Why You Shouldn't Ignore Dirty Card Readers and How to Clean Them Properly

by:Cleanmo      2023-06-27

Why You Shouldn't Ignore Dirty Card Readers and How to Clean Them Properly

When was the last time you cleaned your card reader? Chances are it has been a while, or maybe never. Dirty card readers are not only unsightly, but they can also cause significant problems for your business. In this article, we will discuss why you shouldn't ignore dirty card readers and how to clean them properly.

Why Dirty Card Readers are a Problem

1. They can damage cards

When card readers get dirty, they sometimes have trouble reading magnetic stripes or chips. This can cause cards to be damaged, leading to replacement costs or even a loss of data stored on the card.

2. They can cause transaction errors

Dirty card readers can lead to transaction errors, resulting in declines or chargebacks. This can be a major issue for business owners, as it can lead to unhappy customers and lost revenue.

3. They can compromise security

Dirty card readers can be an easy target for fraudsters looking to steal sensitive data. A compromised hardware device can lead to credit card fraud, identity theft, and other serious issues.

Now that we understand the problems that dirty card readers can cause, let's look at how to properly clean them.

How to Clean Card Readers

1. Turn off the device

Before cleaning a card reader, make sure to turn off the device to avoid any electrical issues or data loss.

2. Use a microfiber cloth

A microfiber cloth is perfect for cleaning card readers. Avoid using paper towels or other abrasive materials, as they can scratch the device.

3. Use alcohol-based cleaner

Alcohol-based cleaners are ideal for cleaning card readers, as they evaporate quickly and don't leave behind any residue. Avoid using water or other liquid cleaners, as they can damage the device.

4. Clean the exterior

Start by cleaning the exterior of the device with the microfiber cloth and alcohol-based cleaner. Focus on the areas where the card is inserted and where customers touch the device.

5. Clean the interior

With the device turned off, use the microfiber cloth and alcohol-based cleaner to clean the interior of the device. Focus on the areas where the card is read and any sensors or contact points.

6. Dry the device

After cleaning, make sure to dry the device thoroughly with the microfiber cloth. This will help prevent any moisture from damaging the device.

Now that you know how to properly clean your card reader, it's important to make it a regular part of your business's cleaning routine. By keeping your devices clean and in good condition, you can avoid transaction errors, data loss, and security breaches.


Dirty card readers are a problem that many business owners overlook. However, by ignoring them, you could be setting yourself up for a host of issues, including card damage, transaction errors, and security breaches. By properly cleaning your card readers on a regular basis, you can avoid these problems and ensure smooth operations for your business. Remember to turn off the device, use a microfiber cloth and alcohol-based cleaner, and dry the device thoroughly. By doing so, you'll keep your card readers in top shape and protect your business from potential issues.

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