How Do You Clean Dollar Bills?

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You can clean dollar bills in the washing machine, unless they are worn or brittle. If your dollar bills have collector's value, bring them to a professional instead.

  1. Inspect the dollars

    Check the dollars for tears before washing, since they may further tear in the washing machine if already damaged. Torn paper currency can be exchanged at the bank.

  2. Re-purpose a lingerie bag

    Open, separate and flatten the dollar bills. Unzip your lingerie bag. Place the bills in the bag, and zip it closed. Place no more than three bills in one bag. Use up to two lingerie bags per load.

  3. Set your washing machine

    Select cold water wash-and-rinse cycles. Choose the delicate or gentle setting and the smallest load option. Add half the amount of detergent that you normally use for a small load. Toss in the lingerie bags.

  4. Lay out wet dollars

    When the wash is finished, retrieve the lingerie bag(s). Remove the dollar bills, and lay them on a flat surface to dry. Do not hang them on an outside clothesline if you want to keep them.

  5. Clean your washing machine

    Run an antibacterial wipe alongside the washing tub walls and bottom to remove leftover gunk.

  6. Swap or deposit dollars at your bank

    If you have a large amount of dollars, bring them to your bank for larger denominations or deposit them. Use plastic gloves when handling bills to prevent bacterial contamination.