How to Remove Old Glue From Coins

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If you’ve just obtained a coin covered in glue you may want to remove it. If the coin is current legal tender, you don’t need to remove the glue in order to use it. If you are collecting or displaying the coin, remove the glue carefully to help ensure that it is displayed well. If the glue is valuable, take the coin to a professional coin cleaner to remove the glue residue with damaging the coin’s aged patina. In some cases, collector might also want to keep the glue on the coin, as it indicates the coin’s use.

Things You'll Need

  • Distilled water
  • Mild liquid dish soap
  • Soft-bristled brush
  • Acetone
  • Grape or olive oil
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Cloths
  • Shallow bowl

Gold and Nickel Coins

  • Fill a dish with warm distilled water. Do not use tap water.

  • Add 3 drops mild liquid dish soap. Do not use dish soap that contain bleach.

  • Put the coin into the soapy water and let it sit for at least 10 minutes. This should soften the glue slightly.

  • Remove the coin and scrub it with a soft-bristled brush until you remove the old glue residue.

  • Rinse the coin with distilled water and dry it completely.

Silver Coins

  • Fill a shallow bowl full of acetone. Acetone is a strong solvent that will remove old glue residue.

  • Put the silver coin into the bowl.

  • Let it soak until you can feel that the old glue has worn off.

  • Remove the coin and rinse it completely with distilled water. Dry it off with a clean cloth.

Copper Coins

  • Fill a bowl with grape oil or olive oil. Copper is a highly reactive metal that may change color if you use the wrong solvent.

  • Put the coin into the grape or olive oil.

  • Let it sit until the glue is loosened.

  • Rub a copper coin cleaning solution onto the coin if the glue is still visible.

  • Rinse the copper with distilled water and dry it completely.

Removing Tough Glue Stains

  • Soak a clean cloth in rubbing alcohol. Use this process for cleaning any type of metal coin.

  • Wrap the cloth around the coin and let it soak for 10 minutes.

  • Remove the cloth and rub off the glue residue.

  • Repeat the process until all of the glue is gone.

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