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Keeping Poker Chips Clean


Over time, with continual handling, it is inevitable that your poker chips are going to get dirty. Chips will pick up oils from being handled and dirt and grime will stick to the chips. While it might be impossible to prevent, there are common sense steps that can be taken to keep any type of poker chip as clean as possible for as long as possible:

Clean the surface of your table before the game.
Wash your hands before playing and after eating.
Keep food and drinks off the table and wipe up spills as quickly as possible.
Avoid serving finger foods.
Avoid serving oily or greasy foods.

While your first course of action should be to take steps to prevent your chips from getting dirty in the first place, with care, poker chips can be cleaned. However, with a set containing hundreds of chips, it can be a very slow and tedious process.

Clean Cautiously


There is wide variability in the composition of poker chips, so before embarking on a cleaning, test your procedure completely from beginning to end on just one chip to make sure it does not harm the chip. These suggestions are not intended for use on collectable gaming chips.

Cleaning Plastic Poker Chips


Plastic and plastic composite chips, provided they have no imprinting, label or decal, can be easily cleaned by gentle rubbing with a damp cloth. Clumps of dirt can be removed with gentle scraping with a soft object (eg. the edge of another chip), but never with anything hard, like metal, that could gouge or scratch the chip or with anything abrasive. Indentations can be cleaned by gentle brushing with a soft bristle toothbrush. While they can be immersed for a short period in cool water, do not allow them to soak. Do not immerse or rinse with hot water. Dry with a soft cloth.

Cleaning Clay or Ceramic Poker Chips


Clay, clay composite and ceramic chips as well as any chip with a decal, label or imprinting require more careful cleaning. Labels and decals are particularly vulnerable, so you should do nothing to them that could cause the label to begin to peel away from the chip. These chips should not be immersed in water. Cleaning should be done with a damp cloth or soft bristle tooth brush on the outer area of the chip where there is no imprinting or label. The label area itself can be wiped with a dry cloth. The graphics on ceramic chips are ususally more durable. Cleaning can be accomplished with a soft damp cloth. It is best to clean and dry only a few chips at a time.