Do Credit Cards Get Ruined in The Washing Machine?

Imagine returning from work and casually flinging your clothes into your washer. Such an unscrupulous situation might result in mistakenly sending your credit cards down your washing machine. 

In the heat of this occurrence, you’ll wonder what to do next and if damages may occur.

If the question of your card will get ruined races through your mind, then stay glued. This article will satisfy your curious mind.

No, Credit cards do not get ruined in the washing machine. Although heat can make it wrap or bend when it goes through a dryer, so long as your credit card doesn’t bend or get wrapped, you can still use it even after it passes through a washing machine. 

In this article, I’ll highlight what can damage your credit card during laundry and what you should do with a wet credit card.

Will My Credit Card Still Work After Going Through the Washing Machine? 

Do Credit Cards Get Ruined in the Washing Machine

Often, your credit card will still work after going through a washing machine.

But fewer times, your credit card may get damaged and not work in tougher situations. 

In cases where you wash with hot water or use a dryer during a wash, your credit card might not work after going through a washing machine. These cases are rare, though. 

Even so, companies produce all credit cards in a way that they survive harsh conditions, which means water cannot affect them.

So, just a drop in a washing machine cannot damage your credit card.

Credit cards are waterproof and designed to last the next three to five years, which makes them durable.

A credit card also can withstand chemicals, even those in detergents.

Credit cards, though, are sensitive to heat, so if they make their way to the dryer, they are highly likely to get damaged.

Hence, since a credit card cannot withstand heat, the washer can damage it if wrapped by a temperature above 135oF from washing with a hot water cycle or a dryer. 

And again, a credit card can get damaged if severely scratched. But once the credit card does not have deep scratches, the machine doesn’t wrap it, and the washer doesn’t bend it, it is in good condition and will work. 

Just pick it up, clean it, and you will be amazed it is still working. Hence, your credit card will normally work after it goes through the washing machine once the washer doesn’t affect and damage the chip. 

Below is a table showing a list of items that can and cannot damage your credit card.

Things that can’t get your credit cards damagedThings that can get your credit card damaged
Water cannot damage your credit card.Heat can damage your credit card by melting it.
Chemicals such as the ones in detergents cannot damage your credit card.Scratches on your credit card can damage it.

Will a Credit Card Inside a Wallet Go Bad After Going Through The Washer?

No, in rare cases, a credit card inside a wallet can go bad after going through the washer.

Sometimes, now and then, you ignorantly forget your credit card in your wallet, and in the same ignorance, you wash these wallets in a machine with the card in it. Should you panic? 

Ordinarily, a washing machine does not have anything it takes to make a credit card go bad.

This means that your credit card can go into a washing machine and not get bad in a normal situation.

However, a washing machine usually has a temperature of around 43.3 to 32.2 degrees Celsius.

On the other hand, the melting point of a credit card is 57 degree Celsius. 

Thus, a washing machine’s heat is insufficient to melt a credit card. So, normally a washing machine cannot destroy your credit card. 

Thus, a credit card outside a wallet will operate normally after going through the washer.

The reason is that heat from the washing machine cannot melt the chip on the credit card. 

The heat in a washing machine can also not wrap the credit card leading to damage.

But exceptions come in when the credit card passes over to the dryer, as the dryer can damage it. 

And exceptions where you are using hot water for a wash. This item could melt the chip and cause bending to your card. 

Can a Washing Machine Break Your Credit Card? 

It is highly unlikely that anything in a washing machine can cause a deep scratch or lead to your credit card breaking. 

It is also unlikely that a scratch is deep enough to damage the electronics of your credit card. 

A washing machine is not capable or does not have anything that’s able to break a credit card in it.

So, your credit card can go through the washing machine and back and still be good for use. 

In a case where you are washing your clothes in hot water, the hot water in a washing machine usually reaches temperatures of 130oF. 

This event could soften your card’s plastic and make it bend. The constant tumbling can also leave the card bent or wrap it.

The washer bending or wrapping your card is not a good spot. A wrap or bend to your credit card could damage it. 

Damages here come in because your card can no longer fit in the shape of card machines, so you cannot use it. 

Changing the plastic’s shape could also damage some delicate wiring of the antenna within or dislodge the EMV chip. If this eventuality happens, you can only request a new credit card

Hence, a washing machine cannot break your credit card but can bend or wrap it, resulting in damages. This event makes your credit card useless and due for a change. 

It would be best if you were always careful with your credit cards and not gamble with them. Keep them safe, away from water and away from the washer. 


#1. What to do with a Wet Credit Card?

When your credit card gets wet, dry it up carefully. Do this with a towel or a clean piece of fabric.

#2. What should you do if you wash your credit card?

Occasionally, your card might get damaged after a wash and become useless. But when it doesn’t, you can just pick it up and wipe off water from it.


There is very little chance that your Credit card will stop working after you run it through a washing machine.

So, in the case of an incident like this, do not panic. Clean the water off it with a paper towel or a cloth.

However, Avoid using a dryer or heat, as overheating can cause damage to your credit card.

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