14 Dec 2012

ID Card Care Tips

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It’s a fact of life that people are forgetful, thoughtless and clumsy and this is how your ID card can end up being damaged. Lost and damaged cards can be expensive to replace and you may have to live with the inconvenience of being without your card for a certain period of time. With this in mind, it’s far better to take precautionary measures to ensure that your card stays in great condition in order to avoid damage from occurring. Here are some ID card care tips to help you on your way:

ID Card Care Tips Explained

Keep Your Card Away From Specific Objects

It’s typical for ID cards to be used frequently, and inevitably, this can lead to wear and tear. By keeping your ID card separate from certain objects you can prevent the encoded information from being damaged or erased.

Magnets or Magnetic Fields

Anything magnetic will potentially erase the encoded information from the card making it useless. Wherever possible, keep your ID card away from TVs, computers and microwaves. When at home, try and store your card somewhere cool and dark like a closet. Alternatively, you could perhaps suspend it with a ribbon on a coat hook so that your coat is covering it and protecting it from potential damage. Also don’t ever place your ID card alongside another card which has a magnetic stripe such as a credit or debit card as this can damage both cards.

Excessive Temperature and Sunlight

If there’s a sudden heat wave or you live in place where the climate is hot, then you should not wear your ID card openly. Keep it in a purse or wallet so that it’s stored away separately from any other cards to minimise damage. Don’t store your card in a Velcro closing wallet as this could potentially scratch the surface of the card making it unusable. Never leave your ID card on a window sill when you’re not using it because the sun’s rays will most certainly effect the delicate encoding.

ID cards can be permanently damaged when exposed to bulk erasers, large electronic motors or radar transmitters, so you should consider these hazards when going about your daily business.

Avoid Folding or Bending

If an ID card is bent or folded it could damage the encryption and this will make it unreadable. For this reason, you should avoid placing an ID card in any back pockets in case you sit on it. You should also not punch holes in a card as this can also erase valuable encoded information.

Don’t allow your ID card to come into contact with any abrasive surface. For example, if you are wearing a top which has embossing on it such as sequins or raised lettering you should not wear it around your neck. A tiny scratch can have a huge impact on its magnetic stripe so that it no longer works.

Remember to remove ID cards from clothing before placing it in the laundry because encoded information cannot withstand a wash cycle inside a washing machine. It may seem like common sense but it’s easily done, especially if you’re over tired or in a hurry.

If your card seems a little dirty then it’s perfectly safe to wash it with warm water and mild soap then dry it with a soft towel or cloth. You should not cleanse your card by running it under hot water or spraying an anti-bacterial solution directly to it as these can both cause permanent damage.

Even the best type of lamination cannot completely prevent your ID card from damage. You need to use your common sense to ensure that your card lasts as long as possible. Have you got any tips for preventing damage to ID cards? How do you care for your card?

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