How to Clean Coins

Are you a coin collector looking to clean precious coins? Or you may just want to remove dirt from your everyday coins. Read on for tips on how to clean coins.


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How to Clean Old Coins
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Key Steps:

  1. Determine whether your coin is of value or a normal everyday coin.

  2. Select the appropriate cleaning method for the type of coin.

  3. Test your chosen cleaning product on a small area of the coin first, to check that no damage is caused.

Whether they are everyday or collectable items, coins usually get dirty, and corrode easily. If you would like to have clean coins, there are all kinds of different products on the market that provide an effective cleaning solution – but the method you use is also important. This simple guide to cleaning old coins, as well as coins of everyday value, explains everything you need to know. Here you can find out what cleaning solutions you can use, and what homemade cleaning methods really work.

Remember: before trying any of these suggestions on how to clean coins, perform a test on a tiny area first. And, if you are using commercial products, be sure to read and follow the instructions on the label.

If you are concerned about maintaining the value of an old coin, it’s best to consult with a specialist who will be able to tailor his or her suggestions according to your particular coin. In many cases, the natural oxidization or tarnish on old coins contributes to their value, making some cleaning methods unwise.

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How to Clean Old Coins

Cleaning old coins can be easy – but does need to be undertaken with caution. It is important to preserve the coins’ patina, because this has a strong impact on their value. To be certain, always consult a specialist to find out what the value of your coin is and if it is a good idea to clean it or not.

If you already have the correct information about your coins, this step-by-step guide is here to help you clean them:

  1. Prepare a solution of distilled water and mild hand soap and leave the coin to soak in a plastic container.

  2. Take out the coin and put it on a clean, soft cloth.

  3. Scrub the coin softly with an old, soft-bristled toothbrush.

  4. Put the coin in a plastic container (other materials can scratch it) with distilled water for five to ten minutes. This means the coin won´t develop water stains as it dries.

  5. Leave to dry naturally.

Cleaning Coins of Roman Origin

If you’re wondering how to clean Roman coins, the method above is ideal. If you can´t get rid of the dirt, you can leave the coins to soak for longer. If in doubt, remember to consult a specialist, because the patina of very old coins tends to be very delicate. As this determines the value of old coins, it is well worth preserving.

How to Clean Coins of Everyday Value

This method is solely for coins you merely want to clean, so it is a little more abrasive than the approach above – it is not advised for coins with a valuable patina.

  • Prepare a solution with warm soapy water.

  • Fill a watertight jar with the solution and a small amount of sand.

  • Place the coin in the jar, seal it, and shake it around.

  • Remove the coin and rinse it under warm water.

  • Dry with a clean, soft cloth (without rubbing).

How to Clean Coins Made of Silver

If you aren’t concerned with maintaining the patina, you have several options to clean silver coins. One option is to sit them in fresh lemon juice for five minutes, or you can do the same with white vinegar. If you decide to use soapy water (as mentioned above), remember to use distilled water, as the water from the tap can be harmful to your coins.

Cleaning coins is easy when you know the correct method! With these handy tips on how to clean old coins you can make sure your collection shines!

Originally published