Is it okay to clean chips and if so, what is the best way?
You aren't supposed to clean coins, if you do, it lowers the value.
Don't want to do that.
I don't know what happens to the value when you clean a chip. The gunk on casino chips is not like the patina on a coin that results from the metal interacting with the environment. Some chips are so dirty with who knows what, that I think it may actually increase their value if you sanitize them.
You do have to be careful about the cleaning process. Many casino chips are clay composites or plastic polymers. Exposure to high temperatures will damage them. I think exposure to strong chemical cleaners has the potential to melt the plastic, fade the colors, or destroy the printing on the inset or "label". Some chips have gold leaf "hot stamping" that does not hold up well to scrubbing.
Dawn dish washing detergent, warm (not hot), water and gentle use of a "Magic Eraser" (rather than a scrub brush) should do the trick for most applications.
My wife has an ultrasonic cleaner that she uses for her jewelry. I am tempted to try it out on some chips, but I don't think she would be very happy with the "ring around the bowl" the sludge from the chips is going to leave behind.
I have heard some recommendations for spraying a preservative, or oil on the chips after they are clean to restore the color and prevent them from oxidizing. I don't know anything about that though. Has anyone else tried it?
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