How to Get Rust off of Pennies


Collecting pennies is a hobby some people enjoy. If you remove the rust from an old, rusty penny it may be worth more than 1 cent. There are dozens of ways to clean the rust off a penny, such as vinegar, salt, baking soda, lemon juice and Coca-Cola. Coke is a brand name for cola, which contains phosphoric acid. Phosphoric acid is the same ingredient in rust removal products. Purchase rust removers from a hardware store or use products found in you pantry to remove the rust from a penny.

Things You'll Need

  • Glass
  • Steel wool
  • Vinegar
  • Iodized salt
  • Lemon juice
  • Cola
  • Baking soda
  • Soft cloth
  • Non-toxic rust remover, lime and calcium deposit cleaner
  • Rub the penny with a piece of steel wool to remove the light surface rust.

  • Pour 1/2 cup of vinegar into a glass and add 2 tsp. of iodized salt. Soak the penny for a couple of minutes. Remove from the vinegar and salt solution and dry the penny with a soft cloth.

  • Pour a 2 tbsp. of lemon juice and 2 tsp. of iodized salt into a glass. Soak the penny for a few minutes. Remove the penny from the lemon and salt solution. Dry the penny with a soft cloth, rubbing gently to remove the rust.

  • Place the penny into a glass. Pour 1 oz. of cola into the glass. Soak the penny for about 30 minutes. Remove the penny and dry with a soft cloth.

  • Pour 1 tbsp. of baking soda into a cup, and add water to make a paste. Dip a clean cloth into the paste mixture and gently rub the mixture into the penny to remove the rust.

  • Purchase a bottle of non-toxic rust remover, lime and calcium deposit cleaner. Spray a small amount on the penny and rub the penny, using a piece of steel wool. Respray the penny if needed and continue to rub the penny with steel wool.


  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/BananaStock/Getty Images
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