Cleaning Coins With Baking Soda

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Baking soda will bring back the shine to most coins.
Baking soda will bring back the shine to most coins. (Image: coins image by Pali A from <a href='http://www.fotolia.com'>Fotolia.com</a>)

Baking soda is used for many things, including cleaning costume jewelry. Due to its mild abrasiveness, it removes stuck-on particles and will polish most hard substances, including coins. You can clean most coins using baking soda and water alone; however, you should note that cleaning old coins may decrease their value. If you suspect a coin may be valuable, consult with a professional coin dealer before attempting to clean it.

Things You'll Need

  • Towel
  • Baking soda
  • Bowl
  • Toothbrush (soft-bristled)
  • Soft cloths

Lay a clean towel next to your kitchen or bathroom sink.

Pour baking soda in a small bowl. You’ll need about ¼ tsp. per coin.

Put a stopper in your sink drain, if available. If you don’t have a stopper, place a heavy cloth over the drain in case you lose your grip on one of the coins.

Wet a soft-bristled toothbrush under your sink faucet. Dab the bristles in the bowl of baking soda and, holding a coin in your hand, begin gently scrubbing the coin. Use a gentle, light touch when scrubbing. Tarnish should immediately start coming off, especially if the coins are silver.

Rinse the coin beneath warm running water and then dry it with a soft cloth. Place it on the towel next to the sink. Repeat this process with all the coins you choose to clean.

Tips & Warnings

  • The use of baking soda will polish the coin but it will also leave minute scratches on it that are noticeable under magnification.

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