Is your damaged currency still usable?

November 22, 2018 - 3:30 am

By Amy E. Feldman, Judge Technology Solutions

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Ever laundered money? No, I mean literally put it through the wash? 

Is it still legal tender? 

A Utah couple turned their house upside down looking for an envelope containing $1,600 until they realized where it went: Their 2-year-old put it through the shredder.  

Um, shouldn't someone be watching a 2-year-old near a shredder? And also, near $1,600? Hello? 

While most of us keep cash and toddlers and shredders apart, we often tear or wash bills accidentally. What happens to money you've damaged? 

According to the Federal Reserve, a dirty, defaced, torn, or worn-out currency note that is clearly more than one-half of the original note, and does not require special examination to determine its value, can be exchanged or redeemed, so take it to your bank for a fresh bill. 

If less than one-half the bill remains, or its value is questionable, then trained experts at the Department of the Treasury or the Bureau of Engraving and Printing need to examine it, so go to bep.gov for instructions.

It also couldn't hurt to go to trained experts on parenting for keeping kids away from them in the first place.