Money Laundering, without getting arrested

I’m sorry if you have arrived here expecting to find ways of recycling some ill-gotten gains. You will have to look elsewhere

This post is about something a little more useful to most of the population: how to keep your coins clean and COVID-free with the minimum of fuss.

Yes, i know about contactless payments and the move to a cashless society, but many people still use cash and need a way to clean the coins may may receive.

Fair warning

Oh yes, this post relates to sorting out coins. It might work for the new polymer note, but I’m not going to risk mine. For them, it’s still a once-over with a wet-wipe.

Back to coins

My initial attempts at coin cleaning uses a small tub and a mild, as in a very small squirt in in a couple of inches of water, bleach solution.

It was OK, and I know from science background, in particular water treatment and disinfection, that no bacteria or virus was going to survive more than a few seconds it such a solution.

However, it was a bit of a faff, to use a technical phrase, and I knew at some point I would spill the the bleach solution somewhere I unhelpful.

I really wanted to find a way cleaning coins as part of an existing process.

Good, but not good enough

I tried using wet-wipes as part of the post outdoor exercise wipedown (fiddly, messy and probably not that effective) including the coins in the was washing-up (can you actually lose a coin in a washing up bowl? I could…) and again I’m not sure how effective it was.

The answer to to a money launderer’s dreams

The answer to a money launderer’s prayer?

Enter the dishwasher. It ticked lots of boxes: Hot? 70C, Lots cleaning power? If it can remove oven baked residues it’s good enough for me, Time? A typical wash cycle is around 60 minutes, plenty of time for the mandatory two rounds of “Happy Birthday”.

The only downside? how to stop coins getting lost. Remember we are talking about someone who could lose coins in a bowl of washing up!

A sock bag to hold the coins while they are being dish-washed
OK, It’s a sock bag, but who’s counting?

Happily a repurposed sock washing bag, the sort used to keep all the socks together in a washing machine, provided the answer .

And the result

Two washed, gleaming yellow coins alongside two rather dull unwashed coins
Before and After.

I expected the laundered coins to be clean, but not that clean. The local chippie noticed straight away, as did the newsagent.

It seriously made me wonder just how clean our everyday objects are.

She Who Must Be Obeyed who is a touch clean-freak, meant in a kindly way, refused to handle any more coins until they had had the treatment.

And I can’t say I blame her.


If you’ve got any COVID stories like this that you’d like to share, just drop me a line and I’ll slot them in.

Bob Windmill

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