6 Effective Methods for Cleaning Coins


If you’re looking for an effective way to clean coins and reduce bacteria, look no further than your kitchen. Coke, lemon juice, and vinegar are all readily available ingredients that can help you achieve this goal. Utilizing these simple methods can help you keep your coins clean and free of bacteria.

1. Is there a right way to clean coins?

As a child, you may have had an old coin collection. Over time, you may have noticed the patina, a green or brown film which discolors gold coins, that had developed. It is important to note that a thorough cleaning procedure may remove tiny pieces of metal, thus reducing the value of rare coins.


Coin experts advise against cleaning antique coins, as this can significantly reduce their resale value. However, if cleaning is desired, it is important to first identify the type of coin in question. This will help determine the best method for cleaning the coin without damaging it.

2. Can you clean everyday coins?

Despite the fact that cleaning coins does not reduce their value, it is still important to do so. Coins are often exposed to a variety of contaminants, such as germs, due to their frequent hand-to-hand contact in wallets, purses, couch cushions, cash machines, and wishing wells. Therefore, it is necessary to clean them on a regular basis.


Oxidation and debris can accumulate on the surface of coins, but fortunately, there are several ways to clean them using items commonly found in the kitchen. The following recommendations can help you achieve a shiny coin.

3. How to clean coins with baking soda

Utilizing baking soda is the most effective way to clean coins without diminishing their value. To begin, gather the necessary materials:

  • Two bowls
  • Water
  • Baking soda
  • Old toothbrush
  • Soft cloth


Hold the coins by their edges to minimize damage. In a small bowl, mix one teaspoon of baking soda with four coins’ worth of water. To prevent coins from falling down the drain, cover them with a soft cloth. Turn on the faucet to create a moderate stream of water.

Once the coin has been cleaned, use a toothbrush to gently scrub it with baking soda. This will help to remove any tarnish or grime. Rinse the coin under running water to remove any remaining residue, then use a soft cloth to dry it.

4. How to clean coins with Coke

Coke’s formula contains 2.8 parts phosphoric acid, which equates to approximately 17 mg of sulphuric acid per 100 mg. This same acid can be found in many cleaning solutions, making Coke not only a popular beverage, but also a useful tool for removing dirt, grime, and debris from around the home.

Utilizing Coke to clean dirty coins requires a few materials. Phosphoric acid, found in Coke, can be used to remove the oxides that cause tarnish and corrosion. To begin, gather a container, some Coke, and the coins to be cleaned :

  • One bowl
  • Can of Coke
  • Water
  • Soft cloth


Pour your coins into a bowl and cover them with Coke. Allow the coins to soak in the soda for approximately 5 minutes, then inspect to determine if the corrosion has been eliminated.


Place the coins in the bowl for up to 15 minutes if they are still dirty. For grimier coins, a longer soak may be necessary. Once the coins have been soaked, they should be washed carefully in water and dried with a soft cloth.

5. How to clean coins with hydrogen peroxide

Grimacing at the greasiness and dirtiness of coins received from a cashier? Worry no more! Cleaning coins is easy with hydrogen peroxide. All you need is:

  • One bowl
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Water
  • Soft cloth


For optimal cleaning of coins, hydrogen peroxide should be employed. Begin by placing the coins in a small bowl and covering them with enough hydrogen peroxide to submerge them. Allow the coins to soak for approximately 24 hours before rinsing and air drying. Finally, wash the coins under running water.


Never use warm air to hasten the drying process, as this can affect the coins’ luster. If any dust or fibers are present from the rubbing process, blow them away with the coin, not bottled air, as pollutants in the air can damage the coins.

6. Clean coins in vinegar

To clean and shine coins with vinegar, one must first gather the necessary materials: white vinegar, which contains acetic acid, and coins. The acetic acid in the vinegar is highly effective in removing contaminants from coins, and its strong odor is a testament to its cleaning power:

  • One bowl
  • White vinegar
  • Water
  • Old toothbrush
  • Soft cloth


Vinegar’s acidity makes it an ideal cleaning agent for coins that have become dirty. To begin, place the coins in a bowl and ensure they are completely submerged in white vinegar. Allow the coins to soak for a minimum of 30 minutes.


It is important to note that coins should not be left to soak in vinegar for more than one night, as the vinegar will react with the metal. To ensure that all dirt is removed, coins should be scrubbed with a toothbrush. Finally, the coins should be washed and dried with soft cloths.

7. How to clean coins with ketchup

For those looking to clean coins, ketchup is an effective solution. Containing vinegar, a mild acid, ketchup can dissolve the copper oxide on the surface of a penny. The combination of salt and acidic tomatoes can help to remove years of dirt and grime that has built up on coins. To use this method, the following materials are required:

  • One bowl
  • Tomato ketchup
  • Water
  • Soft cloth


Place your coins in a bowl and cover them with ketchup. Allow the coins to soak for a minimum of 30 minutes, but no longer than overnight. Carefully remove the coins and use a toothbrush to remove any remaining residue. Rinse the dirt away with water and dry the coins with a soft cloth.

Ketchup, containing vinegar as a mild acid, facilitates the dissolution of the copper oxide on the surface of a penny. The salt present in the ketchup further dissolves chloride ions into the mixture, which in turn aids the acid in breaking down the oxide layer.


8. How to clean coins with lemon juice

Utilize lemon juice to clean coins with ease. The acidic mixture of this fruit is ideal for removing brown oxidation and dissolving grime. To begin, gather the following materials:

  • One bowl
  • One teaspoon of salt
  • 1/4 cup of lemon juice
  • Water
  • Soft cloth


Place a bowl containing coins and cover with 1/4 cup of lemon juice. Add one teaspoon of salt and allow the mixture to sit for 5-15 minutes. Remove the coins and use a toothbrush to carefully remove any remaining material. Rinse the coins with water and dry with a soft cloth.


Adding sodium chloride to the bowl containing lemon juice will increase the efficiency of the acid in breaking down the bonds of copper oxide. This is due to a chemical reaction that increases the number of free hydrogen ions present in the solution, thus boosting the acid’s potency and allowing for quicker dissolution.

If you need to clean coins, there are eight tips to consider. It is not difficult to find the ingredients necessary to remove dirt and patina from old coins; however, it is important to note that cleaning rare coins could significantly reduce their value. Therefore, these recommendations should only be used if absolutely necessary.

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