There are some great baseball cards out there, some of them worth a good chunk of change. When makers of baseball cards were printing and sealing, many didn’t think about the long-term effects, using the material and methods they had at the time. Many cards from the 80s were sealed with wax paper, leaving behind a sticky residue.
To remove this wax, there are several things that you can use, including an old t-shirt, cloth or towel, or even pantyhose. You won’t have to use any product to remove the wax, simply using your finger to make circular motions softly around the card until all of the wax is removed.
Below, we have more tips given by expert collectors that have dealt with all kinds of pesky stains. Use these tips to keep your baseball cards spic and span and help them hold their entire value.
What Is a Wax Stain on a Baseball Card?
Wax on baseball cards is pretty common, especially on those that were printed in the early 80s. The makers of these cards used to seal them with wax paper, which was meant to keep the paper card on the inside protected.
This wax leaves a bit of a residue due to melting, though it can be easily removed. When a card has a wax stain, it has a glossy appearance, one which you can see when you twist and turn it.
How to Remove Wax Stains From Baseball Cards
When you have wax on your cards, you have a few options to getting them back into shape. Because of the materials of the card, make sure not to use any chemicals or liquids that are not approved to avoid any damage. You shouldn’t have to use anything and can find most things in your home.
- Old t-shirt
First off, you’ll need to grab something to wipe off the wax. A lot of people use things around the house like old t-shirts, towels, or even pantyhose. The trick is finding something that is gentle and will not scratch the surface of the card. You don’t need too much material either, looking to just cover your index finger so that you can gently rub the wax off.
This is not required but, many experts have been using extras to give their cards an extra oomph. One product that users rave about is Pledge. The dusting liquid knowing to create a shine works wonders on removing wax and won’t damage your card. Spray just a bit on a pair of pantyhose or an old cloth and then apply. Make sure to never apply directly to your card.
Rub Card with Circular Motion
Whichever material combination you choose, you need to make sure your baseball card is on a flat and solid surface. Then, take your index finger and wrap the cloth around.
If you’re adding product, spray a bit and start working in circular motions all around your card. You should be able to see whether all the wax is removed and if it isn’t, repeat until it’s all gone.
Collector Approved Baseball Storage Methods
Once your card is nice and clean, the next thing you’ll want to do is store it properly. This will ensure that your cards are in the best shape and won’t collect dust, moisture, or more wax. When looking for a method to store your cards, make sure to take a look at how the pros do it.
These handy little storge sleeves used to come in large quantities for only one cent. Though they’re a bit more nowadays, you can still find them and use them for a cost-effective baseball card storage method. All you’ll have to do is buy them and slip your cards in and that’s about it.
Expert Tip: Cut off one of the top corners of your penny sleeve in order to slip the card in without any hassle. This will keep you from scratching, bending, or tearing your card in the process.
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If you want something sturdier, go for a top loader. These have a harder feel to them and will keep your card from bending.
All you have to do to add your card is slip it into the top and sit them in an upright position. This could be a great way to store lots of baseball cards in a box for storage or to add to your fine China cabinet.
Expert Tip: Because there is an opening in the top your card could slip out if you’re not careful. To prevent falling, sliding, or entrance of any dust, pop a piece of tape over the top.
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Screwdown Card Holders
Screw-down cardholders used to be the cream of the crop. However, it was discovered that there was too much pressure put on cards which caused some undoable damage. That’s why snappable cases made an appearance, keeping cards just as secure without all the added pressure. All you have to do is place your card in and snap.
Expert Tip: Go for a snappable card holder that has a screw. This will make your card secure and keep the snap from coming undone.
As a collector, you’re probably always looking for ways to keep your cards in the best shape possible. Instead of leaving them to age, take care of them and preserve them as best as you can. Make sure to look for signs of wax and remove them as soon as you can.
To remove wax, choose a method that works for you and remember to avoid any chemicals in the process. The last thing you want to do is damage anything while cleaning. Use a gentle cloth and gentle motions to keep from scratching or bending.
Once you have your cards spic and span and free of wax, make sure that you store them properly. Collecting baseball cards is a profitable and fun pastime, one that you should take care of with a little maintenance here and there.