Plastic sheets damaging cards?

RustyGreerFan

Rookie
21
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I enjoy having my collection in albums. I call them plastics, but I don't know what people normally call them.

I thought I was doing good back in the day (the 90's) to get Ultra Pro brand, but now I'm having some issues. For one, many of my sheets don't seem to be crystal clear anymore. They have some light spots like from dust or like what you'd see on a glass with water spots. This could be due to me messing around with my cards so much when I was younger - constantly turning pages and reorganizing my collection. But the bigger problem is the large number of plastics I have where the sheets get cloudy! Many of my sheets I've thrown out now because they were so cloudy. What is odd is that it seems to have affected the Ultra Pro sheets with the gold sticker more than the ones with the silver sticker. And I think the latter is the older.

I've noticed with a lot of my cards that the plastic sheet kinda sticks to the cards. Easy enough to pull apart without damaging the card, but with some of the foil-type cards this leaves a cloudy residue. Almost my entire 1994 Score Gold Zone set is cloudy. They can be cleaned, but it's tedious work and obviously the cards can easily be damaged.

I have a feeling that this is probably my fault because I live in the South and I have my cards in a room that has no heat or A/C. But then I've also received cards through buying and trades that have this same cloudy effect. Perhaps the cards themselves just won't hold up well to time?

Not sure what I'm looking for here, but here are some ideas:

1. Has anyone experienced any of the things I describe above?
2. Do plastics need to be replaced after awhile, or did I likely cause the harm by not having them in a temp-controlled environment?
3. Is Ultra-Pro the best brand?
4. How do I get the best price on replacement plastics?
5. How/where do you store albums that you enjoy looking through?

Thanks!
 

theplasticman

Veteran
177
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Humidity is probably a large part of the issue. Direct sunlight and heat can do some of that also.

For cleaning your cards, get some micro fiber cloths... you get get large bundles of them in the automotive section of Wal-Mart etc for about $3-5.
 

MattinglysCards

Pro
96
5.00 star(s)
I have all of my Topps set run from 1971 to 2010 in Ultra Pro sheets/pages. I know over the summer of 1994 is when I bought a 1000 sheets and moved many of my sets from boxes to sheets over the summer. I just pulled out my 1989 Topps set (yes I know the sheets are worth more than the set :rolleyes: ) and the sheets appear in the same condition as the new sheets my 2010 set was put into this summer. Granted, they hardly ever (maybe once a year) see the light of day and are stored in a fairly climate controlled environment.
I use those Pledge Grab It mitten-like dusters to dust off the sheets when I do open a set.

Thanks,
Marvin
 

RustyGreerFan

Rookie
21
5.00 star(s)
@plasticman - I'm not sure the microfiber cloths would work for what I'm talking about. This cloudiness on the cards has to almost be washed off. It's kinda tacky to the touch - not just dust or dirt. Maybe a residue is how to describe.

@DavidK - I had my good cards in top loaders and screwdowns, but when they are like that they just end up in a box and I never look at them and enjoy them. I like how with plastics you can put together your rainbows or show how a certain brand has evolved from year to year. I enjoy making pages of cards with similar color schemes or border styles or whatever. Makes it like a pop art collection.

@Marvin - Good to know. I think I will give Ultra Pro another shot. Sounds like I am at fault here. Yes, I've also noticed that the top page in an album can collect dust - good idea for a fix on that.
 

theplasticman

Veteran
177
5.00 star(s)
@plasticman - I'm not sure the microfiber cloths would work for what I'm talking about. This cloudiness on the cards has to almost be washed off. It's kinda tacky to the touch - not just dust or dirt. Maybe a residue is how to describe.

@DavidK - I had my good cards in top loaders and screwdowns, but when they are like that they just end up in a box and I never look at them and enjoy them. I like how with plastics you can put together your rainbows or show how a certain brand has evolved from year to year. I enjoy making pages of cards with similar color schemes or border styles or whatever. Makes it like a pop art collection.

@Marvin - Good to know. I think I will give Ultra Pro another shot. Sounds like I am at fault here. Yes, I've also noticed that the top page in an album can collect dust - good idea for a fix on that.

Give it a good breath (you know... how you clean glasses LOL) then wipe.
 

brewerfan34

Veteran
324
5.00 star(s)
I would think Ultra-Pro is the best brand. I have never bought any with the gold hologram, only the silver.

With my Ultra-Pro's it is really hard to tell the difference between the sheets that I bought in the 90's and the new one's I gotten in the last couple of years. The cheaper sheets I bought along time ago are a different story however.

My guess would be the humidity.

~Frank
 

T-206

Veteran
145
5.00 star(s)
I buy ultra pro myself. Yes I take my cards in and out of the sheet every 2 years. When I do see it turning cloudy or have a yellow tint ( anywhere on the page) I throw that page out and start fresh with a new one. I try to do 1 book a day but with 35 binders that is a chore in its self.
 
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