How To: Launder Money

Three days before we were set to leave for our first Steampunk convention, a large, heavy package was delivered to our little piece of the world. We squealed with delight and opened it to find a wondrous contraption that would flatten and decorate a copper disk with our very own custom design! All we needed was pretty, shiny pennies and we could make collectible tokens of our very own. How naive M was to assume it would be as simple as walking into the bank with dollar bills and asking to exchange them for shiny Lincolns.

Two towns, four banks and some serious attitude from bank tellers later we came to the sad conclusion that ugly, filthy pennies were all we were gonna get. But dirty pennies just didn’t look good when pressed. So how does one clean pennies to make them shiny and happy again?

Google sure had a few ideas – a few hundred thousand: salt & vinegar, lemon juice & sugar, baking soda, cola soda, taco sauce – just to name a few. We got very hungry. Then, our family started weighing in: Tarn-x, a pencil eraser, and copper cleaner. Through it all, Kris kept insisting that ketchup was the solution, but that seemed too gross for us to act on immediately.

We were on a deadline. We needed 500 shiny pennies pressed and stuck to business cards within 48 hours. Oh, and we were trying to launch a website, juggle product deliveries, and keep up on three different business emails. Did I mention that occasionally we wanted to sleep? But to compromise on quality is not something frenzylings do, so we tested several options to clean the pennies. Finally, we realized that Kris was right all along. Go figure.

Here is what we discovered in a segment we shall call:

“How to launder money.”

Step 1

Cajole grumpy bank employees into giving you rolls of pennies in exchange for dollar bills. Go ahead and ask for shiny ones, but I am guessing you will get the sour face and be lucky to get any pennies at all.

Hand with bowl of ketchup

Step 2

Take those dirty pennies somewhere someone has lots of ketchup. It is probably best to just buy your own bottle as most fast food restaurants will frown upon you taking 400 little ketchup cups home with you. (We “borrowed” a bottle from our brother because neither of us eat the stuff. Corn syrup, you know?)

Hand holding penny and bowl of ketchup

Step 3

Put the ketchup in a bowl or container. Add pennies and a little sugar. I know ketchup already has lots of sugar, but granulated sugar gives you some abrasion to get the gross junk off the pennies. Shuffle the pennies around for a bit, being sure to rub the ketchup into the really dirty ones.

Pennies being washed in a colander

Step 4

Rinse the pennies off using a colander – this avoids losing one down the garbage disposal or industrial sink drain.

A girl spreads pennies onto a towel

Step 5

Dry the pennies off using any method you prefer. We used a bath towel and a vegetable brush to clean the last little bits of gunk off the pennies before pressing them.

A man and a woman use a penny press

Step 6

Get your awesome family to run the penny press by bribing them with pizza and soda and promises that they won’t have to do it again because you will plan further ahead next time. If they believe you, EVEN BETTER!

Three pennies with different images: one bathtub dirigible, one clockwork cat, one lock

Step 7

Presto Change-o! You made ugly, dirty pennies into shiny mini-works of art that you can share and trade! Now all you have to do is find out who might want these little copper joys and get them into their hands.

Thankfully our peeps came through for us and they lovingly pressed pennies for hours, then wrestled with sticky snot (or “Glue Dots” as they are officially called) and got those shiny little buggers strategically stuck to our business cards with time to spare. (We actually got a few hours of sleep that night!)

DISCLAIMER: We do not recommend you try this with anything other than pennies or if ketchup makes you gag (or if you have a sensitivity or allergy to tomatoes). We also feel the need to warn you that you must be kind of nutty to even consider this type of venture. We are very comfortable with our nuttiness, so we recovered well; however, recovery time is not guaranteed and you should probably consult your physician before starting any such activity.

Owning a penny pressing machine is a great responsibility and requires a very high level of optimism.

One Response to “How To: Launder Money”

  1. Google sketchup Says:

    best one yet. I was rolling!!! hahaha


0x80070005 error