As a Pokemon card collector, I understand the importance of keeping my cards in pristine condition. One of the best ways to increase the value of your Pokemon cards is to get them professionally graded.
However, before sending them off to be graded, it’s crucial to make sure they are clean and free of any damage. In this article, I will share my knowledge and experience on how to clean Pokemon cards for grading.
Cleaning your Pokemon cards for grading can be a delicate process, but it’s worth it to ensure that your cards receive the highest possible grade.
There are several methods for cleaning your cards, and it’s essential to choose the right one based on the condition of your cards. Using the wrong method can cause damage to your cards and decrease their value. In this article, I will cover the most effective and safe methods for cleaning your Pokemon cards.
Why Clean Pokemon Cards?
As a collector or trader of Pokemon cards, you want to ensure that your cards are in the best possible condition. Cleaning your cards before grading them can drastically improve their condition and increase their value. Here are a few reasons why cleaning your Pokemon cards is important:
Pokemon cards can accumulate dirt, dust, and grime over time, making them look dull and unattractive. Cleaning your cards can remove these impurities and make them look shiny and new again. This not only improves their appearance but also their condition, which is crucial when it comes to grading and trading.
The condition of a Pokemon card is one of the most important factors that determine its value. A card that is in excellent condition can fetch a much higher price than one that is in poor condition. Cleaning your cards can improve their condition and increase their resale value.
Professional grading services like PSA (Professional Sports Authenticator) and Beckett Grading Services use a grading scale to evaluate the condition of Pokemon cards. The grading scale ranges from Poor to Gem Mint, with Gem Mint being the highest grade. Cleaning your cards can improve their condition and increase the chances of getting a higher grade.
Pokemon cards are collectibles, and as such, they need to be handled with care. Cleaning your cards can remove any dirt or grime that may cause damage to the cards over time. This can help protect your collectibles and ensure that they remain in excellent condition for years to come.
In conclusion, cleaning your Pokemon cards before grading them is essential if you want to improve their condition, increase their value, and protect your collectibles. By taking the time to clean your cards, you can ensure that they look their best and are ready for grading or trading.
Preparing to Clean
Before I start cleaning my Pokemon cards, I make sure to gather all the necessary supplies. This includes a microfiber cloth, card sleeves, cleaning solution, and a soft-bristled brush. I also make sure to avoid direct sunlight as it can damage the cards.
A microfiber cloth is a great option for cleaning Pokemon cards because it is gentle and won’t scratch the surface. I always make sure to use a high-quality microfiber cloth to minimize any damage to my cards.
Card sleeves are also important to have on hand. They protect the cards from dirt and other contaminants while I am cleaning them. Plus, they make it easier to handle the cards without touching them directly.
When it comes to cleaning solution, I prefer to use a mild cleaning solution like Windex. I spray a small amount of the solution onto the microfiber cloth and gently wipe the card. It’s important to avoid using too much solution as it can damage the card.
Finally, a soft-bristled brush can be helpful for removing dirt and debris from hard-to-reach areas. I use a gentle touch and make sure to avoid using too much pressure.
Overall, gathering these supplies before starting to clean my Pokemon cards helps me ensure that I have everything I need and that I can clean the cards in a safe and effective manner.
When it comes to cleaning Pokemon cards for grading, there are two main methods: dry cleaning and wet cleaning. Each method has its own benefits and drawbacks, so it’s important to choose the right one for your specific situation.
Dry cleaning is a great option for removing surface dirt and debris from your cards without risking damage. To dry clean your cards, you can use a soft-bristled brush, like a toothbrush, to gently brush away any loose dirt or debris. Be sure to use light pressure and avoid brushing too hard, as this can cause damage to the card.
Another dry cleaning method is to use talcum powder. Simply sprinkle a small amount of talcum powder onto the card, then use a soft cloth or brush to gently rub the powder into the card. This can help to absorb any oils or dirt on the card, leaving it looking clean and refreshed.
Wet cleaning is a more thorough method of cleaning your Pokemon cards, but it does come with some risks. To wet clean your cards, you can use a mild cleaning solution, like Windex or rubbing alcohol, and a soft cloth or cotton swab. Simply dampen the cloth or swab with the cleaning solution, then gently rub the card in a circular motion to remove any dirt or debris.
It’s important to be careful when wet cleaning your cards, as too much moisture can cause the card to warp or become discolored. Be sure to use only a small amount of cleaning solution, and avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive materials that can damage the card.
Overall, both dry cleaning and wet cleaning can be effective methods for cleaning your Pokemon cards for grading. Just be sure to choose the right method for your specific situation, and be gentle and careful when handling your valuable cards.
Common Defects and How to Fix Them
As someone who has graded many Pokemon cards, I have come across several common defects that can affect a card’s grade. Here are some of the most common defects and how to fix them:
Corners are one of the most important factors in determining a card’s grade. If a corner is damaged or bent, it can significantly lower the card’s grade. Here’s how to fix a damaged corner:
- Use a corner rounder to smooth out the corner. This will help prevent further damage and make the corner less noticeable.
- If the corner is bent, use a bone folder to carefully bend it back into place. Be very gentle, as too much pressure can cause more damage.
- If the corner is severely damaged, you may need to replace it with a corner from another card. Use a sharp pair of scissors to carefully cut out the damaged corner, and then glue the new corner in its place.
