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Clay Casino Chip Oiling

Many times, purchasers of new sets of Clay chips will oil their set with mineral oil. For the most part this is for cosmetic reasons only. Mineral oil applied to Clay chips will enhance the colors of the chips as well as remove the fine "production dust" that many times remains when you receive new chips. This oiling technique is similar to the effects of hours of play a casino chip would see in a poker room. Naturally, a chip will absorb the oils from the players hands and enhance the color of the chip this way. With home sets averaging only a couple hours of use a week at best, preparing chips with mineral oil speeds this process.  Of the three Clay chip brands manufactured today, Blue Chip Company chips seem to benefit the most from this technique, while Paulson chips seem to be minimally enhanced, in fact we do not feel the time spent oiling Paulson chips is worth the return and do not oil them ourselves. ASM chips fall somewhere in between these two.

Points to remember when oiling chips:

  1. "Less is More" when oiling chips

  2. Mineral Oil can stain fabrics and wood. Use caution

  3. Test oil a single chip first to see if the effects of oiling appeals to you

  4. Even after hand drying, oiled chips may still stain, we suggest caution when using freshly oiled chips. We usually wait a week or so before using them to be assured the chips have completely dried

  5. Oiling ceramic, plastic, or injected molded chips serves no real benefit and should not be done


Oiling Clay chips requires very few supplies and all are inexpensive. Of course you need the mineral oil which can be found in the "Beauty" section of any grocery or department store. Mineral Oil is also sold as a laxative. A large towel, and a couple small cloths.

Using one of the small cloths apply a small amount of mineral oil roughly the size of a quarter.

Place a chip in the oiled spot holding it on each side with your thumb and forefinger

"Spin" the chip clockwise while applying pressure with you thumb and forefinger. Two complete revolutions is usually enough to remove the dust and coat the chip well. Do not worry if you get oil on the inlay as this is not a problem, while the inlay does not need oil, oil will not hurt it. You may also notice some of the chip color in the oiling towel. This is due to the production dust being wiped from the chip

As you oil each chip lay them out on your towel. Typically I will start by oiling 100 chips. Then dry the first 50 I did. Oil another 50, dry 50, etc. This allows 30-60 minutes between oiling and drying. While there is not set time to allow for the chip to absorb the oil, I have found this to be long enough to do the job. I have at times left them overnight or even a couple days without any issues.

To dry the chips, wipe off any excess oil by laying a chip on a new clean towel in your hand.

And rub the oil off with your thumb and fingers through the towel. I turn the chip over during this process rubbing each side twice. I find my thumb does most the work during this process and thus why I flip the chip

Before putting them away I "spin" stacks of ten chips in the towel to make sure the edges are wiped clean of oil

Oiling chips in this fashion I find I can do about 100 chips per hour from start to finish at a leisurely pace while watching television. While there are other very effective ways to oil chips, I have found this to be suitable for me. It requires few supplies, creates little mess, and can be accomplished while watching WSOP reruns on ESPN