How to Remove Glue From Baseball Cards

how to remove glue from baseball cards

One of the main methods of removing glue from a baseball card is soaking. Soaking is done by using distilled water to soak the card and soften the glue, then you can begin to remove the glue residue.

It’s important not to force the glue off the card as it could cause damage to the surface. After you have successfully removed the glue residue off the card, you can then place it in a napkin or typing paper to help dry the card. 

It can be used for the following reasons: removing any excess paper, remove water-based glue, remove or reduce the wrinkles on the surface, improve hairline creases, straightening the corner bends, or just a way to spruce up an old-looking card. In this article, we will take a look at the step-by-step process of you can successfully remove glue off your baseball card.

How to Remove Glue from Baseball Cards

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Soaking is not a big secret among collectors.

Some collectors don’t approve of the method and believe that it alters the card dramatically. However, some groups believe it to be a perfectly acceptable process.  

It is still the most common piece of advice in all the forums you will visit. Everyone has their own soaking methods, but are all pretty similar.

Below is a step-by-step procedure on how you can remove glue from your baseball card.

Find a Container

Find a flat container or bowl that will fit your card.

Now make sure that it’s deeper than the card itself and that it’s flat.

Use Distilled Water

Make sure that you use distilled water, which you can buy at most local supermarkets.

Many collectors believe that tap water contains minerals that could compromise the integrity of the card.

Place Your Card in the Water

It’s now time for the risky…but fun part of the process.

Place your card in the water in one quick action and make sure that it’s covered entirely.

Don’t add it into the water slowly, or you’ll risk staining the card.

Keep the card in place by using your finger, or a cotton bud to allow the water to soak evenly for a minute or so.

Let It Soak for a Few Minutes

Make sure that leave the card in the water for a few minutes, or several hours depending on your cardstock.

Check that it is completely saturated before taking it out.

Remove the Card and Glue

Before you remove the card out of the container, make sure you have a napkin or typing paper on standby.

Remove the card carefully out of the water. Don’t be alarmed if the water is yellowed or discolored.

You can now begin to gently remove the glue off the baseball card, which should have softened during the soaking.

You can use a cotton bud to help push the glue off but remember to be gentle because you could risk damaging the card if you are too forceful.

Remove Excess Water

Take the napkin or typing paper you have set aside and put the card in between and gently press to remove excess water.

Press Your Baseball Card

Some people will begin the pressing stage and placing the card in a large book but this can cause warping.

The best thing to do first is to place the card between another napkin and place it between two smooth-surfaced boards both big enough to hold the card.

Next place a 5lb weight on top, or more if you can. You can try using a gallon of water, seeing as it converts to around 8.35lbs. Some people put the card inside a heavy book, but this can still cause warping.

Finding a smooth board, around 1inch by 4inches works well.

Let the card sit on the board for around an hour, then replace the napkin or typing paper, then let it sit on the board a little longer.

Repeat Steps if Necessary

You can repeat the process of changing the paper until the card is finally dry. This process can often take a day to complete.

Once it’s dry the baseball card should then look flat, cleaner, and brighter with more vivid colors.

Now beware, taking the card too early can cause it to war and bend. However, if this occurs, just re-soak the card, as per the previous process.

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Can You Tell if a Baseball Card Has Been Soaked?

It is often hard to detect if a card has been soaked, but there are clues that can be spot when checking a card.

If your card was soaked in the water for too long then it will have small bubbles on the surface of the card, and once the water bubbles dry they leave wrinkles on the surface.

Sometimes the card can come out too clean which can remove the natural tone the card originally had.

It might look too clean almost bleached. This can affect the edges of the card, which can be detected under halogen lights, the edges of the card will lose their natural tone.

This could be due to the card being immersed in the water for too long.

Final Thoughts

Soaking is an effective method of cleaning and removing the glue of any baseball card if done carefully. It is important to remain cautious and bear in mind the risks it might have on the baseball card.

Many consider card soaking as an acceptable method of removing glue from baseball cards. But there are some collectors that use the methods to make further alterations to the card, which is why it is frowned up by some groups. A good way to spot these alterations is by looking at the creases which may be pressed down by a tool or device.

Some cards that have been pressed to fix creases and wrinkles, will have a shiny area on the surface. This is due to the fibers being pressed down by a device to smooth the card. Any wrinkle, crease, or defects can dramatically alter the value of any card.

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