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How to Effectively Remove Stains From Baseball Cards

how to remove stains from baseball cards

The best way to remove stains from baseball cards is to apply a small amount of solvent to the stain using a cloth and rub in a circular motion.

Unfortunately, baseball cards are very susceptible to stains. This can either happen due to an accident, such as spilling tea, coffee or even food on them or it can happen naturally. Over time, if you are not incredibly careful about storing your baseball cards, you can find that they discolor either from damage or the sun.

However, you should not lose hope. A lot of stains can be removed easily thanks but you should always be incredibly careful. You do not want to cause any further damage to the card. If you not confident enough you can always ask an expert to help you physically remove the stain.

How to Remove Stains From Baseball Cards

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If you do unfortunately find that you have stains on any of your baseball cards do not worry. Thankfully there is a method that can quickly and easily remove even some of the toughest stains.

In order to do this, you will need to have a solvent on hand. The solvent must be a naphtha-based solvent, such as lighter fluid, which most people will probably already have in their homes. You will need to spray a small amount of this onto a soft cloth. Make sure that you do not use any bleach-based solvents as this may seriously damage the ink on the card.

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Place the wetted cloth directly on top of the stain and rub in a circular motion. Be careful not to apply too much pressure or not rub the cloth on any other part of the baseball card. Doing either of these may cause damage to the image on the card or even smear the stain.

So, to ensure that you do not end up with a card in worse condition than you started take your time and be gentle. You should check every few seconds to see whether or not the stain has lifted. Continue until it has done so. 

Once the stain has been removed pat the treated area lightly with a dry part of the cloth. Make sure that you do not put any more solvent in contact with the card. To ensure that the card dries completely place it in direct sunlight for approximately half an hour. This will guarantee that all of the liquid has evaporated from the card and cannot accidentally cause more damage.

As soon as the card is fully dry remove it from the sunlight. This will avoid causing any discoloration on your baseball card.

So, as long as you follow these steps carefully then you will be able to remove stains from your baseball card collection. However, you should follow the process step by step as solvent and direct sunlight can cause obvious and permanent damage to your cards.

What Is a Wax Stain on a Card?

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Wax stains are unfortunately very common on cards. This is because older packs of sports cards were sealed using wax paper. This wax could then easily melt onto the baseball cards and leave blemishes on the cards’ surface. 

Like almost all other stains these can also be removed from the card, at least for the most part.

In order to do this, you will need to grab a pair of women’s tights (also known as pantyhose) and gently scrape the wax off of the card. You should do this very gently and carefully as you do not want to push the wax any further into the card or to smear it around onto fresh and clean areas.

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Should I Remove Stains From Baseball Cards?

This is a question that is completely subjective. It depends on how bad the stain is, how much you trust yourself to correctly remove the stain and also the reason why you want the stain removed.

If you have a card that is stained that you only want to keep in your collection for display purposes then it may indeed be a good idea to try and remove the stain. This is because it does not matter whether or not you affect the card’s value. You are not cleaning the card to sell it but simply to make it look more aesthetically pleasing when on display.

However, you should still go through the process very carefully as you will not want to damage the card any further. This may result in you needing to find and purchase another card of the same type if you smear the stain or ruin the card.

If you are looking to remove a stain from your baseball card in order to sell it you should consider this very carefully You run the risk of causing further damage to the card and also you may end up with a card that is considered “tampered with”. 

This is certainly not something you want as it will decrease the value of your baseball card. If you are unsure then it is certainly best to consult with an expert who will let you know whether it is best to leave the card as it is or to try and remove the stain yourself.

There are also professional stain removal services for sports cards available if you would rather not do it yourself.

Final Thoughts

It is very easy to stain baseball cards. And the older they are the more likely that there is to be a stain on any baseball card that you own or are looking to purchase. Thankfully there are ways to remove the stains from the card.

Depending on the type of stain (wax or other) you will need to use the appropriate method. This is using a pair of tights for a wax stain and a light solvent for almost all other stains.

You should only do this process if you are confident in your ability to remove the stain and accept the risks.

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