Dirty money: It turns out money is even more disgusting than we thought

Spoiler alert: your hand soap budget is about to increase by a factor of 20. Dirty money, like filthy, is so much worse than we thought.

dirty money

A study done by the now chronic hand washers at the Cork Technology Institute on euro notes and coins found that 97% of the money they tested was covered in bacteria such as staphylococcus. Also, poop. Literal dirty money.

Those of you not already sprinting for the nearest sink should also know that 62% of those bills had an antibiotic resistant form of staphylococcus, the worst of them capable of causing life threatening staph infections. Once it gets comfy, this bacteria can live on bills for up to 19 days and coins for 16 days.

So, keep all that in mind the next time you’re about to stuff your mouth with particularly messy, handheld street food that you just paid for with cash. Or, for that matter, all the disgusting things you touch when you travel. I’d be remiss in my duties if I didn’t point out there’s now a ingenious way to pack your clothes and keep the dirty clothes separate from the clean clothes.

This study trumps the already terrifying 2002 study by the Southern Journal of Medicine that, among other things, concluded that money typically has more germs on it than a toilet.

Finally, the rumor about cocaine being on most bills? That’s not a rumor. About 90% of US currency has traces of cocaine, not because there’s that many people snorting up, but because all it takes is a few coked up bills to contaminate whole stacks of cash after they run through ATMs and money counters.