How To Clean Coins

How To Clean CoinsFirst DO NOT clean valuable coins. Most collectors rarely clean a coin as it can greatly reduce its value. If you have some smaller value coins like Dimes or Penny’s then this article is for you. Patina is the thin layer of tarnish that develops on a coin over many years and many collectors appreciate this. It is best not to clean this off expensive coins as the value can be reduced. 99% of coins do not increase in value after you clean them but if you have some old coins you wish to clean, try these steps.

  • Wash the coins under running water. Hold he coin by its edges.
  • Soak the coin in vinegar for around a minute
  • Rinse in running water.

If it is still dirty you can use light brush for caked on dirt. Dry the coin with a soft lint free cloth. Do not rub coin just let it dry in the air.


Same process as above and a soak for 5 minutes in lemon juice help to keep the coin shiny.

Silver coin


It is best to soak them for a few weeks in olive oil, as its very gentle way to dissolve the dirt without harming the coin. If some dirt is left you can use a toothpick to clean the coin.

Ancient Coin


  • Place a table spoon of table salt in small container
  • Add vinegar to moisten salt
  • Apply paste to coins

The effect is immediate. You can use ketchup or tomato paste as it is also acidic.

Copper coins

Do Not use this on valuable coins and be careful not to get any in your eyes.


Soak them in warm soapy water only. Gold is too valuable to risk damage.


These are mainly ancient or old coins and wash them in distilled water not tape water.


  • Commercial coin cleaners are available
  • Do not use abrasives on a coin as they can scratch easily.
  • Do not use household cleaners on your coins.
  • Do not use silver dip cleaners from home or silver polish

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