Will it all come out in the wash?
October 30, 2006 10:30 AM   Subscribe

My wallet just went through the washing machine. What effect (if any) will that have on my credit cards?
posted by Taken Outtacontext to Shopping (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
ive washed my credit cards a couple times and other than getting a little bent up they have still worked so far.
posted by trishthedish at 10:33 AM on October 30, 2006

Unless the cards were free to move around and there by abraded the mag stripe they won't be harmed by the washing machine.
posted by Mitheral at 10:48 AM on October 30, 2006

Yea, the only real risk is that they'll be demagnetized. This is unlikely, but to be sure just try them some time.
posted by raf at 11:26 AM on October 30, 2006

You can check whether they have any magnet left by trying to use them to open the door to a closed bank's atm vestibule. Any magnetized card will open them.
posted by Sprout the Vulgarian at 11:42 AM on October 30, 2006

money laundering is illegal, man

seriously: happened to me, too. no biggie, the card remained magnetized, but it was 30° C water, essentially cold.

credit card companies will replace your card for no fee, though, just drop by their offices if you live in a big city, I just replaced my half-broken AmEx
posted by matteo at 12:09 PM on October 30, 2006

It's plastic... and what?
It's magnetic... and what?
There's a chip... and what?
Why would there be a problem?
posted by rom1 at 12:15 PM on October 30, 2006

I did this, rang my bank (Lloyds TSB in the UK) and they told me my debit card would most likely be fucked. They replaced it for free, but it was only once this process was in motion that I tried the card and found that it was fine.

I'd just try and use it to buy something and see if it works. Regardless of the outcome, I'd get your bank to replace it because it might be on its last legs. My bank let me have another 30 days on the old card to tide me over in case it did still work.

Extra info: The card was in the pocket of a plastic wallet and therefore the magnetic stripe wasn't abraded by anything.
posted by pollystark at 6:02 AM on October 31, 2006

Man, I've washed my credit and ATM cards so many times, a couple of them are barely recognizable on the face... but the magstripe still works.
posted by pzarquon at 8:52 AM on October 31, 2006

Response by poster: Thanks all.
posted by Taken Outtacontext at 1:42 PM on November 1, 2006

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