Whether you are a new baseball cards collector or a veteran of the hobby you should know how to fix warped cards. You can do this either by flattening them with heavy objects or carefully using heat.
Unfortunately, even the most careful of collectors can end up with warped, bent or creased baseball cards. Accidents happen and there is not much that many of us can do about this. Of course, you can store your cards as safely as possible inside protective plastic sleeves, but the odd one or two may still warp from heat.
Thankfully, there are several things you can do to restore and fix your warped baseball cards. You can usually manage to return them to an acceptable condition and we will explore how to do this below.
How Do You Straighten a Warped or Bent Baseball Card?
There are many ways that you can straighten a warped or bent card and most of them involve using items that can be found around your house. Of course, the condition that you will be able to restore your card to depends on exactly how damaged it is.
If your card is in a very bad condition then you should consider sending it away to a specialist service that focuses on restoring baseball cards. This way you can be sure that a professional will be able to apply all of their knowledge and expertise, allowing you to receive your card back in as good a condition as possible.
However, if your card is only slightly warped, or you simply do not have the time or money to send your card(s) away to a specialist then consider using one of the following methods.
Flattening the Card
If your baseball card is only slightly bent out of shape then this is by far the best, safest and easiest method to restore it to a flat position. You can just use any heavy item that you have around the house that is large enough to completely cover the card.
You should then leave the item on the object for a minimum of several hours. The longer you leave it the better as it will gradually put enough pressure on the card to return it to its original shape.
You should ensure that the heavy object covers the whole of your card as otherwise, this can lead to further problems. If you have part of the card poking out then this section may become bent or even lightened in color (if it is direct sunlight).
To avoid any further problems ensure the object of choice is large enough. A good example is placing the card beneath, or even inside of, a large book.
Ironing the Card
Using heat is another great way to fix your warped baseball cards. However, you should be much more careful when using this method as it can very easily ruin your card by burning it.
The baseball cards are easily flammable so you should avoid putting the iron directly on top of them. Instead, use a heat-safe cloth and place this between the iron and the card. If your card is plastic-wrapped exercise extra caution.
You should use a setting on the iron that is appropriate for the cloth that you use. For example, linen has a high heat resistance and makes a good choice, whereas nylon has a low heat resistance and should not be used for this task.
Once you have done this you should make sure that you do not activate the steam setting on the iron. Your baseball cards are very sensitive when it comes to water and humidity and if you are not careful then you can damage your cards even more.
Now place the card under the cloth and iron carefully over the top. Do this for about 30 seconds before checking to see if the process works. If the card is still warped repeat until it is flat.
Using a Hairdryer
Because heat can help to straighten out any warped cards another cheap and easy method is using a blowdryer. You should place the card on a flat surface with the curved edges facing downwards. This is because the already curved parts can be quite resistant to being bent using heat, so instead, we will alter the rest of the card to match.
Unlike with an iron you can use the highest heat setting possible as it does not directly touch the card. Move the hairdryer steadily and evenly over the cards, making sure that all parts are touched by the hot air.
Do this for about 30 seconds before checking to see if it has worked. You may need to hold the cards in place as the air can easily blow them across the table. If your cards are still warped them repeat the process.
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Why Do Baseball Cards Get Warped?
One of the main reasons why baseball cards get warped is because of humidity. Heat and moisture easily negatively affect the card, meaning that if you are not careful then you can end up with warped baseball cards.
The best way to stop this is to make sure that you store your cards in a temperature-controlled room. For example, do not store them in the attic or in the garage. Keep them in the house instead as this will allow you to control the humidity, meaning that they are not subject to external climates.
Another reason why baseball cards warp is if they are accidentally crushed or bent out of shape. This can happen for many reasons and is usually an accident. You may not notice that a few corners have been folded or that there is a weight applied to one part of the card (for example if they are stored incorrectly).
A third reason is water damage. If you have accidentally spilt something on your baseball cards then you may notice that they begin to warp as they dry. As long as this has not affected the coloring on the cards then do not worry you can simply use any of the above techniques to remove the curve.
Can You Iron Baseball Cards?
Yes, you can indeed iron baseball cards, but not directly. As we have said above the heat from the iron, when placed directly on top of the card, can easily burn it.
You should always make sure that you use a suitable material to act as a buffer between the iron and the card. This will stop any burning and protect the card.
When ironing baseball cards you should not use the steam function under any circumstances. The water vapor can cause the warping to worsen.
It is unfortunately very easy for baseball cards to warp. However, thankfully there are several easy at-home solutions to fix this problem.
You can either use heat or pressure to straighten out your cards. Both will work fine but must be done correctly to ensure that no further damage is caused to the card.
Take your time when fixing your card as you do not want to cause any more damage. If one method is not working for you then you can always try another without any consequences.