Back Button

How to Clean a Plastic Photo ID Card

Erika Dean

If you need to clean your ID card, you can use household materials to do so. If you spill something on your ID card or it becomes dirty from being handled, you may want to clean the card to avoid any issues when someone needs to verify your identity.


Place your ID card in an ID holder to keep it from getting dirty.

For example, if you try to purchase an age-restricted item such as an R-rated movie or an alcoholic beverage, you may not be allowed if a clerk is unable to see your ID picture and details. It takes little time and effort get your card as clean as it was when it was first issued.

  1. Squirt a tsp. of dish soap into a small bowl or glass and fill the bowl or glass with warm water. If suds do not form when you add water, use a spoon to mix the soap and water together until the water becomes sudsy.

  2. Place your ID card on a flat surface in a lighted area, such as a counter top in the kitchen or bathroom.

  3. Dip a paper towel or washcloth in the soap water mixture.

  4. Hold your ID card in place on the counter with your free hand. Place your index finger and thumb at the edges of the card to hold it in place.

  5. Rub the damp portion of the paper towel or washcloth over the ID card until you remove the smudges or dirt.

  6. Use a dry paper towel or washcloth to dry the ID card after you finish cleaning it.