How to Remove Stains From Baseball Cards

By Jeffery Keilholtz ; Updated April 12, 2017
Clean with a soft cloth.

Baseball card collecting is a fun activity for children and a serious pastime for many adults. Made of a thin cardboard paper material, baseball cards are delicate objects. Valuable cards are often old and even more fragile. Removing stains from a baseball card requires sensitivity and patience. In fact, while stain removal is certainly possible, attempting it runs the risk of further damage to the card. Keep these facts in mind when taking it upon yourself to clean one or more treasures in your collection.

Spray a thin layer of solvent onto a cloth. The cloth must be soft and clean. A naphtha-based solvent, such as standard lighter fluid, can cut through sticky substances without harming the image on the card. Avoid tartaric acid or bleach-based solvents due to possible paper disintegration and/or color removal.

Rub the cloth directly onto the stain in small circular motions. Take your time and do not apply excessive pressure to avoid smearing the stain or bringing the solvent into unnecessary contact with clean areas of the card. Continue this process until the stain is removed.

Pat the card dry with a clean area on the cloth. Allow the card to sit in direct sunlight for 30 minutes at a time for complete drying. Remove the card from the sunlight as soon as it is dry to avoid discoloration.

Things Needed

  • Solvent
  • Clean cloth

About the Author

Jeffery Keilholtz began writing in 2002. He has worked professionally in the humanities and social sciences and is an expert in dramatic arts and professional politics. Keilholtz is published in publications such as Raw Story and Z-Magazine, and also pens political commentary under a pseudonym, Maryann Mann. He holds a dual Associate of Arts in psychology and sociology from Frederick Community College.