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Easy Ways to Clean Coins

If your coins are grimy, soda and ketchup can clean them.
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Collecting coins can be a dirty hobby. After all, some coins in your collection might be decades, if not centuries, old. If your coin collection is suffering from dirt and grime, there are some easy ways to clean them and bring back their shine. You can clean your coins with a few household items.


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Drop your coins in a small amount of cola. After about an hour or so, the dirt and grime will have dissolved. Gently rinse the sticky cola off your coins with warm water.

Vinegar and Baking Soda

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The acid in vinegar is great for cleaning coins. Simply drop the coins in the vinegar and allow them to sit there for an hour or two. After removing the coins, place them on a paper towel and sprinkle a little baking soda over them. The chemical reaction of the vinegar and baking soda will make a paste. Rub the paste around the coins with your fingers before rinsing them in warm water and polishing them with a soft cloth.

Pencil Eraser

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A pencil eraser is a great way to clean a penny. Rapidly rub the eraser back and forth on the penny's surface to remove dirt and grime.

Cranberry Juice

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Drop a penny in a small amount of cranberry juice and allow it to sit overnight. The acidity in the cranberry juice will slowly dissolve the grime. Rinse the penny with warm water and polish it with a soft cloth.

Distilled Water

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Distilled water can clean coins that have a high bronze content. Simply drop the coins in the distilled water and allow them to soak for 15 days or so. Remove the coins, rinse them with warm water and dry them with a soft cloth.


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Another easy way to clean coins is to submerge them in ketchup for about five minutes. The combination of the acidity of the tomato, salt and small amount of vinegar will start to remove any grime on the coins. Next, rinse the coins with warm water and dry them with a soft towel.

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