myPOS blog COVID-19 Tips

A helpful guide on cleaning your card reader effortlessly

Maintaining a clean and germ-free body and surrounding environment is the best way to ensure a healthy lifestyle and to protect yourself and your loved ones from potential risks of bacteria, viruses, or other threatening infections.

Thanks to the evolution of technology, we spend a great number of hours on our mobile phones. In a similar way, businesses that have discovered the vast potential of card payments rely on credit card payment machines to receive money.

By regularly cleaning your card reader, you can protect yourself, your employees, and your customers from the spread of potential diseases and keep your credit card machine healthy and functioning for longer. For example, did you know that 80% of failed transactions are because of dirt on the sensitive contact points inside the card reader?

Worry not! Cleaning your card machine is easy and takes only a few minutes.

Cleaning products to use for your card reader

Depending on the level of cleaning that you are after, the best products to use will differ. For instance, your primary aim in regular times could be simply removing accumulated grease, dust, food, or other dirt from the surface to get a cleaner look and a better working device.

However, in serious pandemic situations requiring increased attention and the prevention of spreading bacteria, the procedure will not be the same. Here are some of the ready-to-use products you could purchase:

Disinfectant cleaning spray for electronics

If you decide to go for a disinfectant spray, make sure it is specifically designed for electronics. Check the ingredients and search for the level of alcohol included. Before using the product, read the device manufacturer’s cleaning instructions and check if alcohol is suitable for your payment device. If not, you could seriously damage their surfaces and important reading points of your terminal leading to malfunctions.

Cleaning card for card readers

Most cleaning cards have been created with isopropyl alcohol and serve a specific purpose. If you have been wondering how to clean a card swiper in detail, this is the perfect solution for you.

Disinfectant wipes for hardware

Similar to disinfectant sprays, disinfectant wipes are a brilliant method for getting any bacteria and germs off your card machine in no time. You could purchase this product ready-to-use or you could create your own. We’ll show you how below.

Card machines to help your business grow!

Accept debit and credit cards through your traditional or smart card payment machine and enjoy instant settlement of funds.

Buy a card machine

DIY card reader cleaning ideas

Depending on the size of your business, employees and customers probably touch your payment device between hundreds and thousands of times a day. Because of the many people with access to its surface, it becomes the ideal place for the spread of germs and bacteria.

If you urgently need to clean and disinfect but are out of specialised products, here are some ideas for staying hygienic on the go.

  • Use a damp cloth soaked with warm water and soap and washing-up liquid
  • Mix two parts rubbing alcohol or isopropyl alcohol with one part water in a spray bottle and use this to clean device surfaces.
  • You can use vodka as a disinfectant to kill bacteria but also to remove stains and refresh fabric.
  • Add essential oils to vodka to enhance its cleansing properties and also complement the mixture with a pleasant smell.

Always remember to check the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning procedures! Find a cleaner that is electronics-friendly, like ammonia-free glass cleaners. If your business operates with a touchscreen card reader, make sure your cleaning product is suitable for it and will cause no harm to the product.

How to clean your credit card reader in 3 simple steps

There are a few important parts of your device that are worth exploring when disinfecting and cleaning. Let’s look at them in more detail.

Step 1. Card reader cleaning

Using your cleaning card, swipe through your card reader as if you were making a payment. Don’t rush and take the time to ensure that the card runs smoothly through the reader. Alternatively, you can wrap a piece of cloth with one of the cleaning products listed above around a credit card. Swipe the card back and forth in a similar motion through the reader.

Step 2. Cleaning the touchscreen

Take out a disinfectant wipe or piece of cloth and go over the touch screen surface. Remember that touch screen displays can be extremely sensitive and ensure that your product is suitable for this part of your device. Once finished, immediately wipe it with a dry cloth or paper towel to avoid the moisture remaining on the surface, potentially causing damage.

Step 3. Disinfecting the PIN pad

Your PIN pad is the area that is most exposed to dirt and bacteria. Thoroughly clean every button with your cleaning cloth or wet wipe.

Extra protection for your card machine


In times of threat from diseases or dangerous viruses such as COVID-19, it is highly advisable to take extra caution in preventing contamination and the spread of bacteria.

You can keep your device safe and clean by using a silicone case. It is easier to clean and replace if necessary. Apart from regular cleaning and disinfection, you could also explore other methods of receiving money from your clients to ensure a safer environment. For instance, you could take advantage of the range of contactless payment features of your card reader.

Sending receipts as a text message rather than printing out and handing this to customers is another measure your business could take in such circumstances. Running a business in times of crisis certainly carries the responsibility of taking the necessary measures to keep yourself, your employees, and your clients safe.

So, get your cleaning materials ready and keep your card payment machine perfectly hygienic. 

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