabrics. Always use soft and gentle fabrics like microfiber towels and paper towels. 
  • Always store the cards in a safe and secure box or card binder that ensures no dirt is gathering on them.
  • Protect your cards in card sleeves

Tips to Remember Before Submitting the Cards for Grading

Before getting your cards graded, here are some tips and tricks you need to learn so that you can get better grades on your cards without the hassle of contemplating where you went wrong. Follow these tips before your grading process. 

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  • Thoroughly inspect your cards under a magnifying light. This light helps to thoroughly check the card for any defects and any faults that would make them less worthy.

We recommend using a high quality magnifying light like this one from Amazon. This exact model is used and recommended by many professional card graders.

  • PSA uses this technology to find out any fraudulent methods being used in the process, such as re coloring, fake autographs, and so on. Here are some qualities of excellent high grade cards:
  1. Perfectly sharp corners on all sides 
  2. No blurry images
  3. Free of any stains and spots such as finger prints, grease, and sun fading.
  4. Centered front and back to being in alignment
  5. Minor print flaws that are picked up
  • Invest in brand new penny sleeves and card sleeves. Try to opt for disinfected and clean card sleeves that can perfectly hold your cards free of any dirt and debris and case your cards correctly. These are a significant necessity as they are the cards that appear professionally kept and lessen the chances of them getting dirty in the process of handing.
  • Use post it notes or sticky pointer tabs on your cards. Cards can often get damaged in the process of pulling and putting them inside their dedicated sleeve. Posting a tab on there helps you to access the card without bending it. 

Final Thoughts

Before sending in your cards to be graded, wipe or clean them off with one of the methods mentioned above to ensure their cleanliness. Windex works wonders when it comes to fingerprints and markings. Don’t let the simplicity deter you away from trying it.

Once your cards are properly cleaned, refrain from touching the cards further with your hands. Always remember to protect your cards from further dust and debris by using card sleeves.

By following proper protocol and careful procedures, you can easily clean your Pokemon cards and present them in the best condition possible to the PSA. This will help ensure that your cards are properly cleaned to help them achieve the highest grade possible.

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