How to Wash a Check With Brake Fluid

cleaning checks with brake fluid

The process of washing a check with brake fluid is a method used to fraudulently alter the payee’s name or the amount on a check. It involves soaking the check in brake fluid for a specific duration, typically around 10 minutes.

The brake fluid acts as a solvent, dissolving the ink on the check. Following this, the check is rinsed with water to eliminate any remaining brake fluid and ink residue before being left to dry.

It is crucial to recognize that engaging in check washing is illegal and carries severe consequences. Therefore, it is imperative to understand the ramifications of such actions and refrain from participating in any form of fraudulent activity.

Key Takeaways

  • Check washing involves soaking the check in brake fluid for approximately 10 minutes.
  • Brake fluid acts as a solvent, dissolving the ink on the check.
  • Brake fluid’s solvent properties effectively remove ink from the check without damaging the paper.
  • Brake fluid enables the criminal to air dry the check after dissolving the ink.

The Importance of Using Brake Fluid

The use of brake fluid in check washing is essential for its solvent properties, enabling the effective removal of ink from the check without damaging the paper. Brake fluid’s ability to dissolve ink is crucial for fraudsters as it facilitates the alteration of the payee’s name and amount on the check. Its solvent properties play a vital role in the check washing process, allowing for the effective removal of the original ink and creating a blank canvas for the criminal to rewrite the check’s details.

Additionally, brake fluid’s significance lies in its capacity to enable the criminal to air dry the check after dissolving the ink with chemicals, further facilitating the alteration process. This critical role underscores the importance of using brake fluid in check washing, as it ultimately allows the criminal to manipulate the check to appear legitimate. Without brake fluid, the process of check washing and fraudulent alteration would be significantly hindered, making it a key component in this illegal activity.

Gathering the Necessary Materials

Before starting the process of check washing with brake fluid, it is essential to gather all the necessary materials. The following table outlines the items required for this process:

Materials Purpose
Outgoing mail checks Source of legitimate checks for washing
Gel pen with black ink Provides resistance against chemical stripping and permeates check fibers
Brake fluid Used to erase the ink from the checks
Cotton swabs Applied to the checks to remove the erased ink
Latex gloves Protects the hands from direct contact with brake fluid

Gathering these materials is crucial to effectively carry out the process of check washing with brake fluid. It is important to ensure that all items are readily available before commencing the process to avoid any interruptions or delays. Additionally, using the specified materials in the correct manner is vital for successful check washing.

Preparing the Check for Washing

To prepare the check for washing, it is crucial to carefully choose the appropriate brake fluid for the process.

Protecting the surrounding areas from potential damage caused by the brake fluid is equally important.

Additionally, applying the brake fluid evenly onto the check is essential for achieving effective ink removal.

Choosing Suitable Brake Fluid

Selecting the appropriate brake fluid is crucial for effectively preparing a check for washing and ensuring successful ink removal without damaging the paper. When choosing brake fluid for washing a check, it’s important to consider the compatibility of the fluid with the specific ink on the check. Different types of brake fluid, such as DOT 3, DOT 4, and DOT 5.1, have varying chemical compositions, so it’s essential to research and select the most suitable one for the check being washed. The brake fluid chosen for washing a check should be able to dissolve the ink effectively while also being gentle enough to prevent the paper from getting damaged during the process. Furthermore, it’s important to consider the safety precautions and environmental impact of the brake fluid chosen for washing a check, ensuring it is handled and disposed of responsibly.

Brake Fluid Type Chemical Composition Compatibility with Check Ink Safety Precautions
DOT 5.1

Protecting Surrounding Areas

When choosing the appropriate brake fluid for washing a check, it is essential to protect the surrounding areas of the check, such as the payee’s name and amount, to maintain the check’s integrity. To ensure the protection of surrounding areas, follow these crucial steps:

  • Place a protective seal over the signature line to prevent tampering.
  • Use caution when applying chemicals like acetone to avoid damaging the check.
  • Properly air dry the check after washing to prevent smudging or further damage.
  • Protect the payee’s name and amount from being altered during the washing process.
  • Consider using specialized checks with anti-fraud elements, such as electronic inks and hidden watermarks, for added protection against check washing.

