It’s a no-brainer that no matter how present you are, you sometimes forget and leave items like your credit card in your pockets and do the laundry.
You probably forgot and washed your clothes together with your credit card in the washer.
And you are wondering if your credit card will work after being washed.
Here is what happens if you wash your credit card in the washing machine:
Your credit card will still work if your forgetfully put it in the washer because the chip in credit cards is designed to be water-resistant and won’t be damaged by water. The only time your card will get damaged is if it’s heated to a temperature of 135oF or 57oC in the washer or dryer and gets warped.
This article will show you all you need to know if your credit card is washed in the washing machine or put in the dryer.
You will discover;
- How to prevent washing your credit card in a washing machine
- What to do if you wash your credit card in a washer
- And answer other questions that you may also ask
Table of Contents
Do credit cards get ruined in the washing machine or dryer? (Details)
No one intentionally decides to wash his or her credit card in the washing machine but we all know it does happen.
But are washing machines and dryers destructive enough to ruin your credit card if you wash them?
Generally speaking, a washing machine will not ruin your credit card since the card is made of a plastic part (polyvinyl chloride acetate or PVC) and a metallic chip that has a protective coating to protect it against water and mild chemicals.
Credit cards are usually designed to last 3 or 5 years before they expire.
As a result, they are made to be durable and resistant to adverse conditions such as falls and scratches.
A washing machine and dryer however can ruin your credit card if it is subjected to high temperatures above 135oF or 57oC. The plastic part of the card will begin to melt and warp when the temperature rises above 135oF.
So if you ever mistakenly wash your credit or debit card in the washer, the odds are that your card will survive.
However, it may not survive in a dryer due to the high temperatures generated in the drum.
How to prevent washing your credit card in a washing machine
Credit cards are a big investment and should be treated with the utmost care.
Although credits card can withstand a washing machine, long-term exposure to highly concentrated bleaches and detergents can gradually damage your card.
Here are a few tips to help prevent washing your credit card in a washing machine:
- Always ensure that you check your pockets before doing your laundry.
- Inform your cleaner to always search your pockets before putting your clothes in the washing machine.
- If possible avoid keeping your credit card alone in your pocket. It is always better to keep your bank cards in a secure wallet.
Read also: Will A Washing Machine Fit In A Rav4?
What to do if you realize your credit card is in your washer
It could be that you started your laundry and remembered that you didn’t remove your credit card from your pocket.
Well, no need to panic.
Allow the wash cycle to complete, drain the water in your washer, open the door of your washer and remove your card from the laundry. Immediately dry the card with a dry towel and leave it to air dry.
What to do if you realize your credit card is in your dryer
Putting your credit card in a clothes dryer is something you should prevent at all costs.
So what do you do if you realize that your credit card is in the dryer?
Immediately turn your dryer off and remove the credit card. This will prevent your card from getting heated to temperatures that will cause the plastic of the card to warp or melt.
How heat from a clothes dryer can damage your credit card
As we already mentioned your credit card can survive a washing machine but will likely not survive a dryer.
If there is anything that will ruin your credit card fast, then it is heat.
The plastic part of credit cards can warp under high temperatures completely ruining them and making them unusable.
They can’t survive temperatures above 135oF or 57oC, while the metallic chip on the credit card can withstand temperatures up to 350oF or 177oC.
Clothes dryers averagely reach temperatures of about 125oF and 135oF.
What that means is that, even though the metallic chip may not get damaged sooner, the plastic would have reached its limit and started warping.
Even if the card doesn’t melt the first time, warping and bending of your card may render it unusable since it will not be able to fit right into an Automated Teller machine.
Read also: Can you put a durag in a washing machine?
Can Detergent damage a credit card?
Due to the delicate nature of credit cards, they are designed to be able to withstand chemicals, whether acidic or alkaline, including detergents and bleaches.
That protection is provided by the epoxy resin that coats the chip on your credit card.
What that means is that the detergent or bleach in your washing machine will not be able to damage your credit card.
In fact, you can use low-concentrated bleaches or alcohol to sanitize your credit cards against bacteria or viruses.
Are credit cards waterproof?
Credit cards are designed to be waterproof and can be able to survive if completely immersed in water.
The mere fact that 90% of a credit card is made of plastic is enough waterproofing.
In addition to that, the metallic part of the card is coated with epoxy resin that prevents damage due to water and chemicals.
You need to be cautious however to not subject your credit card to severe scratches as this can damage the protective coating and make it susceptible to chemical attacks.
Conclusion- Credit card in washing machine or dryer
We hope that you would not panic the next time your credit card goes through your wash because this will not damage your card.
However, you always need to be extra careful not to run your credit card in a dryer since the heat will most likely ruin your card.
To be on the safe side, always ensure to check and empty your pockets before washing your clothes.