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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.

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    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. – BrettFromLA Feb 15 at 17:59
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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 at 14:56
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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.

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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 at 7:36

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