How to Clean Yu-Gi-Oh Cards

how to clean yugioh cards

Are your Yugioh cards in a less-than-brilliant shape? Wondering how you can clean them up a little bit? Well, in most cases, it isn’t really recommended that you clean them.

However, if you really do want to spruce up those cards a little bit, then a cloth, cotton bud, and a bit of handsoap can go a long way.

On this page, we want to run you through how you can clean a Yugioh card in various situations. We are then going to wrap up with a bit of information on how you can stop them from getting filthy in the first place. 

Cleaning Dust From a Yu-Gi-Oh Card

If you have a dusty card, then this should be a simple problem to fix. All you are going to need is a lint-free cloth. Any housewares store will sell them. These cloths are good because while they will take up the dust, they will not leave anything behind.

To remove the dust, place the Yugioh card on a flat surface and lightly brush the dry cloth over the top of it. Never wet the cloth first. This is going to make the problem for you a whole lot worse as the card will warp.

Honestly, that is all that you need to do. The dust will be completely removed from the surface of the card!

Cleaning Marks from a Yu-Gi-Oh Card

Older cards may have a few small marks on them. While we do tend to advocate that you leave them in place as much as possible, we know that there are going to be few people that want to try and get their card looking the best that it can be. Perhaps because it is a favorite card from their childhood. For that, you can follow this method:

  • Lightly wet a small cotton bud. It should not be dripping wet. Just slightly wet to the touch.
  • Get a small amount of soap and apply it to the tip of the cotton bud. Use handsoap. It is not as harsh on the card.
  • Gently brush over the mark. Very gently.
  • This should remove much of the mark, but maybe not all of it. Just try to remove as much as you can without making the card soaking wet.
  • Dry the card, again lightly, with a lint-free cloth. Do not let it dry out naturally or the card will warp. 

During the research for this article, we wanted to take a look at how other people cleaned marks from their Yugioh cards. We saw some solutions which, to us, seemed nothing short of insane. For example, we saw some people recommend that you use nail files to lift marks and stains up from a Yugioh card. Please do not do that.

Remember, if you use your fingernails or something to lift up the marks, then you will scratch the card. You can still use the card to play with it, but the card is going to look awful. If you use one of these methods, then there is literally no chance you won’t be pulling up some of the ink or bits of card at the same time.

Preventing the Cards From Getting Dirty

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Prevention is always going to be better than the cure. Since it is so tough to clean Yugioh cards, we highly recommend that you put a bit of effort than storing them in the first place. It is affordable to do, even if you have cheaper cards.

All you need to do is get your hands on some card sleeves. Even penny sleeves will do the trick. This will help to keep the dust off of the card and, hopefully, stop any stains from getting on them.

We recommend using these Ultra PRO Eclipse card sleeves from Amazon. They are specifically sized for Yugioh cards and are very high quality. Ultra PRO is one of the top brands in the industry and make some of the best accessories around.

When the cards are not being used, you can add them to a deck box and keep them there. This will keep them out of harm’s way.

Of course, when you are playing with the Yugioh cards, you will also want to ensure that you are not eating or drinking around them. This is going to end up ruining the cards. Trust us. No matter what you do, you will eventually get a bit of liquid or some crumbs on the card if you eat or drink around them. It happens to everybody eventually, which is why many trading card stores will ban food or drink around their tables!

How Do You Disinfect a Yu-Gi-Oh Card?

You don’t. Seriously.

If you are at the point where you need to disinfect a Yugioh card, then that card is just far too gone to be saved.

Anything that you could possibly use to disinfect a Yugioh card is just going to end up causing far more damage to the card. After all, you would have to use some sort of disinfectant, and these disinfectants can be quite harsh chemicals, and that will cause the color of the Yugioh card to be lost. 

Thankfully, there will likely be very, very few situations where you would need to disinfect the card.

Can You Restore a Wet Yu-Gi-Oh Card?


If the card has warped due to bad water damage, then you cannot restore it. It is done. On the other hand, if the card has naturally warped or bent due to humidity in the air or due to storing it in a damp area, then it may be salvageable.

That being said, you may still be able to play with the card.

Yugioh rules require that the card be real, readable and that you cannot identify where the card is in the deck.

Now, if the warping caused by the water is seriously bad, then you may not be able to play with it. However, a lightly water-damaged card can be put into a card sleeve and it should be fine. While your Yugioh card isn’t going to have any real value when it comes to trading, at least it can be used in the card game. 

Will Cleaning Cards Restore Their Resale Value?

To an extent. If a valuable card is very dirty and you were able to clean it up for better presentation, then it would be more attractive to potential buyers.

However, Yugioh cards tend not to retain their value at the best of times. While Magic the Gathering and Pokemon Trading Card Game cards retain their value over time, the lower number of Yugioh players will cause the value to quickly plummet. Outside of meta and exceedingly rare cards, your Yugioh trading cards have very little value.

Because of this, we tend not to recommend even trying to restore the card if the intention is to sell it on. People do not want cards that have been restored or cleaned (outside a bit of light dusting) because no matter what method you have used, it is going to be immediately obvious that you have done something.

In our opinion, it is just better to keep the card as it is and try and sell it. Let cleaning it be somebody else’s problem. The only time that you really should be cleaning it is if you love the look of the card and want to keep it looking brilliant for your collection.

Final Thoughts

If storing your Yugioh cards for prolonged periods of time, dust can tend to accumulate. Simply wiping your cards down lightly with a microfiber cloth can help remove any dust that has built up on your card.

Cards that have marks, fingerprints, or other dirt/debri can be cleaned with a tiny bit of soap, a cloth, and a cotton bud. Use the tiniest amount you can and do not forcefully scrub the card.

However, outside of a bit of light dusting, we do not recommend that you clean your Yugioh cards all that regularly. If you do, make sure that they do not get too wet as this will ruin the card. Once you have cleaned them, store the cards safely to ensure that you never have to clean them again!

Indoor Game Bunker

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