Tag Archives: Westin St. Francis

San Francisco Hotel Laundering Money

A San Francisco hotel is laundering money — literally.

The Westin St. Francis hotel in Union Square is continuing a 72-year-old tradition of washing all the coins it handles.

Every nickel, penny, dime and quarter is cleaned with soap and water at the hotel before being dried and rolled.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that money was first washed at the St. Francis in 1938 after coins dirtied a woman’s white gloves.

While other San Francisco hotels abandoned the practice, it continued at the St. Francis.

Rob Holsen, the hotel’s current change washer, says the practice dates back to a time when coins were used more than bills. He estimates he has cleaned $1.5 million in change in the past 20 years.