Cleaning coins

cleaning coins

Isn’t it shiny?

AJ has started saving up for a very special doll and is slowly but surely filling her tiny little piggy-bank. She loves to open up the piggy-bank and spread the coins across the carpet and count them, time and time again. And it gives me the heebies because the coins are incredibly filthy. This evening, with a spare half an hour before dinner time, I suggested she get an old tooth brush out and some soapy water and scrub them clean. How easy is that? She was well occupied for the whole half hour and declares she will now clean them all again every time she gets a new one.

You will need:
A bowl of warm, mild soapy water
A toothbrush
A tea towel
A small bowl of vinegar (optional)

cleaning coins 02


After she scrubbed the coins, some were still quite tarnished. Depending on what kind of metals your coins are made from, you could leave them in a small dish of white vinegar overnight for an extra shine. We tried this with our 1 and 2 dollar coins and it was a disaster, though all the silver is now dazzling.

9 Responses to “Cleaning coins”

  1. Sarah

    Please don’t polish your collectible coins, though, as they will lose their value!

  2. Ali

    For really clean coppers, try leaving them in a bowl of Coke overnight. Also makes a good point to the kids of the perils of too many fizzy drinks!

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  4. kristin

    i think this is brilliant. it gives them a mission and it lets them play in soapy water. fun.

  5. Barb

    Ketchup is also supposed to be great for cleaning copper! And I remember that friends in college would open packets of Taco Bell hotsauce, place a dull penny in it, pull it out and, voila – shiny penny! Not that either of those methods would be good for young kids, but it’d be a better use of ketchup than pretend blood, as my kids used it for last week! 😀

  6. colleen

    anyone truly interested in getting their coppers clean can read an extensive article at my friend’s blog – actually if you google cleaning pennies with taco sauce he’ll be your 1st or 2nd hit
    He’s the daddy of two great girls and they love doing science experiements with him.

  7. Fiona

    In my work at a Science Centre we clean copper coins with a mixture of vinegar (because it’s acidic and will eat away the layer of dirt/oxide alloy) and salt solution (because it will still have little particles of salt and so will act as an abrasive scrubbing all the dirt away)….yay for science! You could even do experiments to find out what substances make your coins cleanest….

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