Poker chips are undoubtedly one of the most important components for any game of Texas Hold'em.
Collectors usually choose not to wash their chips in order to keep their precious collections in their original state. But for common chips that are used frequently, keeping them clean and hygienic is an important task worthy of your time and attention.
In professional Texas Hold'em poker tournaments or casinos, there are usually poker chip cleaning machines that will clean the chips for you. If you are hosting a poker home game, then you probably don’t have a poker chip cleaning machine. But don’t worry; we have everything you need to know on how to clean your poker chips.
Don’t Scratch Your Chips
Don't try to scratch off or scrape away any stains or dirt on the chips. Clay and ceramic poker chips that have decal, labels, or imprinting require more careful cleaning. The beautiful markings on your chips (especially the patterns, denominations, names of the donors, etc.) are often susceptible to being easily removed, therefore extra attention is needed to resist the urge to scratch or scrape.
Choose Your Tools Carefully
Any abrasive material is a bad idea for cleaning your chips. You can use a soft cloth or your hands to clean the chips gently. A soft-bristled toothbrush, or even a used one that has been sterilized and cleaned, is acceptable. When cleaning, don't use acid detergent. Use a mild cleaning detergent or neutral soap instead. Remember to be gentle during the whole process.
Don't Use Steam or Heat
It might sound like a good idea to use steam or heat from boiling water to clean up any dirt or germs on the chips. Truth is, the heat and moist will cause the clay chips to lose their rigidity and, as a result, warp, which is the worst-case scenario. In addition, you should not immerse or rinse your chips with hot water or soak them for too long.
Let the Experts Help
If you have valuable poker chips or chips that mean a lot to you, it is better to keep them on display instead of playing with them. Pay for an expert to have them cleaned safely.
Drying and Storage
Use a soft cloth to dry the chips right after you clean them, a few chips at a time. After you finish the cleaning process, make sure the chips are dry, then store them in a safe and dry place, such as a chip case or a display box to keep them clean when they’re not in use and protect the surface from abrasion and corrosion.
However, due to continual handling, it is inevitable that your chips will get dirty. For example, the oil on the fingers or other dirt and grime on the table will attach to the surface of the poker chips. Therefore, in order to keep the chips clean and hygienic, other than remedial cleaning, it is also very important to keep the following good habits:
- Before the game starts, wipe the table or prepare a clean poker mat;
- Wash your hands before the game;
- Keep your snacks or drinks off the table. If you accidentally spill, clean it up as soon as possible;
- Avoid grabbing food with your hands. Try not to serve finger foods and keep away from greasy or oily foods.
While keep your chips clean is important for you to maintain a good Texas Hold'em poker gaming experience, the vitality of the poker chips do not simply lie in their beautiful presence but also in the moments when they are present on the “arena field” - poker table. Now you have the poker cleaning guide on hand, what are you still waiting for? How about hosting an exciting and relaxing poker home game tonight!
Check out our guide on how to set up your own SNG poker game at home.