How to Clean Coins

Some people use a cloth-like this one to clean their gold coins.

First and foremost, do not clean valuable coins. Many collectors never clean a coin since it can greatly diminish its value. If you have small valued coins such as pennies or dimes, then this article is for you. Patina is the thin layer of tarnish that forms on a coin over many years and many coin collectors like this, as they grade coins with several factors to consider from the condition of the coin to rarity of the date.

It might be brownish hues of greenish copper- type colors. It is best not to clean the patina off rare coins as the value can be diminished. Coins don’t increase in value after you clean them. However, if you have some old coins you would like to clean, below are a few steps.

We all have coins in our drawers that are filthy and even have a certain order. Fortunately, most of these are lower value coins and you can clean these as most are nothing but pocket change.

  • Rinse the coins under running water. Grip the coins by their edges. Distilled water is best as most water now contains fluoride and this can create a chemical reaction with some coins as many coins have numerous metals within them when they are minted.
  • Soak the coins in vinegar for a couple of minutes.
  • Rinse in running warm tap water and completely rinse the coins.
  • Air dry instead of using a cloth.

If it is still dirty, you can use a light brush for deep-seated dirt. Air-dry the coin.

How To Clean Gold Coins

  • Soak the coins in soapy, warm water only. Distilled water is your best choice.
  • Air-dry the gold coins only.  Gold is too valuable to risk damage.
  • Some folks do use a gold cleaning cloth that is used specifically for gold jewelry.