How to Shine a Copper Penny

By Misty Rodriguez
your copper pennies
penny image by Evan Meyer from

If you have a penny that was minted prior to 1982, it is made primarily of copper. According to online resource, these pennies contained approximately 95 percent copper. These pennies were replaced by zinc alloy pennies after 1982, since the value of copper had greatly increased. Pennies tend to dull over time, which is natural for copper, since it is a reactive material. Fortunately, you can shine your pennies with household items and make them look brand new again.

Mix 1/4 cup of white vinegar with 1 tsp. of salt in a small bowl. Stir thoroughly until the salt dissolves.

Place the penny inside the bowl. If you are shining multiple pennies, only soak a few at a time, and make sure they are not touching each other. Allow the penny to soak in the solution for approximately five minutes.

Remove the penny from the solution, and use a soft-bristled toothbrush to gently remove any leftover grime.

Make a paste out of 1 tsp. baking soda mixed with 1 tsp. water. Use a microfiber cloth to rub a small amount of the paste into the penny.

Rinse the paste off of the penny with warm water, and set it on a clean towel to dry.

About the Author

Misty Rodriguez, born and raised in Orlando, Florida, has been a freelance writer since 2005. She has a wide variety of experience and mainly focuses on search engine optimization, mystery shopping narratives and how-to articles. Misty has an Associate of Arts degree in general education from Valencia Community College in Orlando, FL, and is currently working on her Bachelor's degree in nursing.