Yep. I did it. I laundered money.
It turns out there was a dollar bill stuck in my jeans and it went through the washer and dryer. I’d like to say that the whites were whiter but really it just looked a bit faded and crumpled. However, it got me thinking…”just what ARE these bills made of that they can withstand that kind of beating?!”
Turns out it is not paper money at all…but a combination of cotton and linen. (I was going to take a picture of said bill but there are all these crazy restrictions on how you can photograph money and I’m just too lazy to go through all those hoops).
Finding this out led me to all kinds of obscure facts about U.S. money…this site has a lot of good info about how money is made. And here’s an interesting tidbit for ya:
Hmmmn…sounds like a job they gave to an intern to determine…”OK, Suzie, here’s a dollar. Now, sit here and fold and unfold it…oh, and count those folds, would you.”
You can also find out that the first African-American signature on U.S. currency was from the unfortunately named gentleman, Blanche K. Bruce. Who would name their son Blanche?!
If you ever wondered what to do with shredded and mutilated money, look here. An actual free service for taxpayers! Who knew?! I also discovered that there is such a thing as “currency residue.” Apparently, the destroyed, shredded, left over bits from money can be turned into roofing shingles, greeting cards (when you really care enough to send the very best), wall paper and fuel pellets (money to burn!).
As Mister S. would say, “Fascinating.”