Canada’s Fancy New Plastic Money Has The Unfortunate Problem Of Melting

Canada’s got some pretty fancy new money — $100 and $50 polymer bills that last longer and aren’t damaged as easily as paper notes. But as the saying does not go, “All that is plastic might melt at some point, so, sorry your money shriveled.” In some cases, the money has been said to curl up like bacon in a frying pan. Yum.

“The Bank of Canada cannot rule out that polymer notes may be damaged under certain extraordinary conditions,” Julie Girard, a currency spokesperson for the Bank of Canada, told the Toronto Star Thursday.

The bills were designed to be veritably indestructible, but when they’re near intense heat like inside a hot car or next to something emitting heat, they’re reportedly melting, shriveling and otherwise turning in on themselves.

Despite the fact that the Bank of Canada says the bills, which were introduced in November, underwent a barrage of scientific tests to see if they could withstand certain conditions, money holders are saying the money is anything but impervious to heat.

Among the anecdotal reports are stories from bank tellers of bills melting together in a hot car, or a man who put his wallet on a recently used toaster oven and noticed later that three $100 bills had taken on the shape of a “Coke bottle.” Weird spot to set your wallet, by the way.

“So you can’t rip them, you can’t tear them, you can’t wreck them by washing them but apparently you can heat them and melt them,” said a banking industry source.

The Bank of Canada isn’t explaining how its rigorous tests of extreme heat and extreme cold failed to predict these kinds of results. Seems like they’re sticking with the polymer notes, which are said to last 2.5 times longer than paper bills, or about 19 years. Unless you get say, a blow dryer involved.

Plastic bills: Quick! Spend them before they melt [Toronto Star]


Edit Your Comment

  1. Golfer Bob says:

    Are you kidding me? Great. I just changed all my Merican money to Canadian since I’m outraged over Bomacare and moving out of the country.

    • Tim says:

      I suspect that the kind of person who would move to Canada because of Obamacare probably wouldn’t use currency to begin with, since it’s a government plot to track everybody.

      • Golfer Bob says:

        Stop scaring me. Besides, I line all my trucker caps with tin foil so they can’t track me.

        • blogger X says:

          Sorry, Golfer Bob, but Canada has a healthcare system similar like the one we will have soon.

          Enjoy the bacon!

          • DFManno says:

            No, it doesn’t. Canada has a publicly-funded national health service. The ACA isn’t even remotely similar.

            • freya946 says:

              It is publicly, business and government funded. But each province is in control of it’s own Medicaire system. I am completely covered by it as I don’t make enough money to pay for my own meds, etc. It is far from perfect, but beats the hell out of the Republican way of life.

            • Mr. Fix-It is trapped in a collection of half-working appliances says:

              Ennh… mostly publicly funded.

            • incident_man says:

              Something closer to the Canadian system is what we were supposed to get, an ACA with a public option, until Obama kowtowed to the insurance lobby to eliminate that. All we have left is a massive insurance-industry sweetheart giveaway, courtesy of the American taxpayers. How nice.

              • Golfer Bob says:

                They are ruining this country and turning us into Socialists. That’s why you have to move to Canada to get away from them.

    • freemike says:

      Cracks me up and also makes me afraid when I see a comment like this. Don’t you know that Canada has socialized medicine? :/

    • GrammatonCleric says:

      You got mad at Obamacare so you moved to Canada? That is hilarious.

      I definitely agree that the federal government shouldn’t be forcing you into a contract with a private company, but certainly there are more egregious attacks on our rights happening lately than a health care policy. But to each his own.

    • Jawaka says:

      That’s right, you move to Canada and their public health care because you don’t want America’s new public health care…

  2. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    Seems like a hot car would be something to test for, Canada.

    • Nidoking says:

      Cars get hot in Canada? I guess maybe it would happen in this weather, but it’s probably a national emergency there too. They can call for supplies of replacement money while they’re distributing bottled water and seeding clouds.

      • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

        What a sarcastic comment for such legit concern.

        • Nidoking says:

          Oh, sorry. I thought I was on the Internet.

          Honestly, though, the recent weather in my part of the world has been quite unusual. It’s possible that they tested the bills in the conditions that they expected to exist, but current conditions are outside the expected parameters. They only built the Gruntmaster 9000 to operate in temperatures up to 5000 C.

          • psm321 says:

            Umm I’m in Michigan very close to the border with Canada, and it gets plenty hot here (not Texas hot, but hot) every summer.

            • Cacao says:

              Just heard about the Sour Cherry crop failing in MI. And it’s my favorite flavor jam, too! Darn.

  3. Leftstrat says:

    Sounds like they were trying to prevent money laundering…..

    //Sorry… Couldn’t help it…

  4. RemeCA says:

    I don’t see a problem here. I like our new money, and can’t wait for the 20’s and lower bills to be released as well.

    Its pretty simple:

    paper money: don’t let it get wet
    plastic money: don’t let it get too hot

    If the money is damaged, in either case, you can usually turn it in to a bank and get it replaced.

  5. AstroPig7 says:

    Well, that’s one way to produce liquid assets.

  6. LightningUsagi says:

    I want to say something about money burning a hole in your pocket, but I’m not sure what…

  7. Quake 'n' Shake says:

    Fortunately for Canadians, that whole “intense heat like the inside of a hot car” last only 3 weeks during late July/Early August.

    • RemeCA says:

      Spoken like someone who doesn’t live in Canada. The whole country isn’t NWT.

    • ferozadh says:

      Not in Toronto. And all Canadians know that’s the real Canada. The rest are just barren wasteland. T-dot and what not.

  8. Ripped Mittens says:

    “Is that a hundred loonies melting in your pocket, or are you just glad to see me?”

  9. Rogersda76 says:

    Time to use rocks, stones, and shells for currency again.

  10. goodpete says:

    When laundering money in Canada, make sure to use the delicate cycle.

  11. sp4rxx says:

    This just in:

    Canadian economy crashes due to money melting issues. The drained accounts have been confirmed and all assets have been liquidated.

  12. sparc says:

    That’s pretty genius on the part of the government. Make the money self destruct. Canadian government is gonna get rich!

  13. StatusfriedCrustomer says:

    Let me guess – the money is also brittle and will shatter if dropped onto a hard surface.

  14. wagnerism says:

    They’ll stick with these notes until someone figures out a way to counterfeit them.

  15. crispyduck13 says:

    All jokes aside, there really is no excuse for this. Either someone screwed up the testing or misinterpreted the data, both of which would be kind of hard to do since that’s a pretty simple test. Or, more unlikely, the Canadian government contracted this out to a low bidder with false data (or none at all).

    Plastics have come a long way in terms of temperature tolerance. Many car manufacturers are using plastic injection molded intake manifolds and valve covers. The technology is there, even for thin plastic.

    • ferozadh says:

      Yes the technology is there, so is the cost. Plastic money shouldn’t cost more to make than the face value of the note. This is why they got rid of the penny there in the first place.

      • MikeM_inMD says:

        Canada did away with their penny? Somebody forgot to tell their mint, because I’m holding in my hand a Canadian penny, dated 2012, that I received at a Tim Hortons this morning.

        • Tylosaurus says:

          “Are doing away with” would be more accurate. They stopped minting them this spring, and I think the deadline for them to no longer be currency is this fall.

    • Jimmy60 says:

      Just like those goofs who overlooked the fact that paper money can burn up. The bank will replace an identifiable, damaged note but a burned one isn’t identifiable. They don’t melt easily and a car would have to be extremely hot to melt them. They use the same notes in Australia so if melting was an issue they’d know.

      Canadians aren’t big cash carriers these days anyway. Most prefer debit.

