How To Store Playing Cards

Approx. 4 min. Read | Written by Lee Asher
Store your playing cards

The #1 Question Asked

"What's the best way to store my playing card collection?" - Anon

Controlled Environments

The best way to store your playing card collection is in a dry, cool, well-ventilated storage area. Avoid storing cards in the attic, basement, along a wall, or wherever else moisture and temperature fluctuate to the extremes and where condensation could occur.


Humidity Sucks

Humidity and high temperatures increase deterioration and invite the growth of mold and mildew, which breaks down the binder layers of the card and potentially mars the surface. You certainly don't want your playing cards to look like they've sat on the bottom of the ocean!


Temperatures

Playing Cards prefer a 68 F (20 C) and a relative humidity range of 30%-40%. They can be stored in temperatures as low as 30-40 F (-1 through 4 C), as long as the humidity stays constant between 30-40%. Again, dehumidifiers can reduce the moisture in a room or storage area and are inexpensive.

"Consider using a dehumidifier or a fan to promote air circulation in the summer, or even spring and autumn if you live in a rainy climate." - Thomas Dawson Expert Playing Card Collector

A consistently dark, dry, and cool area is the best place to store playing cards for maximum longevity. Again, high temperatures will most likely accelerate deterioration. Consider the storage container for your playing cards carefully.


Store playing cards in plastic sleeves?

The goal is to protect the bricks, decks, or cards from dust, light, and potential environmental changes. Look for archival paper enclosures free of acids, peroxides, and sulfur or a chemically stable plastic container.


Store your playing cards

Choose coated polyester, polypropylene, or polyethylene sleeves if you desire a plastic sleeve. Most of the best museums, libraries, and archives strictly use polyester (found under the commercial name - Mylar) without any anti-static coatings. It's a big no-no to use any PVC casing.


Cards Can Fade

Many lights can cause deterioration and fading, so beware of ultraviolet rays from both artificial and natural sources. Store the cased cards in a safety deposit box within a banking institution for even more protection from light, dust, and fluctuations in the environment.