How to Unstick Your Sports Cards – Dealing with Bricking

I opened a hobby box of 1993 Bowman baseball cards looking for the Derek Jeter rookie card. It actually was a box break I did for my group. It was a disaster. The cards were glossy and were 27 years old. All of the cards were sticking together. I would peel one card from another and there would be white spots all over the cards. The front part of the card would be on the back side of the card causing the white spots. Even worse, there weren’t any Derek Jeter rookie cards. It took over 30 minutes to open a box of cards. What could I do to fix this?

If you want to see how bad it was for yourself watch below.

So I did some research. I went online, watched videos, and read forum posts. I looked to find whatever I could to try and remedy this situation. Everyone had an opinion but there was no definitive answer. It was time to do an experiment.

The Experiment

I had a box of 1993 Upper Deck Baseball Cards. They were glossy just like the 1993 Bowman cards. I had 3 boxes. I previously opened one and had the same problem with all of the cards being stuck to each other. I would open a pack and 2 sets of 4 to 5 cards would stick to each other. You also hear people call this bricking in the sports card world.

So what did my research come up with? Extreme cold and extreme heat. I read about people putting cards in freezers and heating cards up with a hair dryer. They also put cards in the microwave. So that’s just what I did!

Freezing My Sports Cards

My wife yelled, “WTF is in my freezer? You filled up my guest room with your baseball cards and now my freezer. Get it out now!”

It’s an experiment! It’ll be there for one day. That’s it. I promise!

What a dork.

As I silently wept at night I wondered would this actually work?

24 hours later I took the cards out. Yes the packs were cold but they weren’t frozen. They didn’t warp. So when I opened the pack I thought I was going to see all of the cards in one big block. But that didn’t happen. The cards were still stuck but when they were pulled apart there was a lot less paper loss. You still had 5 to 6 cards stuck together and it was difficult to pull apart. But when you pulled them apart there were no white spots on the cards.

Result – The cards were still stuck together. But there was very little paper loss on each card. It was much better than not doing anything.

The Hair Dryer

My bathroom is downstairs even though my bedroom is upstairs. My wife and my daughters took the upstairs bathroom. So when my wife was asleep I stole her hair dryer and went downstairs. I had 4 packs of cards which I placed in my bathroom on my heated floors. Heaven forbid my feet get cold when I step out of the shower. I am too fancy for that.

So I placed a towel over the cards and proceeded to heat the cards up with the hair dryer on full blast. I read that if you didn’t use a towel that it would just melt the cards. No idea but I didn’t want to take any chances.

So after 10 minutes I stopped blow drying them. I opened the first pack and the first two cards slid right of like a regular pack! I wept with joy, my tears streaming from my face. But it was short lived. It became harder to slide and then just like the other packs there were 4 to 5 cards stuck together. Again, they were still difficult to pull apart, but just like the freezer cards, the cards had a lot less paper loss. As I continued to open each pack it became harder and harder because they were cooling off.

I went back after my initial experiment was over and used the hair dryer on one pack of cards. I did it for 5 minutes and that pack was extremely hot. I came up with the same results. The best way to use this method is to use the hair dryer for each pack and then open them up.

Result – The cards were still stuck together but just like the freezer cards little to no paper loss. This also took a lot less time than the freezer.

Microwave Time!

So I saw someone microwaving cards. It actually was the same set as the one I was opening. Perfect! But I couldn’t remember how long he put the cards in he microwave. Re watch the video? Hell No! I opened the pack because the wrapping has metal in it and put it on a plate. I put the first pack in there for 30 seconds. What could go wrong?

So yeah don’t put the cards in for 30 seconds. They smelled cooked. Not good. They were also warped and there was condensation on the plate, which I couldn’t figure out why it was there. These cards were stuck together really bad and when I tried to pull them apart there was major paper loss. Definitely a fail.

So I opened up another pack and put the cards on a plate again. But this time I put them in for 10 seconds, which was much better. Delicious! So the cards came out pretty hot but they were still stuck. When you pulled the cards off they didn’t have as much paper loss as not microwaving them, but you still had some. Alas, this wasn’t a winner as well.

Result – Have to do it for 5-10 seconds but had alittle more paper loss compared to the other methods used.


While none of the three methods worked as I planned they were all better than not doing anything. At no time could I flip through the cards like I would a normal deck. But factoring paper loss and time, I feel that blow drying the cards yielded that best results. You could blow dry the cards for about 5-10 minutes and they would have the least amount of paper loss.

By the way there were two Derek Jeter rookie cards! Both had small paper loss on the bottom corner of the cards. Boo….

If you want want to see what I did take a look at the video below.

Have any other methods I missed? Comment below so I can try another method out!

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