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How to Care for Clay Poker Chips

by Emily Lloyd

Stacks of poker chips on poker table

Things You Need:

  • Soft rag
  • Soft bristled toothbrush
  • Mild cleaner

Playing a game of poker with authentic clay poker chips is an exciting thing. Clay poker chips have a distinct feel to them and are used by only the most serious of poker players. Poker chips are a significant investment for serious poker player and cost anywhere from $1 to $3 per chip. After a while, these expensive chips can get smudged or scuffed from being handled by other people and getting thrown onto table after table. There's a way to get your clay poker chips looking new again. If you've invested in an authentic clay poker chip set, you'll need to know how to clean your clay poker chips before they become damaged. Keep reading for information about how to care for clay poker chips.

Caring for Clay Poker Chips:

  1. Choose the right kind of cleaner. For older clay poker chips, you'll want to avoid using harsh chemicals on the poker chips. Some chemical cleaners can actually take the ink right off your poker chips. Avoid soaking your clay poker chips as a form of cleaning; soaking them will definitely damage them. There are several different kinds of chip cleaners available. Some poker players recommend a tiny amount of mineral oil and others recommend baby oil. Make sure you know what type of cleaner your clay poker chips can handle before you start.

  2. Clean your clay poker chips one at a time. Never put all your clay poker chips in a bucket to soak. Instead, clean your poker chips one at a time with a soft rag or soft bristled toothbrush. Rub the clay poker chip between your fingers or in a rag, and then set it down and let it dry on one side for 24 hours. Flip it over and let the other side dry for 24 hours. Now the poker chips are ready for storage.

  3. Store them carefully. After you've worked so carefully to clean your clay poker chips, you'll want to find a safe and secure place to store them. Keeping them in a bag or cardboard box will not protect your chips from scratches or even getting broken in half. Using a poker chip case will protect your clay poker chips from damage. Many poker chip cases are lined with felt which also helps to keep your clay poker chips unbroken and pristine.

Tips from

  1. When you are first using a new type of cleaner, try just cleaning a few of your poker chips. See how the cleaner affects your clay poker chips before cleaning the entire set.

  2. If your clay poker chips are from an older set, then you may want to think about hiring an expert to clean them. They're properly trained on how to clean older clay poker chips.

  3. Never put your clay poker chips in the dishwasher or washing machine. The heat can damage and warp your poker chips.

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