Applying Brake Fluid Evenly

The proper application of brake fluid evenly over the check’s surface is essential to prepare it for the washing process, ensuring thorough ink dissolution and safeguarding against potential damage.

Even distribution of brake fluid is crucial in enabling the chemical to effectively penetrate the ink on the check, breaking it down for removal.

Consistent coverage across the entire surface of the check is vital to ensure that all areas are equally treated, preventing potential remnants of the original ink.

Moreover, an even coat of brake fluid aids in protecting the check from the risk of damage that may result from uneven chemical exposure.

This uniform application sets the stage for the subsequent stages of the check washing process, facilitating successful fraudulent alterations while maintaining the integrity of the paper.

Applying Brake Fluid to the Check

When applying brake fluid to the check, it is essential to carefully consider the technique to ensure effective ink dissolution without damaging the check itself.

Additionally, precautions must be taken to prevent any accidental spills or exposure to the skin due to the corrosive nature of brake fluid.

Understanding the benefits of using brake fluid in this process, such as its ability to erase the original information on the check, is crucial for those seeking to comprehend the entirety of the check washing process.

Brake Fluid Application Technique

To apply brake fluid to a check as part of the washing process, carefully coat the entire surface with a thin layer using a soft, lint-free cloth. This process helps to remove the ink from the original check, preparing it for potential fraudulent activities.

When applying the brake fluid, ensure the following steps are taken into consideration:

  • Use a gentle, circular motion to evenly distribute the brake fluid across the entire surface of the check.
  • Avoid using excessive pressure to prevent damaging the check’s paper.
  • Allow the brake fluid to sit on the check for a few minutes to effectively dissolve the ink.

Use caution when handling brake fluid, as it is a corrosive substance that can cause harm if it comes into contact with the skin or eyes. Ensure proper ventilation when working with brake fluid to prevent inhalation of potentially harmful fumes.

Precautions When Applying

When applying brake fluid to a check, it is crucial to follow safety precautions to protect against potential harm from the corrosive substance. The following table outlines essential precautions to be taken during the application of brake fluid to a check:

Precaution Description
Ensure proper ventilation Fumes from brake fluid can be harmful if inhaled.
Wear gloves Protect skin from irritation and burns caused by brake fluid.
Work in a well-lit area Ensure clear visibility for the application process.
Avoid spilling Prevent damage to surrounding surfaces such as wood, paint, and plastic.

Adhering to these precautions will minimize the risks associated with working with brake fluid and ensure safe and effective application to the check.

Benefits of Using

The application of brake fluid to a check offers enhanced protection against fraudulent alterations. By using brake fluid, individuals can benefit from the following:

  • Effective removal of ink from the check, making it challenging for criminals to alter information.
  • Complete erasure of the original writing, rendering it difficult for con artists to reconstruct the check with new information.
  • Cost-effective solution for safeguarding against check washing, as it is readily available and relatively inexpensive.
  • Protection against financial loss and potential legal repercussions associated with accepting altered checks.
  • Enhanced security against check washing when used alongside other measures such as gel pens and anti-fraud elements in checks.

Letting the Brake Fluid Work Its Magic

Allowing sufficient time for the brake fluid to penetrate the paper and dissolve the ink is crucial for effectively erasing the original information from the check.

The chemical composition of brake fluid enables it to break down the ink and lift it from the paper, but this process takes time. By letting the brake fluid work its magic and sit on the check for an extended period, it can effectively remove the original ink, providing a clean surface for potential alteration.