  16. There's room to move as a fry cook says:

    Urban legend? The stories so far are anecdotal.

    Can Consumer Reports run a test?

  17. BigHeadEd says:

    A lot of stuff I get from Amazon is from non-Amazon affiliates, so am I right in assuming it wouldn’t cover everything sold through

  18. CrazyEyed says:

    Those silly Canadians

  19. Mr. Spy says:

    I think that in the US if your bills are damaged, they can be turned in to a bank for replacement so long as half (or more than half) of the bill remains intact. I imagine Canada would have something along those lines for this situation.

  20. Coyoty says:

    Plastic melts in extreme heat. Who knew? Doesn’t everyone leave their wallets on top of hot toaster ovens? Leather or vinyl or paper bills don’t burn, do they?

  21. MaxH42 needs an edit button says:

    Oh, you meant you wanted it to withstand up to 100 degrees Celsius???

  22. speaky2k says:

    “So you can’t rip them, you can’t tear them, you can’t wreck them by washing them but apparently you can heat them and melt them,” said a banking industry source.

    So after they go in the washing machine after forgetting about them in a pair of pants, if you put them in the dryer and what happens? You know that putting money, even by accident, in a dryer would never happen and should not be tested for, right?

  23. PragmaticGuy says:

    Is that a picture of Rainn Wilson from the office in the background? In any event, I wonder if in the cold of winter if the money will crack. Maybe not such a good idea to have frozen assets either.

  24. Jawaka says:

    So do the bills melt if you accidentally leave them in your pant pocket and then wash and dry them?

  25. SnickerDoodle says:

    This is the same plastic used in Australia, for their currency. Wouldn’t they have the same problems?

  26. stevenpdx says:

    If I hold my American paper money too close to a flame, it burns. That’s why I don’t do that.

  27. wiggie2gone says:

    I’ll tell you another thing the beer sucks.

  28. There's room to move as a fry cook says:

    The plastic should at least hold up to Fahrenheit 450.

  29. Arctic Snowbot says:

    This money is…
    ( •_•)>⌐■-■
    Too hot to handle.

  30. orion70 says:

    Who the hell leaves hundreds and fifties in their car? I’m lucky if I have a five or ten in there for coffee or tolls.

    We obviously need to replace these with extra large versions of the loonie and twonie, because people forgetful or carefree with their money enough to leave it hanging around in cars or on top of hot ovens, should have to carry them that way.

    For some reason I have a sneaking suspicion a few of these are the result of “dude, let’s see if we can melt it”. Like Frank Jr.

  31. PhilipCohen says:

    Firstly, thanks, Yahoo, for the password hassles …

    We’ve had polymer notes in Australia for ~20 years; never had one melt in my wallet …

  32. mikeami says:

    So you are moving to a country that taxes it citizens, to pay for national health coverage, because the President want to have national coverage in the U.S.? Brilliant!
    Oh, Ha Ha… I see what you did there.

    Jesus was a SOCIALIST!

    • incident_man says:

      OMG!!! For the love of God, did you have to post that? Jesus? A SOCIALIST?? Forget for the moment that, for the most part, it’s true (from what I’ve read). But now you’ll have all the southern conservative, Tea-Party, bible-thumpers sending you death threats.

  33. Revolverkiller says:


  34. videoman says:

    Is this a new form of monetary deflation?

  35. Beauzeaux says:

    “In some cases, the money has been said to curl up like bacon in a frying pan.”
    “they’re reportedly”
    “Among the anecdotal reports”

    And amazingly enough no one has yet to produce one of these “melting” bills.

  36. DemosCat says:

    Australia has had plastic money for years. I wonder how well it holds out in the Outback.

    Might be interesting to lay an Aussie $5 and a Canadian $5 side by side on the dashboard of a car and see what happens. Should probably do this in the US, since passers by spotting them will assume it’s monopoly money and not be tempted to break into the car.