Introduction: Making Money That Doesn't Burn

Picture of Making Money That Doesn't Burn

Do you have a spare bill? Here's a neat trick for setting a dollar bill on fire, without actually burning it. This demonstration illustrates the concept of combustion and also shows some properties of alcohol, water, and money.

Materials you will need:

- U.S. Bill (Note) Any Currency will do
- Rubbing Alcohol (50% Isopropyl alcohol)
- A Few Spoons of water
- A bowl
- A Lighter
-Tongs (If you don't want to burn your fingers)

-A pinch of salt (Helps produce a more visible flame)

Preparation Time: 2 Minutes

DISCLAIMER: Burning Money is Illegal in the United States, and I am in no way responsible for your actions if something wrong were to occur, in other words try it at your own risk!!
(The way I explain it ... it isn't illegal since the currency doesn't actually burn or becomes defaced at all, allowing it to keep circulating).

Check out our other instructable showing you how to Make a Smoke Bomb out of Ping Pong Balls

Step 1: Prepare Your Solution

Picture of Prepare Your Solution

1. Go ahead and pour 16oz of rubbing alcohol in a dish (Yes, all of it if you want... I did) Then, add a couple of spoonfuls of water (4 is good enough), to the bowl.

2. Also optional, if you want a more vivid an visible flame add a pinch of salt to the solution.

3. Now dip the bill in the bowl, but make sure you hold the bill with tongs!! Dip it fully, and shake off excess alcohol.

Step 2: Fire Time!!

Picture of Fire Time!!

Now go ahead and grab the lighter, and light the bill up...
It should produce a vivid flame and eventually the flame will vanish.

But wait!! There's more to it!!

Step 3: Hands on Fire!!

Picture of Hands on Fire!!

It also works with Human Meat!! But I wouldn't recommend it!!
If you do intend to, dip your hand entirely into the alcohol so you don't get burned!!

Enjoy!! and... be safe and careful!!

If you like this instructable, make sure to view How to Make a Smoke Bomb out of Ping Pong Balls Enjoy!! and Stay tuned for more!!


maxwelljets (author)2011-10-28

My mom used to work for a university chemistry outreach program that got young kids interested in science. She once did this trick in front of a group of kindergarteners but the person who prepared the alcohol and water mixture (it wasn't her) forgot to put in the water. Oops.

CrayfishYAY (author)2010-11-21

COPY CAT!!! How To Make NonBurning Money from

weirdwayde (author)2010-08-17

I did this with my Hand and it didnt hurt at all i actualy sent a video to my friends with my hand on fire saying I AM GOD!!!

nuckthebuck (author)2010-06-25

hell just skip the dollar bill and light the solution on fire. and for those of you who want to play a prank on your friends...... grab a ccan of axe(lynx in some areas) cover your hand in it walk into the room with your friends light your hand in front of their face.. then quickly put it out i did this with my whole arm b4 its crazy. or you can do it with germx or gasoline i do not recomend that. becareful have fun!

twonkie12 (author)2010-02-13

you can do the same with germ x or hand sanitizer it will light your hand on fire but it will burn if you dont put it out quickenough

dobbish11234 (author)2009-03-04

im gonna try i tonight but i only have 70% Isopropyl alcohol

ggiihh1 (author)dobbish112342009-08-31

i just tried it w/ 70%. it worked fine but it won't burn for as long...

Alskier94 (author)2009-08-04

this is really cool man, i got to admit. Im gunna go try it but i better not burn my hand while doing it XD.

tech123456789 (author)2009-05-29

isn't illegal to burn money.

dombeef (author)tech1234567892009-07-06

Read the name of the instructables!

baneat (author)2009-06-10

Also, Alum will fireproof the note, just test it out on a low denomination at first though >.

tech123456789 (author)2009-05-29

dosn't that hurt your hand when it is on fire

i do crazy stuff (author)2008-05-24

you can do the same thing with axe body spray i do it at my friends house all the time spray it on a wall and light er up

doesn't that burn the walls?


