Since we’re on lockdown and disinfecting everything in sight, we thought it a good idea to remind you to clean your wallet and the cards in them as well. These small plastic items in your purse could be harbouring harmful bacteria at the best of times and it’s more important than ever to keep your cards clean.
Imagine this … you take them out after filling your shopping trolley, hand them to the cashier and swipe them through the card machine before putting them straight back in your wallet without thinking twice. But just think about the amount of people who've been to that exact till before you, how many other cards that cashier has handled that day. Need we say more?
Here are a few tips on cleaning your credit, debit, loyalty and bsmart cards:
- You can clean your cards with the same things you use to clean your hands — soap and water or a strong disinfectant spray (more than 60% alcohol).
- If you’re going to use a liquid cleaner, it’s best to spray it on a paper towel instead of directly onto your card.
- You don’t have to put too much effort into it. A gentle wipedown will do. You don’t want to damage the magnetic strip or chip.
- We suggest not using an abrasive agent like bleach or anything containing a physical scrub, to minimise damage to your cards.
Bonus tips - caring for your cards:
- We know you have loads and loads of bank cards and loyalty cards and membership cards in your wallet. But you should try not to store more than one card per slot. Storing them on top of each other can damage the magnetic strips or chips and you risk demagnetising and rendering them useless.
- Storing your cards close to other magnets such as touching the clasp of the wallet or the pocket in your phone case should also be avoided.
- Never carry your card loose in your pocket, handbag or any bag for that matter; scratches on the magnetic strip can be just as damaging as demagnetizing the strip.
Couldn’t find hand sanitizer and disinfectant at the shop? Or maybe you want to stay home, stay safe and make your own? Here are two recipes:
DIY disinfectant gel
Surgical spirits/alcohol (as strong as you can get it)
Aloe Vera gel
* Tea tree or any essential oil
Mix 2 parts alcohol to 1 part aloe vera gel.
* Optional - Add a few drops of tea tree or essential oil to give it a pleasant scent.
DIY Disinfectant Bleach Spray
Mix 4 teaspoons bleach with 1 litre water and pour into an empty spray bottle.
How to use it: Spray onto the surface you’d like to disinfect, let sit for 10 minutes and wipe away with a wet cloth.
* As mentioned above we do not recommend using bleach on your cards. Use it as a last resort if you can't source or acquire any other kind of disinfectant. Remember to wear gloves, spray in a well ventilated area, and always be careful.
There you have it. Remember to clean your wallet before placing your sparkling clean cards back in there.
Please continue staying home unless you absolutely have to go out. And remember to use and clean your bsmart card when paying for essentials!
If you need any information about the current pandemic please visit https://sacoronavirus.co.za/.