The longer the brake fluid is left to work, the more effectively it can dissolve the ink, making it easier to rewrite the check’s amount and payee’s name. This prolonged exposure is essential for ensuring that the original information is thoroughly erased, minimizing the risk of the check being fraudulently altered.

Therefore, patience is key when using brake fluid to wash a check, as allowing the chemical to work its magic thoroughly is fundamental to achieving the desired result of a clean, blank check.

Rinsing and Drying the Check

Following the effective dissolution of the ink with chemicals like acetone, the check’s thorough rinsing is essential to ensure complete removal of any ink residue. Once rinsed, the check should be carefully air-dried to prevent any damage to the paper, ensuring it remains intact and usable.

It’s crucial to ensure the check is completely dry before attempting to rewrite any information on it, as dampness can cause smudging and illegibility. Properly drying the check is essential to prevent any potential damage that could render it unusable or suspicious looking. The check should be placed on a flat, clean surface to air dry, away from any potential contaminants that could compromise its integrity.

  • Use clean, lukewarm water to rinse the check thoroughly, ensuring all traces of the chemical and ink are removed.
  • Gently pat the check with a clean, lint-free cloth to remove excess water without damaging the paper.
  • Allow the check to air dry completely in a well-ventilated area, avoiding direct sunlight or heat sources to prevent warping or discoloration.
  • Ensure the check is placed on a flat surface to dry, preventing any wrinkling or misshaping of the paper.
  • Once dry, verify that there are no remaining ink residues before storing or reusing the check.

Ensuring the Check Is Clean and Usable

After rinsing and drying the check thoroughly, it is crucial to verify that there are no remaining ink residues before storing or reusing the check.

One effective method to ensure the check is clean and usable is to hold it up to a light source. This allows for a close examination of the check to identify any potential ink removal or signs of tampering.

Additionally, running a finger over the surface of the check can help detect any residual ink that might have been missed during the washing process. It’s important to pay special attention to the areas where the ink is typically concentrated, such as the signature line and the payee section.

If any suspicious marks or discoloration are noticed, it may indicate that the check is still compromised and should not be used.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are There Any Special Precautions to Take When Disposing of Brake Fluid After Washing a Check?

When disposing of brake fluid, it is crucial to adhere to local regulations for hazardous waste disposal. Avoid contaminating the environment by using designated recycling facilities or hazardous waste disposal sites to properly dispose of brake fluid.

Can Brake Fluid Be Used to Wash Checks With Different Types of Ink, Such as Gel or Permanent Marker?

Brake fluid should never be used to wash checks, as it can damage the check’s fibers and compromise the ink, making it susceptible to fraud. Using proper inks, such as gel or permanent marker, is essential for check security.

Will Using Brake Fluid to Wash a Check Affect the Magnetic Ink Character Recognition (Micr) Line on the Check?

Using brake fluid to wash a check can significantly affect the Magnetic Ink Character Recognition (MICR) line, potentially dissolving the MICR ink and rendering important information illegible or altered. This undermines the check’s usability and can raise suspicion during verification processes.

How Often Should I Wash My Checks With Brake Fluid to Maintain Their Cleanliness and Usability?

To maintain the cleanliness and usability of checks, washing with brake fluid should be minimized. Employ preventive measures such as gel pens, electronic inks, and hidden watermarks to reduce the need for washing. Invest in anti-fraud checks to further minimize washing frequency.

Are There Any Potential Health or Safety Risks Associated With Using Brake Fluid to Wash Checks?

Using brake fluid to wash checks poses significant health and safety risks. Exposure to its harmful chemicals through skin contact, inhalation, or ingestion can lead to skin irritation, respiratory issues, and serious health complications. Proper handling and disposal are essential.


In the process of washing a check with brake fluid, it is essential to understand the consequences of one’s actions.

Just as the brake fluid dissolves the ink on the check, our choices and actions have the power to dissolve the trust and integrity in our society.

It is crucial to consider the impact of our decisions and refrain from engaging in illegal activities that can harm others.