How to Clean Old Coins Safely

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If you have a pretty old coin or a coin full of dirt, then there are times you may want to clean the coin. But, you should learn the right way of cleaning a coin or you may damage your valuable coin in the process. From hours of research and years of experience here’s how you should clean your coins safely. Also, we always do recommend to put coins safely like in a coin storage album.

Things to Consider Before Cleaning Coin

There are a few things you should consider before deciding to clean a coin.

  • It is recommended to leave the old coins as they are. If the old coin is a valuable one and you are planning to sell it, then experts do suggest that you leave it as it is. Because, no matter how you do the cleaning it will decrease the value of the coin, especially if you damage it.
  • Consult with an expert. If you are planning to sell the coin, then it is better to show the coin to an expert. If the experts recommend you to clean the coin, then you can do it. But, most likely an expert will not encourage cleaning old or valuable coins.
  • Clean worthless, very filthy or personal coins only. If the coin you are going to clean is not valuable one or it is very filthy that you want to take the risk then you can consider cleaning it. Also, if you are planning to keep the coin yourself, then you can go for cleaning it for aesthetic reasons.
How to Clean Old Coins Safely 1

Steps to Clean Old Coins Safely

There are several methods of cleaning a coin. We will discuss a few below:

Method 1: Clean with water

This is the safest method of cleaning a coin without damaging it or decreasing its value.

  • Rinse with water. Tap water may contain fluoride and it can cause a chemical reaction with your coin. So, there’s a risk of damage if you rinse your coin with tap water. Rinse your coin with running distilled water.
  • Flip the coin and wash both sides. Hold the coin by edges and flip both sides. Wash thoroughly under a gentle stream of lukewarm distilled water.
  • Dry the coin. Put the coin on a soft cotton towel and just lightly pat it. Be careful of scratching the surface of the coin.

Method 2: Clean with a mild soap solution

Cleaning with a mild soap solution is the only nondamaging solution if cleaning with water was not enough.

  • Prepare the soap solution. Take a weak liquid soap and pour it into a large bowl. Then, fill the bowl with distilled water.
  • Shake the coin into a soap solution. Hold the con into the edges and dip it into the solution. Then, shake the coin into the solution for a while.
  • Do the method one. After that follow the method 1 and clean the coin with distilled water.

Other Methods: Clean specific types of coin

These steps can damage your coin permanently, so you should proceed with caution.

  • Clean old pennies with ketchup. Old pennies which are made of copper can be cleaned with ketchup. Squeeze a little amount of ketchup on both sides of the coin. Then, scrub the coin with a toothbrush or something similar. Vinegar and salt of ketchup do clean the tarnish from the penny.
  • Clean silver coins with baking soda. First, clean the coin with distilled water. Apply a small amount of baking soda with a finger or clean toothbrush, and rub the coin gently. Rinse the coin again and dry it.
  • Clean old coins with vinegar. Vinegar is the most popular cleanser. Vinegar can clean metals, jewelry, stains and a lot of things. Pour a cup of vinegar in a bowl and then dip the coin into it. Let the coin sit at the bottom for a few minutes. Then, take out the coin and rinse with distilled water.

Here is a video showing coin cleaning methods. This will help you better understand the process.

Let us know which method you applied and what worked for you. Also, do give us suggestions and feedback which will help us improve.

៚ Feature Photo by Nicole Beale
៚ Photo by JD Hancock

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