Any tips on preserving the finish of playing cards?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by lolhammertime, Apr 5, 2016.


Should I buy a card clip?

  1. Yes

    7 vote(s)
  2. Waste of money

    1 vote(s)
  1. It's kinda sad though, that for some reason, cards clump up and lose their finish way faster for me than other people. I've tried washing my hands before using and pretty much every deck loses its finish in 2 weeks (3-4 weeks for Tally-Ho and Bee) and can no longer fan. I don't really like the idea of card clips and I don't know if they're effective but I'm desperate so maybe, just maybe, I might invest in one.

    Any ideas on how to prolong the slippery finish?

    P.S. Sorry for posting so much, I'm pretty sure a good percentage of the recent threads were started by me. I just have many questions. Please don't judge me. :D
  2. Wash your hands before using your decks. If you keep them clean they won't clump up as soon.
    lolhammertime likes this.
  3. I've tried that and it makes it last around a week longer, but I want to know how people make their decks last months instead of weeks.
  4. Well looking at other things you have posted, it looks like you are in a pretty humid area of the world, which is unfortunate because you can't really do too much about it. I don't know if a card clip will help with humidity though.
    lolhammertime likes this.
  5. Hmm, I do actually. South East Asia. I'm not sure what humidity has to do with cards getting clumpy easily?
  6. If you take care of a deck, there are only two things that will likely ruin it in the long term - dirt/oil from your hands, and humidity. If your deck ends up dirty or oily, it will be permanently changed for the worse. There are a few things you can do to make it "better", but it will never be the same once it gets gross. Washing your hands is ABSOLUTELY CRITICAL if you have oily skin, if your hands sweat, or if your hands get dirty.

    If your deck gets humid, the cards absorb moisture from the air and your hands. Cards are made of paper, and paper + water = bad. Humidity will make cards sticky and soft. This is not what you want at all. The good thing about humidity is that the damage is usually not permanent. Set a deck that is sticky from humidity in a cool, dry place for a while (a few days to a few weeks). If you have a heavy, flat object like a textbook, you can set that on the deck to help prevent warping as the deck drys out. After the deck has dried out, and after you give it a couple shuffles, it will be back to good shape. If it gets soft or sticky again? Repeat the process. If you are in South East Asia, this is a problem you are always going to face. The local humidity will make you go through decks faster than most people.

    Neither of these issues really has much to do with the finish of the cards. The finish will be fine if the cards are dirty or humid. The finish is the combination of the textures pressed into the card (the Air Cushion "dimples" for most USPC printed decks) and the actual plastic-based coatings that are applied to the cards. Really friction or liquids are all that is going to damage the finish.

    Card clips won't do much to protect the finish or to prevent dirt/oil or humidity from affecting your cards. What a card clip will do is help keep your cards flat when you are carrying them. If you keep your cards in a pocket, a clip is a must to help prevent your deck from warping, especially in a humid area where cards will warp more easily.

    I hope this helps!

    // L
  7. Thanks for the advice. I guess I'll be buying a card clip. I'm thinking of putting my clumpy decks in my refrigerator but the fridge has moisture so I guess it would damage it even more. What do you think? Should I leave it in the fridge or nah? My freezer has meat in it so the cards would stink if I left them there.
  8. also, if I leave cards stored away in a drawer and unused, can humidity get to it? I'm getting worried about my card collection.
  9. One of the main causes of humidity damage? Fast temperature changes. If you put your cards in the fridge, they WILL get humid (and even wet) when you take them out. The moisture in the warm air around you will condense on the cold playing cards, and your problem will end up being worse. Not a good idea.

    If your cards are in a drawer, the natural humidity of the air around you will affect them, but this will be a lot less than the humidity that they pick up from your hands. In most cases the best place for your cards will be in a cool, dry place like a drawer.

    Think simple. You don't need to put your cards in a fridge, or buy a dehumidifier, or place them into a cryostasis capsule on the planet Thanthalteresco IX. They are paper! The goal is simply to keep them clean and dry, and if they start to get a little humid from your hands you just need to give them a little time to dry out. When you hear a crazy sounding idea, like freezing your playing cards, it is probably just that - a crazy idea.

    // L
    lolhammertime likes this.
  10. Alright thanks. I was getting a little paranoid. So I guess leaving them in the drawer for a few days after they get sticky will do?
  11. Most people rotate decks. Have 2 or 3 decks that you use in rotation. After about an hour of constant use, change deck. I have put decks around the house... one in the kitchen, one in the bathroom, one in the car, one at the office (this one's really poopy), and two in my bag (each in a porper).

    The ones in the car and in the bathroom each had about 2 months of constant use when I put them there, and they were to a point which after 15 minutes of use they would not fan great anymore. By using them for a short period at a time, they have time to dry and fan great every time I pick them up.

    Don't get too paranoid. If you are like me you'll end up buying cards faster than you can destroy them. And even at a high poop-level, there are still very usable for most OH and two-handed cuts. Oh! and they are excellent to drop on the floor!
    lolhammertime likes this.
  12. Okay, I'll change decks every hour. Actually the only reason why I'm so paranoid about preserving the finish is that I'm a big fan of fans. *insert punchline drum* But you do have a point, I can still do two-handed cuts with my worn decks, in fact, the stickiness helps keep the packets together when doing two handed cuts.
  13. I do too! ;)
    lolhammertime likes this.
  14. Okay, so I did a little experiment:

    I left one really old deck in the fridge, because I don't really care about it.
    And I left one of my clumpy decks untouched in the drawer for a few days.

    The fridge deck was really cold (understatement) and needed a lot of shuffling, it fanned okay for about 5 minutes, then it started getting clumpy again

    The untouched deck handled pretty well! It could fan nicely, and it has a little bit of that slippery feel. It probably will last for the next 2-3 days maybe?

    So I guess the way to restore the finish is to leave it untouched somewhere dry.

    Thanks for the tips everyone!
    Lyle Borders likes this.
  15. I froze my decks for like a minute, and it actually worked so maybe that is an option. However, DO NOT FREEZE LONGER THAN THAT, they get really clumpy. Just like 10 - 20 seconds.

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