If you’ve ever worked in a service industry—foodservice, hospitality, hosting (not as in a host club, more in the sense of the part of the restaurant gig where you show people where they sit and do any gimmicky things, as opposed to the cooking) then you run into many, many people. Often, many of these many, many people have unseen pathogens, bugs, and other assorted foreign icky things on them. And even when they don’t…
The money does.
Money is easily the filthiest thing that you come into contact with on a daily basis. It changes hands over and over, and never does it see the kiss of saponins and dihydrogen monoxide…
Henh? What? Oh. That’s soap and water.
Though washing coins is a dicey proposal—fail to dry pennies properly and they take on a verdigris shell—bills are much easier to handle. Since paper money is actually not made of paper, but rather a combination of cotton and linen, your standard “paper money” can actually be cleaned and sanitized. (Ever wash a pocket full of money and it came back crispy and dry and hard to use? This is why.)
Note: Keep in mind the general condition of your paper bills. If the bills look like they’ve seen better days, I’d recommend NOT using the first half of this trick—you could still do the second part, the actual sanitization part.
- Run a sink of water—or use a bucket. You don’t need much. Add a bit of detergent—nothing top-shelf, considering that this is going to be (ideally) change
- Take the “paper money” and check it for damage. Bills that seem a little thin or have a LOT of creasing are a “try this at your own risk” affair.
- Take the bills in decent condition and pop them in the water. To wash them, simply agitate the water a bit with one hand until either the bills look cleaner or the water doesn’t change as much in color. (Don’t be surprised if nothing seems to come off; a lot of the schmutz that paper money appears to have is actually just an artifact of the ink used in manufacture.)
- Take the money out and lay it flat on something that absorbs water, like a hand towel. Pat it until it doesn’t drip.
- If your money’s in lousy shape, the above steps can be skipped. Now you just take an iron and the towel and iron the money until it is dry. OR, if you have a flat-iron that doesn’t have the chops to be used on your hair anymore, you can use that. This method can also be used to iron a little flip into the end of a bill to make it easier to feed into a vending machine.
I know this sounds weird, and maybe a bit OCD, but—working in hospitality, I am acutely aware of the things that money comes into contact with, and so I like to keep it clean and neat. An extra bonus of this money-laundering (haha!) is that neat and flat bills take up far less space in one’s wallet. 🙂