Does a Washing Machine Ruin Credit Cards?

Last Updated on: 22nd February 2023, 02:39 pm

It’s no surprise that most things get ruined when they go to the washing machine along with clothes, for instance, currency notes or documents won’t survive the wash.

However, you might be a tiny bit curious about credit cards — so am I. What does happen to a credit card when it gets washed in the washing machine? Does the washing machine ruin it? Can a credit card survive the wash?

Therefore, I dug deeper into this to find out what happens to a credit card if it goes into the washing machine.

Most sources tell the same story: the credit card won’t be damaged and would still work unless the chip is destroyed.

It turns out, most bank cards are made of waterproof plastic that would easily survive the rinse and repeat of the washing machine. However, the card chip, on the other hand, might not survive this mishap.

Simply put, keep your credit/debit cards in your wallet because they might not work properly if they are washed out in the washing machine.

There may be some instances where bank cards would not be ruined or be working properly after the wash, but it’s not worth the risk.

You won’t want to wait ten minutes at a check-out counter at a supermarket and find out that your credit card isn’t working.

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What Would Happen If the Wallet Went Through Washer or Dryer?

If your wallet goes through a washer or dryer, it may cause damage beyond repair. You might be able to recover the soaked dollar bills using a hair dryer, but unfortunately, the credit/debit cards might get ruined.

The problem with a wallet going through a washer or dryer is that the wallet contains several items, such as bank cards, driving licenses, car registration, cash, business cards, receipts, and other documents.

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It’s also possible that your bank cards would survive the washer fiasco just because the cards were in the wallet. Since the washers soaked all the clothes during the rinse and repeat process, the soapy water would surely get into the wallet and soak every item in it.

The chances are quite slim that a bank card would survive if it goes through a washing machine, but it could happen.

The dryer on the other hand uses heat to dry out the clothes, chances are, the bank cards won’t survive the dryer phase.

FAQs About Credit Cards in the Washing Machines and Dryers

Let us answer some of the frequently asked questions about washing machines, dryers, and credit cards on the internet:

Can a bank card survive a wash?

Most bank cards are made of plastic, which can be damaged by water, detergent, and the agitation of the washing machine. Additionally, the high heat of a clothes dryer could also damage or warp the card.

It is unlikely that a bank card would survive a wash. It is best to keep bank cards and other important documents away from water and heat to prevent damage.

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Can heat damage credit cards?

It’s highly unlikely that any bank card would survive any kind of heat exposure that alters its composition – size, color, design, and structure. However, it depends on the temperature and nature of exposure, for instance, a person walking down the bank ATM with the ATM card in his wallet won’t be a problem.

On the other hand, if a person put his bank card in the microwave open, it would surely damage the bank card. Therefore, the nature of exposure and strength of heat would determine whether or not the bank card would damage.

Can a dryer melt a credit card?

A dryer can melt a credit card. Credit cards are made of plastic, which can melt when exposed to high temperatures. It is important to be careful when putting items in the dryer and to check for any items that may melt or damage easily.

What can damage a credit card?

Most people know that water and fire could damage any bank card, but there are a few other things that would do the same. Here are the things that can damage a credit/debit card:

  • Heat or fire: Exposure to high temperatures, such as putting a credit card in a hot car or dryer, can cause the plastic to warp or melt.
  • Water or moisture: Credit cards can be damaged by water, as it can cause the magnetic strip or chip to malfunction.
  • Scratches or rustiness: Scratches on the magnetic strip or chip can interfere with the card’s ability to be read by a card reader.
  • Bending or mishandling: Credit cards can be easily bent and it can damage the magnetic strip or chip on the card, making it unreadable.
  • Chemicals or gases: Exposure to certain chemicals, such as cleaning supplies, can cause discoloration or damage to the plastic.
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What’s the Takeaway?

When it comes to laundry mishaps, people often complain about washing machines shrinking clothes, but most of you probably never heard of credit cards getting ruined by the washer.

The reason is that most people keep their bank cards in their wallets, which is the right thing to do.

Remember that the washing machine is supposed to wash the clothes, not to protect the delicate items in the pockets.

The takeaway from this article is that don’t keep your documents or bank cards at the mercy of the washers or dryers. Always check your pockets before the wash, just in case.