How to Clean old Coins

Mary Jane Rosenberg Mary Jane Rosenberg
How to Clean old Coins

The degree of conservation of a coin cannot be improved by any cleaning method unless intensive cleaning. The degree of damage or wear and tear on a coin is irreversible, but professional cleaning can at least enable a real assessment of the surface of a heavily soiled piece. 

Always protect coins from harmful environmental influences such as dust, vapors, or other toxic substances. It is advisable to clean coins gradually if they are filthy. 

Do not overclean the coin because a coin that changes color is no longer worth collecting.

Should you clean old coins?
Should you clean old coins?

Should you clean old coins?

Yes, coins are a commodity that is subject to heavy use. Accordingly, some numismatists get their collectibles into their hands “dirty” and “battered”. 

This is not representative because many collectors would like to place their treasures in a showcase, for example. So many collectors have to clean their coins. 

But what are the best way to clean old coins? Unfortunately, there is no general answer to this question. This depends on the coin metals used and the type of contamination.

How to Clean Old Coins ?
How to Clean Old Coins ?

How to Clean Old Coins ?

In addition to the tried and tested methods such as the soap bath or the special immersion baths for cleaning coins, there is also some best way to clean old coins with household ingredients.

Soda powder

This white powder, which can also be bought in drugstores and grocery stores, has an “effervescent property” when it comes into contact with liquids. This also removes dirt and acid from coins.

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Lemon juice or vinegar

Before you treat your coins with the baking soda, you can soak them in lemon juice or vinegar for 10 minutes to an hour. The acid dissolves grease and dirt without attacking the metal.
Lemon juice is particularly suitable for lightening tarnished silver coins.

Saline Solution & Aluminum Foil

This is how to clean old silver coins in a very simple way. For this, prepare a flat bowl with aluminum foil. Then add hot water and salt. Put your silver coins into it for 10-20 minutes.
Finally, rinse and dry the coins in open air.

Cleaning coins with cola

You can also put your copper coins in cola for cleaning. Coins should not lie on top of one another. You should soak in the “bath” for about 4 hours.
You can see the best results by turning the coins over after 2 hours.


You can rub silver coins with toothpaste. You should only use one without abrasives and only treat modern coins, as this method removes the patina from the coins.

Cleaning coins with an eraser

If your coins are still black or stained after a silver dip, you can use another tool. That is a pencil eraser. Use a soft eraser without any abrasive additives.
You are guaranteed not to see any erased marks on coins that have run out. It would be best if you were more careful with freshly minted coins or silver ounces, as the eraser could leave smears.
Hence, our recommendation is to test it first. It mayt work wonders if you are patient enough.

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