HOW TO REMOVE CREASES FROM BASEBALL CARDS

Baseball cards can develop unsightly creases over time if they are folded, crushed, or improperly stored. While it may not be possible to completely remove all traces of creasing, there are several techniques you can try to minimize creases and help restore the card to a flatter, cleaner condition. The method you use will depend on the severity of the creases.

For light creases, the simplest approach is to try gently flattening the card under heavy books or other flat, heavy objects. Place the baseball card between two sheets of acid-free paper to protect the surface. Then stack several heavy books on top with even pressure across the surface. Leave it like this for several days or up to a week to allow the card to slowly flatten out on its own over time. Check on it periodically by lifting the books to see if the crease has lessened. Repeat as needed until satisfied with the result.

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For deeper creases that don’t respond well to simple book flattening, you may need to use steam from a humidifier or clothing iron on the lowest moisture and heat settings. Place the baseball card crease-side up on a clean, dry surface covered with a thick, lint-free cloth like felt or flannel to protect it. Run the iron back and forth gently over the crease area without actually touching the card. The steam will penetrate the fibers and slowly relax them to flatten out the wrinkles. Go slowly, checking regularly, as oversaturating the card could cause warping or damage.

Another trick is to use a clean, wet towel to apply moisture directly to the creased area of the card. Again, do this carefully without over-saturating the paper stock. The moisture will relax the fibers just as steam does. Place another dry towel over it and gently press with your fingertips to flatten. Allow to fully air dry before assessing results. Repeat as needed.

For stubborn creases, try using rubber cement or a heat tool on the lowest temperature setting as a last resort. Apply a thin coat of rubber cement just to the creased area of the card and allow to become tacky. Then place between sheets of paper and flatten with heavy objects. The adhesive will help hold the fibers in place as they dry. A heat tool on a very low warm setting can also gently relax fibers, but use extreme care to avoid harming the surface. Go slowly in short bursts and monitor closely.

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Proper care and storage is key after any crease removal attempts to prevent new creases from forming. Store cards in hard plastic holders or penny sleeves, then in cardboard boxes, binders or portfolios. Avoid folding, bending or crushing. Keep in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight which can damage over time. With patience and careful application of the right technique for the severity of the creases, you can often make notable improvements to even significantly creased baseball cards. But remember subtle traces may still remain despite best efforts.

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