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What Destroys RFID Tags?

rfid tags

RFID tags and RFID systems are commonplace. Whether you are in a library or a retail store, you can easily find their applications. RFID tags are an excellent way to identify, sort, and track products but they are not invincible.

RFID chips can be destroyed by a variety of factors. Heat, radiation, magnetic fields, and water all pose a threat to the device and should be avoided whenever possible to ensure its longevity.  With proper care and maintenance, an RFID chip can last for a long time without any issues.

In this blog post, I will tell you all about the things that are detrimental to RFID tags, and what precautions you can take to ensure the safety of your RFID tags.


Before getting dive deep into what destroys RFID tags, let us first understand what is the structure of RFID tags and what is their working mechanism.


The structure of RFID tags and their working mechanism


These tags consist of an antenna, a silicon microchip, and a substrate. The RFID tag can communicate with the reader from up to several feet away. This communication is done using wireless signals. The reader sends a signal to the tag, and the tag responds back with the encoded information stored on it. This process is known as back-scattering.

Now that we know the working mechanism of RFID tags, let’s see what factors can disrupt and destroy these tags.


The things or factors that destroy RFID tags


There are several things and factors that not only affect the performance of these tags but they can also destroy them. Some of the prominent factors are listed below:

  • Heat
  • Water
  • Radiation
  • Magnetic field
  • Static electricity
  • A knife or sharp object
  • Improper handling


Let’s discuss each of these in detail.


Heat is one of the main causes of damage to RFID tags. Heat exposure, especially in high temperatures, leads to damage to the chip inside these tags. This results in the tag losing its ability to communicate with the reader. And ultimately, this causes the tag to malfunction or even stop working altogether.


RFID tags are electronic devices. Each and every electronic device is vulnerable to environmental factors, and water is one of them. Although these tags have super insulation, water can seep into the chip and cause corrosion, leading to a malfunction of the tag. The problem can become even worse if the water carries any type of salt or other minerals, as they can cause permanent damage to the RFID tag. However, there are certain tags that can resist water. For example, we have laundry tags that were specifically designed to withstand water.


The third factor or thing that can cause damage to RF tags is radiation. The microchip inside of an RFID tag is very sensitive to radiation. This means that any type of electromagnetic radiation, such as the radiation from an X-ray machine or a cell phone tower, can damage or destroy the tag. The microwaves emitting from the oven are highly destructive to RF tags, and this is the reason that to destroy RFID tags, we put them in over for 5 seconds.

Magnetic fields

Another factor that affects the performance or destroys RFID tags is the magnetic fields. The electromagnetic field generated by a magnet, or any other type of detection device, can disrupt the data of an RFID tag. This is because the electromagnetic field generated by a magnet can cause interference with the RFID tag’s communication with the reader, leading to missed signals, inaccurate data, and even complete failure of the tag.

Static Electricity

Electricity is not only harmful to humans, it can also damage RFID tags. This is because static electricity can cause miscommunication between the tag and the reader. If these tags are exposed to a high level of static electricity, then it can cause the tag to malfunction or even stop working altogether.

A knife or sharp object

Another thing that can destroy an RFID chip is by piercing it with a knife or other sharp object. If the RFID chip is damaged in this way, it will not be able to transmit or receive information.

Because RFID chips can be damaged easily, it is important to protect them from things like knife blades and other sharp objects. If an object pierces the chip, especially where the chip is exactly located within the tag, it could damage both the chip and any data that is stored on it.

Improper handling

Like all electronic equipment, RFID chips can develop issues if not handled and operated properly. One of the things that damage the RFID chips is by cutting the antenna very close to the chip can also damage them.


By doing this, the chip will not be able to receive or transmit any electrical impulses, so it will not communicate with your reader. Sometimes people mistakenly think that this will destroy the chip, but in reality, it will just cause some component of the chip to malfunction.


Now that you know what the factors that affect or destroy RFID tags are, let’s discuss the precautions that you can take to ensure the safety of your RFID tags.


Precautions to ensure the safety of your RFID tags


  • Store your RFID tags in a safe place, away from heat and radiation. While working with these tags, always make sure that the environment is not too hot, too cold, or too humid.
  • If you are using RFID tags in an environment where there is a lot of water or moisture, then make sure to use tags that are water-resistant. You can purchase laundry tags if there is a lot of moisture in the working environment of RFID tags.
  • Keep your RFID tags away from magnets and other devices that generate strong electromagnetic fields.
  • Use proper grounding methods to reduce the risk of static electricity damage.
  • Replace or repair your RFID tags if they show signs of damage or malfunction.
  • Proper handling of items that have tags attached to them can save the RFID tags from destruction due to wear and tear.
  • Always make sure that you are checking your RFID system regularly for any malfunction or disruption.


With these precautions in place, you can ensure that your RFID tags will work properly, and efficiently, and will have a longer life. By understanding what destroys RFID chips and taking the necessary precautions to protect them from such factors, businesses and organizations can benefit greatly from using these devices in their operations.


We’ll Be Happy To Hear From You!


So here are all the details regarding What destroys RFID tags. And now if you are facing any different problem related to the RFID tags or If you’re having trouble using your RFID chip and you think something might be wrong with its data, don’t wait to contact us for help.

We would be more than happy to review your problem and see if anything seems off-kilter. If you have any other queries or concerns relating to RFID security then don’t hesitate to get in touch with us so that we can help steer you in the right direction.


You might also be interested in the following 2 articles;

Why are RFID cards not working

Why are RFID tags not working



Can a magnet destroy an RFID chip?

At first glance, a strong magnet may seem like it would be capable of killing an RFID chip. However, a closer look reveals that the metal layer on the chip is actually very thin and wouldn’t be affected by a strong magnet. In fact, a magnet could even stick to the back of the chip and prevent it from working properly.


Is it possible that an RFID chip can be deactivated?

Yes, there is a “kill” command that can be used to turn off a tag permanently. This is usually done by sending a code to the tag from a reader.


What will block RFID signal?

Yes, aluminum foil can block RFID signals. For example, if you wrap a credit card in aluminum foil or place it in a container made from a conducting metal then RFID Chip cannot be able to trace the information from it. That means it is possible to block the RFID signals.

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