The pair – who have played son and stepfather duo Mickey and Keith Miller since 2003 and 2004 respectively – were called into a meeting with executive producer Diederick Santer on Friday when he revealed that their contracts would not be renewed.
A friend of 26-year-old Swash told The Sun: "He and David were told their characters had run out of steam by EastEnders boss Diederick Santer. Joe was stunned at first. He's loved playing Mickey and felt the fans still enjoyed watching his antics."
They added: "But he soon realised if the stories weren't there, he didn't want to be just going through the motions. He's now thinking over his next move carefully. He doesn't want to become just another former soap star."
The news comes just weeks after the announcement that Rob Kazinsky (Sean Slater) and Mo George (Gus Smith) are to quit their East-End roles at the end of the year. Only days earlier, it was revealed that Aaron Sidwell's character Steven Beale is to be written out of the show in a shock bisexual plot.
Swash recently split with his lover Emma Sophocleous only months after she gave birth to their son, Harry. Sophocleous later blasted her former lover for 'leaving her in the lurch'.