Are Sticky Tarot Cards a Problem for You?
Many times in the past I’ve had tarot decks from which the cards kept sticking together, and I’m sure you’ve had some too. It makes them quite annoying to work with, doesn’t it? Long ago I discovered a way to remove the stickiness; and as not everyone will know of it, I’ll share it with you now.
But First, Some Common Reasons Why Tarot Cards Stick Together
- They are coated with a filmy residue and need cleaning
- They are coated with a finish that creates static electricity
- They have no finish, and the roughness leads them to cling together
- They have a glossy finish that leaves them with a tendency towards sticking
- In some cases they don’t stick but let’s use vintage cards as an example here; you will want some extra glide to reduce friction, thereby reducing wear and tear
In these cases, what should we do?
Perhaps let’s begin by addressing the cleaning issue. To effectively clean tarot or playing cards, put them in a large tray and sprinkle flour on them. Lightly swirl them around making sure the flour reaches all cards. Once they are well coated, leave them sit at least fifteen minutes. Then individually wipe the flour from each one. As you do this, you will see that the grease or film will roll off with the flour. Once the procedure is complete, the cards shouldn’t stick anymore.
For the other points on the list above regarding why tarot cards stick together, you can treat them all with the same one process, that I will soon reveal. And too, if you have cleaned your cards and they still stick, this is the most logical next step. First you’ll need some fanning powder. You can purchase it many places online, I buy mine on eBay.
What is Fanning Powder?
Fanning powder was created for magicians, enabling them to fan their cards with ease, thus the name. Fanning powder has saved my tarot card collection from much wear and tear over the years. I love it. I can’t be bothered to take the time to discover whether the cards I buy will stick; and besides, I’ve found that most stick more than ideal. Now I automatically treat all cards that come into my possession, that is unless they are coated with printer’s varnish rather than laminate; in that case I’ll do a test on one of them. I’ve found that some types of printer’s varnish break down when fanning powder is applied.
In reference to older tarot cards, if you use any vintage decks for your readings, it is a thrifty idea to treat them periodically with fanning powder to reduce wear and tear as much as possible. The effect of the powder will last longer or shorter dependent on how much you use the deck. For this reason I can’t really say how often you should treat them. What I will say is that you will know, so play it by ear.
How to Use Fanning Powder
Place the tarot deck you wish to treat in a smooth tray – glass works well. Sprinkle with a very small amount of fanning powder. Do not sprinkle straight from the container. If you spill there will be a very difficult mess to clean up, as this is very sticky (er, I mean residuous) stuff. I start with about 1/8 of a teaspoon.
Delicately swirl the cards in the tray. Be careful with them. Make sure to get some along the card edges. If you feel that the initial amount of fanning powder used wasn’t enough, add a small amount more and move the cards around once again.
What you don’t want is any excess. Shuffle the cards well and wipe off any powder that is visible and white. That’s it – all done.
A word of caution – fanning powder is filmy. Be careful how and where you handle it, it coats things if you let it fly. Be careful not to breathe it in or use it close to children or pets; it is mildly toxic.