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