How to Iron Money

When you have U.S. currency that is badly crumpled, you might simply spend it or swap it for new bills at your bank. If you are traveling in China, Japan, other Asian nations or the Middle East, though, you might find it hard to get merchants to accept your rumpled paper currency. These cultures are notoriously fastidious about cleanliness, and merchants might assume your crumpled bills have picked up excessive dirt and germs and refuse to accept them. You can fix the appearance of your paper money by ironing it.

Crumpled one dollar bill in
An iron set on low can smooth out wrinkled money.
credit: Dimedrol68/iStock/Getty Images

Pressing out the Wrinkles

You can safely iron U.S. currency, because "paper" bills are made from a mixture of 75 percent cotton and 25 percent linen. Many other countries also use textiles to make currency that can withstand years of handling. To iron money, start by dampening the wrinkled money with water from a spray bottle or sprinkling it by hand. Smooth the bills and place them on a dry towel on an ironing board. Place another towel on top of the currency. Set the iron to low heat and press the money using a circular motion. Once the money is ironed flat, set it aside to air dry.