Old Vegas Chips Guide to Cleaning casino
How to Clean Casino Chips
Use a very soft bristled toothbrush.
Let experts clean very old or expensive chips.
A pencil eraser is good for removing scuffs and crud from old chips.
These cleaners have been reported to have good results cleaning chips: mild dishwashing detergent, Armor All Multi-Purpose Cleaner, Quick'n'Brite, Sterling Magic.
The trick seems to be to find something that will dissolve the greasy deposits that accumulate on well used chips, without removing any ink, or leeching moisture from the chip. Quick'n'Brite is a thick paste, and does not seem to encourage any moisture transfer, while doing an excellent job of breaking down the greasy gunk. I just stick the chip in the bucket edgewise, rotate it a few time to coat the chip thoroughly, wait about 15-30 seconds, then wipe the chip down with a washcloth. It's revolting how dirty that washcloth gets after only a few chips.
I use Sterling Magic full strength with a toothbrush. I use no water and just wipe clean with a cloth. It has never, never, ever dried the chip out or caused it to fade. If the chip has a hot stamp, I don't use the toothbrush on that part, I just dab a little on with my finger and gently wipe it off with the cloth.
I clean virtually all of my chips except those that come straight from the cage and have never seen play. I have also experienced no fading or drying out. The pink goop (Sterling Magic) is great stuff.
I've been using Armor All Multi-Purpose Cleaning with fantastic results for the past year, no damage to chip, luster and shine are still there...and it cleans the chip. Don't use any other Armor All product i.e., tire cleaner, window, bug, etc.
Waterless hand cleaner, non abrasive, with lanolin and a bath of Johnson baby oil will restore the luster. Give it a bath of oil, let soak for an hour or so on a bath towel turn once after a while wipe dry. Regular mineral oil is too oily.
I use a soft toothbrush & Fantastik. I spray both sides of the chip & clean the dirt off with the toothbrush & then rinse under warm water. I dry the chip with a paper towel. I then use a VERY small amount of mineral oil (which brings out the true colors of the chip which may have been lost over time or due to cleaning) rubbed between two fingers & work it into the chip. That entire process should not take more than a minute. I'll then let the chip dry for 24 hours on one side & turn it over & let dry for another 24 hours before storing the chip.
I used a soft children's tooth brush and window cleaner. Hot stamps will turn from gold to silver, so they get covered with my thumb and I only clean the mold designs. Chipco, Paulson graphics BJ and others of like design are much more durable.
I don't clean many of my chips, but when I do I use Amway's L.O.C. (Liquid Organic Cleaner and a baby's tooth brush (much softer than a regular soft toothbrush.) I put a few drops of L.O.C. on the chip and brush very lightly. I so this to remove the surface dirt. If the chip is extremely dirty I generally leave it alone. It sometimes looks better dirty.
Try Johnson & Johnson baby gel instead of oils to restore the luster. I've been told this by a noted chip collector and restorer.
Crest and seals - Clean with a 3M scouring pad or wet/dry sandpaper. Then bring back coloring with Johnson & Johnson Baby Gel. (Note: the 3M scouring pad is non-abrasive, it is sold for cleaning dishes.)
How NOT to Clean Chips
Don't clean the hot stamp with a toothbrush, only
gently rub the cleaner in with your fingers.
Never use anything abrasive to clean your chips.
Don't use steam to clean clay chips, the steam will heat the chip until it softens and will warp.
I did ruin a batch of old clays once by putting them in the washing machine with bleach and Tide, it messed them up pretty bad and was very loud to boot.
I find tying them up in an old T-shirt and running them through the washing machine cycle usually does the trick. However, for that really tough grime that gets lodged down in the bottom of the cane in the hat&cane or the crevices in a small key mold, there's really nothing like a good stiff wire brush and some elbow grease. A little Vaseline to bring out the colors when you're done, and Viola! (This is meant as a joke.)
Do not clean a hot stamped chip with a toothbrush, instead gently rub with your fingers.
I have had very good luck with Sterling's Magic cleaner. However, when I cleaned some old Mint roulettes (this is the series with the small crown mold and a round white inlay) I ended up removing a thin clear plastic cap that covers the inlay.
Once I was cleaning (I think a Diamond Jim) inlay chip with what I usually use -- dove hand soap bar, toothbrush pared down and warm water, and water got under and discolored the inlay. I think it must have happened because the inlay was weak/lifting some/damaged.
Once I really screwed up. I had a lot of dried out, faded embossed style poker chips (maybe the Golfer wearing knickers) I often rub chips like these with sewing machine oil (or mineral oil, or Vitamin E liquid). I'd apply the oil and rub it off right away with a paper towel.....But this time I left all the chips in a pot on mineral oil overnight, and in the morning a found them practically ruined. As I remember, the main problem was that rings and crescents were left on the chips where one chip rested on another.
Good Luck my friends and clean your chips carefully,