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How To Take Care of Playing Cards
As magicians and card collectors, we care about our playing cards. We want them to last the longest time possible. So how can we protect them? We share a couple of tips that will make your cards last.
Tip #1 - Don't Bend Your Cards to Death
Tip #2 - Humidity and High Temperatures Are NOT Your Friends
Tip #3 - Stay Clean
Tip #4 - Switch Them!
Tip #5 - Remember to Use Protection
Don’t Bend Your Cards to Death
Even though most playing cards nowadays are printed on high-quality paper stock and coated with a durable finish, we still need to remember that they are made from paper. And paper gets damaged over time.
Some techniques and moves take a more significant toll on the cards than others. Riffling, shuffling followed by a bridge, springing.
All these moves that bend the cards have the biggest impact on the cards’ longevity. The more you practice these, the quicker the cards get damaged.
Humidity and High Temperatures Are NOT Your Friends
Humidity and high temperatures significantly affect the cards’ finish. When the humidity rises, the cards bend and can even split. Humidity is also the cause of the infamous click. How to remove it? Just let the cards sit in a room for a day or two. The cards' humidity will level with their environment, and the click will slowly disappear.
High temperatures affect the cards’ finish. When the cards get exposed to hot weather, they get stuck together, and the finish gets damaged. Remember not to leave your cards under direct sunlight on a hot summer day, as it will destroy the deck.
A quick tip: When your cards start to clump and do not fan great, put them in a freezer for an hour or two. The cold will help to restore the cards’ finish.
The one thing you should always do when you can wash your hands before using your cards. Hands get dirty and sweaty. And everything you have on your hands gets transferred to the cards.
A quick tip: Use soap and lukewarm water for the best results!
Have multiple decks opened at the same time and regularly switch between them. This will offload the use between them, making them all last longer.
Also, if your hands get sweaty, do not continuously use one deck for over an hour. You might not even feel your hands getting sweaty, but your cards certainly will.
Remember to Use Protection
There is a handful of accessories you can get to protect your cards.
Deck Sleeves are plastic boxes you put the whole deck in. They were created by Sherman Tsao and his company Carat Case Creations. Their primary purpose is to protect the tuck box from scratching and tearing. They will even protect it from getting wet. Their main advantage is the price as they are very affordable. One downside is that they do not directly affect the cards' longevity.
Then there are Card Clips. Made of aluminum, they also fit the whole deck. They apply pressure on the cards, straightening and refreshing them. Although they are more pricey, especially the luxurious leather versions, they impact the cards’ longevity more than Deck Sleeves.
A completely separate thing would be Carat Cases. These are also made by our friend Sherman from Carat Case Creations. They are acrylic boxes made for storing and displaying your favorite collectible decks. These are not meant for everyday use, but they are the best option for your collection at home.
These are the basics of playing cards care. If you follow or apply just one of the tips, you will notice its impact on your cards.
Do you know any other tips for taking care of playing cards? Share them with us! You can reach out to us on Instagram or via e-mail.