Fits you name. Lol

Ha yeah

but i do crazy people... hehe ;)

tokune13 (author)2009-04-16

if ur scared u might burn ur hand put patroleum jelly on it

ANDY! (author)2009-04-13

cool. put it on the april fools contest!

RetroPlayer (author)2008-03-29

When I was a kid I would do this and freak people out. But, I would spray hairspray, instead of the alcohol, all over my hand and arm and light it. It does burn your hairs off though and even has a nice flesh-burning smell to add to the terror. Wow, I did some stupid things when I was a kid.

RetroPlayer (author)RetroPlayer2008-03-29

BTW, a warning, if you don't light it immediately, the alcohol will soak into your skin and well, read what bbobjoefred said.

songkipark (author)RetroPlayer2009-04-10

yeah, well, we did that in my science period(@ uh) and it was cool. except axe burns a bit more than just hair.

bluestripe (author)2009-03-30

this isnt realy burning the money or your hand its just burning the flammable thing around your hand this also works with lighter fluid and also if you just spray a flammable spray on your hand like airfreshner or deodorant like lnyx

REA (author)2009-03-15

isnt it really burning the fumes from the alcohol? still looks fun to do!

ac1D (author)2008-03-14

good idea, but our little KENT had it before:

flippingflipper (author)ac1D2008-03-14

well the more instructables on one thing, the more information that is provided.

ac1D (author)flippingflipper2008-03-20

I totally agree. But, ppl want to see NEW thing.. Have you noticed, instructable posted over and over get less comment? don't be mad, this is my point of view and my opinion!

dobbish11234 (author)ac1D2009-03-03

can i make it then keep it in my wallet? or do i have to do it right away

ac1D (author)dobbish112342009-03-03
I don
vivamexico (author)2009-02-26

no it isnt, its not paper, and just like paper cotton can be dyed, paper is naturally green, coloring has to be added and thats why when you fold paper it isnt a crisp bend but a less slight bend

vivamexico (author)2009-01-20

i doubt this would work with regular paper since money is cotton not paper, if u dont believe me look it up

Cerafem (author)vivamexico2009-02-23

yes, money is cloth, but I don't think that that makes a difference.

ibuildcoolstuff (author)2009-02-09

Does your hand hurt while the fire is lit? Like, does it burn?

poopmypants (author)2008-12-29

will it work with regular paper

awang8 (author)poopmypants2009-01-15

yes, it would work with anything as long as the solution is made properly.

volquete (author)2008-11-13

this sounds cool, but if the entire bill is soaked in alcohol, how does it not burn the bill at all?

ArvindTheNinja (author)volquete2008-12-21

the bill absorbs the water and not the alcohol so it is protected from the fire

chanchanman (author)2008-10-05

I tried this and its awsome but i burnt myself a little on my arm!!

Scotish (author)2008-08-20

OMFG!!, this is ssooo cool!! Got to try this sometime!!

Waffles Will Rule (author)2008-07-26

I'll have to try this..Cool

Bad Donut (author)2008-07-20

looked fine while it was burning, but i guess i didnt soak it long enough so when i put it out, it was burnt. :(

Jahoovi (author)2008-06-24


enigmaticmerkaba (author)2008-06-01

I also sprayed hairspray on my hands... my friends thought i was crazy... NEVER use anything you are unsure of, I have the scars to prove it. I believe it was bug spray that I couldn't get to go out... I would also use this knowledge to light cigarettes when I ran out of fluid in my lighter.. Hopefully this useless knowledge comes in handy some day...

Blaminator (author)2008-06-01

This is so cool!

Blaminator (author)2008-06-01

That is cool!

Forrest-San (author)2008-05-30

Will it work with 91% isopropyl alcohol?

Paulper (author)2008-05-18

when you lit your hand on a scale of 1-10, 10 being worst how bad was the pain

redb1rd (author)2008-04-20

How long do you hold it under??? Plz respond me i couldnt get it to work.

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