How To Clean Cards For Grading (A Complete Guide)

How To Clean Cards For Grading

How To Clean Cards For Grading

How To Clean Cards For Grading: Cleaning your cards before grading can be an excellent way to maintain them in good condition and also boost their value. The authenticity and accuracy of the cards can be maintained just by their simple cleaning. This simple step boosts the card’s value for collectors and impacts the grading process notably.

If you talk about the grading companies, they tend to grade the cards on the condition cards are submitted to them. As we know, clean cards play a crucial role in the grading process, it is worth it that they are cleaned prior to submitting. No matter whether you have new cards or old ones, you can opt for the simple methods to clean them.

In the following comprehensive guide, we will discuss the importance of cleaning the cards, the steps you need to follow, the tools that you will need, and the mistakes to avoid while cleaning the cards.

Let us go through the specific points mentioned here:

Necessity of Cleaning Cards for Grading 

Cleaning the cards before submitting them for grading is more than a necessity. Having said that, card cleaning is essentially crucial to maintain them in good condition. By doing so, the collectors and graders will not only have an improved appearance of the cards but also assess their value can be made even simpler. 

If you clean the cards especially when they are old, you protect them from being damaged and ultimately have a better value in the grading process. The dust, grime, and dirt gathered on the cards can lead to their deterioration over time. There are certain potential damages that can cause the cards to lose their value. 

These cards are very delicate and suspected of damage even if there is a slight source of causing issues to them. If we talk about the old cards, they are even dirtier and also carry several fingerprints. These marks can reduce the actual value so it is necessary to remove them. Cleaner cards attract more attention as well

Moreover, cleaner cards can bring an enjoyable experience for the collectors as well as the graders. For collectors, cleaning their cards is a fun and relaxing hobby.

Investing the time to thoroughly wash every card can make you feel proud of yourself for maintaining your collection. It enables you to develop a closer relationship with your cards and to recognize the craftsmanship and distinctive qualities of their designs.

Required Tools for Cards Cleaning 

Required Tools for Cards Cleaning 

Card cleaning cannot be done with just any cleaning, instead, you will need some proper tools. If you want to do a thorough cleaning then you will require these tools:

#1. Microfiber Cloth:

It is better to use a microfiber cloth or any clothing material used for cleaning the lens. The core benefit that you will get is removing the smudges and fingerprints from the cards.

Microfiber clothes are a great choice when you want to remove the smallest mark from the cards. These clothes are very soft and remain gentle on the cards. These clothes will not leave any marks or smudges on the sports cards.  

#2. Soft-bristled Brush:

It is important to have a soft-bristled brush in your set of tools. Without a brush, it will be quite difficult to clean the cards. It smoothly removes all the dust and grime from the card’s surface. Keep in mind that the brush must have sharp and soft bristles in order to avoid any damage or risk to the cards. 

#3. Compressed Air Can:

When it comes to clearing away tough debris from difficult-to-reach places on the cards, like the spaces between the slots or the cracks around the edges, compressed air is a huge help. By eliminating any physical contact, it eliminates dust and dirt, reducing the possibility of unintentional harm.

#4. Flat Surface:

You will need a flat and clean surface so that you can effectively clean and maintain your grading cards. If the surface is dirty, then you might not be able to clean the cards properly. Avoid having even any tiny debris, this will let you clean the cards smoothly. 

#5. Cotton Gloves:

It is advised that you should wear cotton gloves while cleaning the cards or else the cards can get your fingerprints, oil, and other debris. This will not let the cards be cleaned appropriately. The gloves will work as an additional protection layer to your cards preventing your hands from getting directly in contact with them. 

#6. Magnifying Glasses:

Magnifying Glasses and lamps are extremely necessary tools when cleaning grading cards. It is possible that there could be marks and other potential scratches on the cards which cannot come into notice with normal human eyes. To highlight and know about those marks, it is important to have magnifying glasses and lamps. 

Also Read: How To Clean Pink Mold From A Humidifier: What You Need to Know

Detailed Guide For Cards Cleaning Procedure 

Here are the steps in the detailed guide for cleaning your cards easily. Take a look at them:

Step 1: Get Everything Ready 

The very first step you will need to take is to prepare everything including the space and tools that will be used in the cleaning process. When you have all the things handy, you do not need to spend excessive time collecting the items. You can simply begin with the procedure. All the things that you will need are mentioned beforehand.

Step 2: Get your Cards Prepared 

Once you have gathered all the items in a place, you can simply begin your cleaning process. For cleaning the cards, it is important to know what scratches and dust particles they have. To identify this, you will need to check the cards using the magnifying glasses and lamps. Wear cotton gloves so that you can avoid leaving scratches unintentionally while cleaning the cards. 

Step 3: Clean the Cards

Now, it comes to the most important task, removing the foreign particles. You must use the microfiber or any soft cloth to clean the cards. The cards will be cleaned thoroughly and appropriately when you use the soft clothes. Use the cloth and gently move throughout the card. Keep the pressure enough to remove the fingerprints as well. 

Step 4: Inspect them thoroughly 

Once you are done with the cleaning process, instantly go for a thorough inspection. This will allow you to know if there is any mark or dust left on the cards. You can repeat the process if you find anything on the card still. Also, you will need to ensure that the card is not overcleaned. If you do so, then it might also lead to card damage. 

Step 5: Replace the PennySleeves

Replace the penny sleeve to avoid dust and debris. When the card is ready to ship off, you should keep it in a clean penny sleeve and prepare the package. Shipping of the package must be done effectively. If you use a dirty cardholder, then your cards will get scratched and damaged once again. 

Also Check: How To Clean Italian Leather

Things to Avoid While Cleaning the Cards 

There are certain things that should be kept in mind when you are cleaning the grading cards. Avoiding the following common mistakes can help you to get smooth card cleaning and leave no damage or scratches on the cards.

Here are some points to avoid: 

  • It is not suggested that you use any household cleaner for your cards as they could be harsh on them.
  • The cleaning materials should be contamination-free so that they do not make the cards dirtier. 
  • You will also need to choose the appropriate size of the penny sleeve or card holder to keep the card intact. 
  • You must wear gloves or else oil from your hand can contaminate the cards and the cleaning procedure might go in vain.
  • The cleaning tools and surface must be clean and gentle for the grading cards. 

Final Takeaways 

If you are a card collector, then it is suggested that proper cleaning of those cards must not be overlooked by your end. This will unwantedly reduce the value of the cards in your collection. By opting for some easy and simple methods, you can keep the cards in precise condition allowing a boost to their value

Though it is not a complicated process, it should neither be avoided nor taken lightly. The cleaner your cards will be, the higher grades and value they will get. So, always remember to clean your cards and replace their penny sleeves before submitting them for grading. 

Carrie N. Thomas

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