Cleaning cards - literally, that is.

Discussions On How We Use Cards For Divination
User avatar
Amanda
Global Moderator
Posts: 101
Joined: 14 Jun 2018, 19:09
Location: Ohio, USA

Cleaning cards - literally, that is.

Post by Amanda » 23 Jun 2018, 12:39

I've been thinking about smells that get attached to cards and wondering how best to eliminate them. For some reason, the idea of rubbing each card between two dryer sheets in my hands came to mind. Has anyone tried this?

I love fresh, clean scents - and it seems a dryer sheet might provide enough gentle abrasiveness to a card without damaging it to remove an old scent.

Likewise, I wondered about people with particularly sensitive noses - if there were dryer sheets out there without a scent that could gently remove smells...?

(Is my Queen-of-Pentacles showing? :icon_e_biggrin: )

Link:
BBcode:
HTML:
Hide post links
Show post links

User avatar
Nemia
Global Moderator
Posts: 1671
Joined: 05 Jul 2017, 05:02
Location: between the mountains and the sea
Contact:

Re: Cleaning cards - literally, that is.

Post by Nemia » 23 Jun 2018, 15:47

I don't use dryer sheets so I can't say - I found that airing them out helped cards lose even cigarette stink. Spread them out for at least a week.

I tried the freezer, I wiped them with baby wipes (immediately dried them, baby wipes are really great for many uses and helped against kitten pee... my poor Estensi....) but what helped in the end against the cigarette funk was simply air and patience.

Link:
BBcode:
HTML:
Hide post links
Show post links

User avatar
Amanda
Global Moderator
Posts: 101
Joined: 14 Jun 2018, 19:09
Location: Ohio, USA

Re: Cleaning cards - literally, that is.

Post by Amanda » 23 Jun 2018, 16:41

Thanks for the tips Nemia! I think I do recall baby wipes being especially useful for a number of things when I was using them on my kids... even crayons on the wall, if I remember right...

What got me thinking about the dryer sheets, I think, is the use of wax strips. I use wax strips on my eyebrows and the procedure before applying them is to warm the wax (inside the strip) between your hands by rubbing them together over the wax strip.

I've been wanting to do something about my old RWS -the one I started with and have used for years- it just smells "old" and it's got the dirt and wear to prove it. I worry about applying anything wet since it's so old and used...

I'm wondering if the combination of heat + the gentle scented scrubbing of a dryer sheet will loosen and clean the old scent away.
I guess I'll have to try it! It shouldn't bring too much damage, right?
Maybe I'll try it out on an old pack of playing cards I don't care as much about, first...

Link:
BBcode:
HTML:
Hide post links
Show post links

User avatar
Nemia
Global Moderator
Posts: 1671
Joined: 05 Jul 2017, 05:02
Location: between the mountains and the sea
Contact:

Re: Cleaning cards - literally, that is.

Post by Nemia » 24 Jun 2018, 02:07

I inherited from my grandmother a book she got for her wedding, "1000 tips for the perfect housewife" :icon_e_biggrin: The book recommends cleaning old playing cards with alcohol or eau de toilette. I tried it for a grimy old deck of playing cards - it worked but in the end, I bought a new deck...

I'm curious what you will do :-)

Link:
BBcode:
HTML:
Hide post links
Show post links

User avatar
Amanda
Global Moderator
Posts: 101
Joined: 14 Jun 2018, 19:09
Location: Ohio, USA

Re: Cleaning cards - literally, that is.

Post by Amanda » 24 Jun 2018, 11:44

Here's what I've done:

I couldn't find an old playing card deck, so I gave my Love Pack oracle a go through the dryer sheets. I got the deck secondhand and it smelled a bit musty and old, and I've used the heck out of it since I got it a few years ago as well. There was an inky/dirt build-up in spots around the edges of the cards. Those spots were worse on the back than the front for some reason.

Image

So, I used a "Clean Breeze" scented dryer sheet and the cards smell like fresh laundry now, just not as strong as I'd hoped -- I can still smell a bit of must in them, and I'm thinking a nice sun bath would also help do the trick. I might run them through the dryer sheets again too. I did find, though, that the dryer sheet was excellent for scrubbing off those dark spots. With just enough pressure it gets the dirt off... with too much pressure you might accidentally 'age' your deck, because it will rub the ink off and make it look faded.

Image

Now with the front and backs of the cards all clean and the whole lot smelling better, the edges of the deck are atrocious. LOL I tested out an emery board, aka: fingernail file, on the edges of one of the cards with a few swipes on each side and around the corners, and now there's one white-edge card in the deck apart from the others, so I think I'll continue that with the rest of them to get the edges whiter.

This deck has been pretty beat up and used; I'm happy with the life it's getting back into it now. Overall, it takes 6-8 dryer sheets and probably a couple of emery boards to get the job done, I think.

Link:
BBcode:
HTML:
Hide post links
Show post links

User avatar
SEELE-01
Posts: 123
Joined: 05 Oct 2017, 01:49

Re: Cleaning cards - literally, that is.

Post by SEELE-01 » 30 Jun 2018, 16:00

Wow, those cards really DO look used
And I love it :icon_e_biggrin:
There's something about old cards and books that I find absolutely fascinating

I think it is OK to clean the dirt residues will certainly keep mold from growing in them (once mold gets into paper it's impossible to get out), but filing the card's edges... It may end up making them look nicer, but you are damaging the card-stock too, so I really would not recommed it... You are exposing new, internal fibers to the air, so those will eventually start corroding too, I think it is best to leave those alone...

Link:
BBcode:
HTML:
Hide post links
Show post links

User avatar
Amanda
Global Moderator
Posts: 101
Joined: 14 Jun 2018, 19:09
Location: Ohio, USA

Re: Cleaning cards - literally, that is.

Post by Amanda » 01 Jul 2018, 09:52

Thanks Seele, I haven't had time yet to get back to this deck. I'm wondering if an artist's sealant might work around the edges after they were filed - to help preserve them? I've also looked at photos where people colored around the edges of a deck with a marker... what do you make of that?

Lots of people want to know about their love lives so I've used this deck quite a lot in my readings. It's too bad it's OOP. I wouldn't mind getting another copy. But yes, I do kind of like that it's been so used. :icon_e_biggrin:

Link:
BBcode:
HTML:
Hide post links
Show post links

User avatar
SEELE-01
Posts: 123
Joined: 05 Oct 2017, 01:49

Re: Cleaning cards - literally, that is.

Post by SEELE-01 » 01 Jul 2018, 14:25

Amanda wrote:
01 Jul 2018, 09:52
people colored around the edges of a deck with a marker... what do you make of that?
Unless you used a high-grade oil marker it may end up looking worse... The ink will eventually creep out of the line: I don't know if you have seen how lines made of markers on paper eventually "bleed out" of the line... Check the third from the right in this image, and how a reddish stain can be seen around the original black line... That may end up happening on the cards, specially with all the manipulation.

Link:
BBcode:
HTML:
Hide post links
Show post links

User avatar
Amanda
Global Moderator
Posts: 101
Joined: 14 Jun 2018, 19:09
Location: Ohio, USA

Re: Cleaning cards - literally, that is.

Post by Amanda » 02 Jul 2018, 09:55

Thanks Seele, I may look into that.
I'm methodical at heart (Taurus born in the Virgo decan) so preservation is right up there as one of my most favorite things, especially if I can get high quality preservation with the least amount of effort that could potentially damage things (of course, my grandmother was a historian and I spent a lot of time with her, so she may have an influence in this, lol).

Link:
BBcode:
HTML:
Hide post links
Show post links

Post Reply

Return to “Cartomancy”