Edges are another important factor in determining a card’s grade. If an edge is damaged or rough, it can lower the card’s grade. Here’s how to fix a damaged edge:
- Use a sanding block to smooth out the edge. Be very gentle, as too much pressure can cause more damage.
- If the edge is rough, use a bone folder to carefully smooth it out.
- If the edge is severely damaged, you may need to replace it with an edge from another card. Use a sharp pair of scissors to carefully cut out the damaged edge, and then glue the new edge in its place.
The surface of a card is also important in determining its grade. If the surface is scratched or has other defects, it can lower the card’s grade. Here’s how to fix a damaged surface:
- Use a microfiber cloth and some Windex to gently clean the surface of the card. This will help remove any dirt or dust that may be causing the defects.
- If the surface is scratched, use a scratch remover to carefully buff out the scratches. Be very gentle, as too much pressure can cause more damage.
- If the surface has other defects, such as creases or dents, you may need to replace the card with a new one.
Other defects, such as creases, dents, or water damage, can also lower a card’s grade. Here’s how to fix these defects:
- Use a bone folder to carefully smooth out any creases or dents in the card. Be very gentle, as too much pressure can cause more damage.
- If the card has water damage, use a hair dryer on a low setting to carefully dry out the card. Be very careful not to overheat the card, as this can cause more damage.
- If the card has other defects that cannot be fixed, you may need to replace it with a new one.
In conclusion, fixing common defects in Pokemon cards can be a time-consuming process, but it’s worth it to ensure that your cards are in the best possible condition for grading. By following these tips, you can improve the condition of your cards and increase their value.
Storing and Displaying Cleaned Cards
Once you have successfully cleaned your Pokemon cards for grading, it’s important to store and display them properly to maintain their condition. Here are some storage and display options to consider:
When it comes to storing your Pokemon cards, it’s important to keep them in a safe and secure location. Here are some storage options to consider:
- Binders: Binders are a great way to store your Pokemon cards as they allow you to organize them by set, rarity, or any other criteria you choose. Make sure to use acid-free, PVC-free, and archival-safe binder pages to prevent any damage to your cards over time.
- Deck Boxes: Deck boxes are another great storage option as they provide a compact and portable way to carry your cards. Make sure to choose a deck box that fits your cards snugly to prevent any movement or damage during transport.
- Tins: Tins are a popular storage option as they are sturdy and can hold a large number of cards. Make sure to use dividers or sleeves to keep your cards organized and prevent any damage from rubbing against each other.
If you want to display your Pokemon cards, there are several options to choose from. Here are some display options to consider:
- Frames: Frames are a great way to showcase your favorite Pokemon cards. Make sure to choose a frame that fits your card snugly and use acid-free matting to prevent any damage over time.
- Shadow Boxes: Shadow boxes are another great display option as they allow you to display multiple cards at once. Make sure to use acid-free backing and matting to prevent any damage over time.
- Albums: Albums are a great way to display your Pokemon cards as they allow you to flip through your collection like a book. Make sure to use acid-free, PVC-free, and archival-safe pages to prevent any damage over time.
It’s important to keep your Pokemon cards out of direct sunlight as it can cause fading and damage over time. Make sure to store and display your cards in a cool, dry, and dark location to maintain their condition.
Submitting for Grading
Once you have cleaned your Pokemon cards to the best of your ability, you may want to consider submitting them for grading by a professional grading service. This can help increase the value of your cards and ensure that they are properly protected.
Before submitting your cards for grading, it is important to review the submission guidelines of the grading service you have chosen. Each grading service may have slightly different guidelines, but here are some general guidelines to keep in mind:
- Make sure your cards are properly protected before submitting them. This may include using card sleeves, top loaders, or other protective measures.
- Ensure that your cards are properly labeled and identified. This may include providing a list of the cards you are submitting, as well as any special instructions or requests.
- Be prepared to pay a fee for grading services. The cost of grading may vary depending on the grading service you choose, as well as the value and condition of your cards.
- Consider the turnaround time for grading. Some grading services may offer faster turnaround times than others, but this may come at an additional cost.
- Choose a grading service that is reputable and reliable. Some popular grading services include PSA, BGS, and CGC, but be sure to do your research and choose a service that meets your specific needs and preferences.
By following these submission guidelines, you can help ensure that your Pokemon cards are properly graded and protected.
Cleaning your Pokemon cards before grading is an important step to ensure that they are in the best possible condition. Here are a few final thoughts to keep in mind:
- Use a high-quality microfiber cloth and Windex to gently clean your cards. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive materials that can damage the surface of your cards.
- Pre-grading your cards can help you identify any potential defects or damage that could impact their value. Use good lighting and a magnifying glass to carefully inspect your cards for any imperfections.
- If you notice scratches on your cards, avoid trying to remove them yourself. Scratches cannot be removed from Pokemon cards without damaging them further. Instead, focus on keeping your cards clean and free of dirt and grime.
- Remember to handle your cards with care and store them in protective sleeves or binders to prevent damage from moisture, sunlight, and other environmental factors.
Overall, cleaning your Pokemon cards for grading is a simple and effective way to ensure that they are in top condition. By taking the time to carefully clean and inspect your cards, you can help maximize their value and preserve them for years to come.