How can I clean the smudge off from my credit card chip? I have not used anything on it as of yet. I tried to use the card at a Walmart and it errored out. I discovered a smudge on half the chip and would like to wipe it clean without damaging the information. I thought about rubbing alcohol on a q-tip but am not sure it won't damage the chip.

  • 2
    You can also tell your credit card company that your card's chip is damaged, and ask them to send you a replacement card. I'm not sure if it will have the same number or not; credit card companies may change the # as a security measure. Feb 15, 2019 at 17:59

3 Answers 3


Alcohol swab or cotton swab that is alcohol soaked will work fine, just be sure to dry it after.

  • If you are using either of those, definitely a good idea to ensure it isn't soaking wet, just damp. Most pre-packaged alcohol swabs aren't too wet. But if you're doing your own with a cotton swab, make sure it isn't super soaking/dripping wet.
    – L.B.
    Feb 15, 2019 at 14:56

the classic way to clean electrical contacts is by gently rubbing the contact pads with a soft pencil eraser. Don't press too hard or you'll remove the gold plating, which is a bad thing.


Honestly, these things are tough enough that you can clean it with a pan scrubber and soapy water and it won't come to any harm, but try something like a cloth wetted with soapy water first.

If they were fragile, they wouldn't be used - you don't need to treat them like a precious ornament

  • Not only are they robust but they are easy and free to replace.
    – John Wu
    Feb 20, 2019 at 7:36

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.