How to Get Rust off of Pennies

By Amanda Flanders
old pennies, a rewarding hobby
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Collecting pennies is a hobby some people enjoy. If you remove the rust from an old, rusty penny it may be worth more than 1 cent. There are dozens of ways to clean the rust off a penny, such as vinegar, salt, baking soda, lemon juice and Coca-Cola. Coke is a brand name for cola, which contains phosphoric acid. Phosphoric acid is the same ingredient in rust removal products. Purchase rust removers from a hardware store or use products found in you pantry to remove the rust from a penny.

Rub the penny with a piece of steel wool to remove the light surface rust.

Pour 1/2 cup of vinegar into a glass and add 2 tsp. of iodized salt. Soak the penny for a couple of minutes. Remove from the vinegar and salt solution and dry the penny with a soft cloth.

Pour a 2 tbsp. of lemon juice and 2 tsp. of iodized salt into a glass. Soak the penny for a few minutes. Remove the penny from the lemon and salt solution. Dry the penny with a soft cloth, rubbing gently to remove the rust.

Place the penny into a glass. Pour 1 oz. of cola into the glass. Soak the penny for about 30 minutes. Remove the penny and dry with a soft cloth.

Pour 1 tbsp. of baking soda into a cup, and add water to make a paste. Dip a clean cloth into the paste mixture and gently rub the mixture into the penny to remove the rust.

Purchase a bottle of non-toxic rust remover, lime and calcium deposit cleaner. Spray a small amount on the penny and rub the penny, using a piece of steel wool. Respray the penny if needed and continue to rub the penny with steel wool.

About the Author

Amanda Flanders has been writing since 2007. She received “Rising Star” awards for her articles published in 2010 and is educated in a wide range of home improvement topics and dog care. Flanders holds a certificate in Real Estate Appraisal from the University of Maine, Bangor and is certified in Standard Operating Procedures and Interpreting Animal Behavior for Safe Handling from Human Society University.