How to Remove Scratches From Pokemon Cards

how to remove scratches from pokemon cards

Have your holo Pokemon cards got a couple of scratches on them? Wondering whether they can be removed? Wondering if these scratches are going to impact the value of your card? Well, read on. We are going to tell you absolutely everything that you need to know.

First things first, though. It is impossible to remove scratches from Pokemon cards. Once they are there, they are there. We will talk a little bit about why in a short while. Your best bet is to ensure that you keep your Pokemon cards free from scratches as much as possible.

Let’s jump into this in a bit of depth, shall we?

Can You Remove Scratches from Pokemon Cards?

As we said before, it is going to be impossible to remove scratches from Pokemon Cards. Now, we know that there are a lot of guides online that tell you how to remove scratches, but they don’t work. We have seen people use ideas as baffling as sanding the card. Sometimes, you don’t even know whether they are joking or not.

The problem is that scratches cannot be removed from the card. This is because the damage has already been done. A scratch is a pit in the card. It isn’t like dealing with a vehicle where you could probably come up with some way to fill up the scratch. You can’t do that with cards. The scratches will remain no matter what you do. 

As we said at the start, your best option is to try and prevent the scratches from happening in the first place. This shouldn’t be that difficult to do, but more on that in a short while.

Will Scratches Impact the Value of the Card?

It depends on how intense the scratching is.

Card graders know that some scratching of a card is going to be inevitable. So, if the scratches are only surface level, then you may actually be able to achieve a PSA 10 grade on a card with some minor scratches, even if you can actually see the scratches.

Of course, the more intense the scratching of the card is, the lower the grade is going to be. If a card is seriously scratched and highly noticeable, then it may be able to receive nothing more than a grade 6 from PSA.

Now, the grading process is actually why we would not recommend that you try and remove scratches from your playing cards. You see, PSA will look at any cleaning methods that you have used to deal with your cards. If they spot intense cleaning, then your card is going to get rated down quite a bit. In fact, some people have discovered that PSA will refuse to grade their cards if the cleaning job is too intense. After all, it means that they are not dealing with the original card.

The scratches on the card are going to have no impact on whether you are going to be able to play with the card or not. However, do bear in mind that if the scratches are on the back of the card, you may not be able to play with it in a tournament setting.

This is because the card would be identifiable if you are playing with it. This means that if you want to play with the card, you will need to be using card sleeves that have an opaque back. If you don’t have that, the tournament judge will not allow you to play with the card at all. They would see it as cheating if your card has identifiable scratches.

How Do You Avoid Scratching Your Pokemon Cards?

You have a few options for this.

Open Booster Packs Carefully

If you watch YouTube videos, you will often see people shuffle the cards when they remove them from the booster pack. This is because the rare card is not located at the back. They have to move the cards around the build up the anticipation of what that rare card is going to be. It makes for some pretty decent content.

The thing is that this is going to scratch the cards. Pokemon cards are quite abrasive, so when you shuffle them without sleeves on, even if you are just changing the order of your cards in a booster pack. small surface-level scratches may start to appear. 

You should open the booster pack incredibly carefully. This means laying the booster pack face down and opening the back gently. This will provide you with easy access to the cards. Grip them softly from the sides to make the job a little bit easier for yourself.

Sleeve Your Cards

Whenever you have Pokemon cards, you will want to try and keep them in sleeves as much as possible. Ideally, you would be double-sleeving all of your cards. This means that you put the card in a perfect-fit sleeve, and then you put this sleeved card in a standard sleeve.

This should help to protect the surface of the card. However, we cannot stress enough just how important it is that you use quality sleeves here. Some of them are going to be too abrasive and may cause scratches if the card ends up bouncing around in the sleeve.

It doesn’t really make sense to sleeve up common or uncommon Pokemon cards in anything other than penny sleeves. Sure, the cards may get scratched lightly, but these cards barely had any value, to begin with.

How Do You Remove Fingerprints from Pokemon Cards?

It is inevitable that unsleeved cards will eventually get some fingerprints on them. These can be rather unsightly, particularly on holographic cards. Thankfully, you have a couple of options available here.

The one thing that we do want to point out is that you should not use water to clean your cards. This will warp them. Sure, you can probably get away with a small amount of water, but we wouldn’t really risk it.


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A tiny amount of Windex, coupled with a microfiber cloth could work. it is not the ideal solution, but we suppose this is something that you could use on your cheaper cards if you want to spruce them up a little bit.

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.


Bear with us on this one. It is actually the best option. However, you are going to need some really soft bread.

If you rub the soft bread gently across the surface of the grade, this will actually pull the grease up. This will leave your card nice and clean. It works surprisingly well. Just don’t rub too hard otherwise you will end up damaging the card.

Final Thoughts

It is impossible to remove scratches from Pokemon cards, don’t even try. It could actually end up damaging your card even more.

Thankfully, light scratching on the card may not reduce the value of the card all that much. It is easy to get a PSA 10 grade if the scratching is rather minor so, in most cases, you probably won’t need to even attempt to touch up the card at all.

Put your cards in sleeves as quickly as possible and you probably won’t have to worry about damaged cards all that much.

Indoor Game Bunker

We are Indoor Game Bunker, a group dedicated to providing reviews, how to guides, and helpful information to those interested in a wide variety of games and hobbies.

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