Types of Bacteria Found on Money

Types of Bacteria Found on Money

Last update: 03 July, 2015

A new study has really given a new meaning to the phrase “dirty money”. No, money is not a negative thing, and it helps most people make a positive impact on their world. However, experts were surprised when they found shocking quantities of bacteria on coins and notes of all kinds.

3,000 different types of bacteria were found on US dollars last year, and it triggered an outcry among hygiene conscious individuals all over the world. How could money be so dirty?

Most of the different types of bacteria detected on the money could cause acne, and some of them were resistant to antibiotics. One of these was a Staphylococcus superbug, which really won’t respond to what your doctor prescribes you.

How is it that so money is so dirty? Well, money gets passed around on the streets of the world from person to person, getting dropped on the ground, put down of dirty surfaces. They say that men don’t wash their hands after they go to the toilet, so when they then put their hands in the pocket for some change, the bacteria can be transferred easily. This is just one example of how money can become dirty. Time to wash your money!

Staphylococcus epidermidis

There are 40 different Staph species, and they are found in and on the human body in small amounts. They may also turn up in the mucus in the body. Though they are not usually pathogenic, people with weakened immune systems can get infected and get sick. Many people actually catch infections in hospitals! These bacteria can also be found right on the money in your pocket. Yuck!



Bacillus bacteria can remain dormant for very long periods. They thrive when there are a lot of phosphorus, nitrogen and oxygen molecules around, but some varieties aren’t really dangerous for healthy people. However, some bacteria in this species are pathogens that can really cause some damage, causing anthrax, for example, and food poisoning. Mm, delightful.


We’ve all heard of Strep, which grows in chains and pairs, giving rise to its name, which means easily “bent” or “twisted”, like a chain. With over 50 species under the Strep umbrella, this type of bacteria can cause havoc in the human body, so it’s best not to ingest them at all if possible.


Yes, E-coli can exist in the body, and around 0.1% of gut flora is actually E-coli! Faecal-oral transmission is the normal way it gets into the body, so washing your hands after you go to the toilet is essential if you want to avoid it getting into your body! This type of bacteria can also survive for a long time outside the body, and was found hanging around on money. Oh yeah. Twenty minutes is all it needs to start reproducing.

Don’t forget to wash your hands!!


Whenever you touch money every day, just be mindful that it may have substantial amounts of bacteria on it. This shouldn’t put you off touching it, as these bacteria are everywhere in our environment. Just remember to wash your hands before eating and drinking, and don’t put your fingers in or around your mouth and nose without making sure they’re clean first.


Money is a positive thing. Having it allows us to do, be and have all the things we want. Dealing with money should be an enjoyable experience, and seeing money as dirty won’t help us achieve our aims. Giving to others can generate a wonderful feeling inside us, and without money, we can’t buy people birthday or Christmas presents or surprise the ones we love.

Your relationship with money is so important, that there are seminars and educational programs out there that have been created so that you can improve how you see money and manage money effectively so it doesn’t cause you problems.

One nice technique often included in these types of courses is simple and effective, and can be used any time you want to relax and improve how you feel. Simply visualise something you would like to appear in your life, and think about how it would feel to have it. Imagine you already have that item. See what effect this has on your body, your breathing. Enjoy the experience, but don’t start worrying about how you’re going to get it. Just enjoy the feeling it gives you. Money is just a tool, but it can be a tool you can use to improve your health and well being. Just be sure to wash your hands after you handle it!