Welcome to a new periodic series which will be of particular interest to our readers who collect some of the fabulous Bicycle (and other brand) playing cards which are now available.  The first one is all about:

Taking Care of Your Playing Card Collection

If you landed on this article it’s probably because you would like an answer to one of the following questions?

  • How should I store my playing card collection?
  • Does humidity cause problems to playing cards?
  • How can I clean my playing cards?

First things first, if you’re serious about keeping your collection for a long time and want to keep your playing cards in the best possible condition then follow these steps:

Keep your playing cards in a cool, dry room.

Humidity and high temperatures increase deterioration – and as a result inviting growth of mould and mildew which causes the binder layers of the card to potentially break down.

Avoid storing your playing card collection near bright lights, direct sunlight or sources of heat. Store in a room with a decent amount of ventilation and try (if possible) to keep the room at a similar temperature through a day. Large fluctuations may cause warping in some cases.

­I’ve had a few questions from customers looking for advice when they can’t avoid a damp room due to the age of the house – well, there are a few things you can do to minimise any possible issues in this case.

Dehumidifiers are an obvious preventative measure but can be costly, however purchasing two or three larger silica gel bags can be just as effective. Sized around 10cmx10cm these can be extremely effective as they can be heated and dried in the oven or microwave, recycled and used again. I would suggest this from Amazon.

For the really keen collector, simply buying a humidity meter could help keep an eye on the room temperature and moisture levels. For only about £4 this is a great option. Humidity levels are naturally around 30–40% in winter and 40–60% in summer so anything above this and you know you need to take a little action to help your decks live longer.

Be careful when attempting to clean your collection

If you need to remove soiling on the cards then it’s best practise to use a clean, soft brush. A Women’s make-up brush or a brand new soft paint brush tends to work well.

Card Collector’s Corner is published in association with JP Playing Cards who specialise in rare and collectible playing cards.

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