How to Clean Coins With Hydrogen Peroxide?Faizan Khan
Are you looking for an ideal way to clean your old, dirty, and tarnished coins? It isn’t that difficult at all. People use diverse options to make their coins look bright and new again.
However, not each one of them is an ideal choice. Some can damage your coins, while some degrade their metal coating. In this article, we’ll discuss the best options to clean your coins without damaging your coin.
No matter what metal type coin you have, hydrogen peroxide can serve the purpose essentially. Therefore, we mark it as a universal cleaner.
This article will summarize how hydrogen peroxide can be an ideal choice for you. Besides that, you’ll find step-by-step procedures that can help you ideally clean the coins.
Can You Use Hydrogen Peroxide on Coins?
Hydrogen peroxide is safe to use on coins. It is a chelating agent, meaning it can remove coins’ stains.
The chemical also works as an oxidizer, which means it can help remove tarnish from coins.
Hydrogen peroxide effectively removes organic contaminants from silver coins. Moreover, it doesn’t damage the coin surface, making it ideal for the process.
It is pretty diverse in the acting mechanism. You can use hydrogen peroxide to remove tarnish from copper, zinc, silver, or nickel coins.
However, you should only use it in its diluted form, not the concentrated one. If a coin is severely tarnished, then you should use a toothbrush to scrub the stain away from the coin gently.
You can also use a cotton ball to dab the hydrogen peroxide onto the coin. Some people recommend adding baking soda to the solution if you want to clean copper and silver coins with hydrogen peroxide. Later in the article, we’ll discuss how those methods can help.
Why Cleaning Coins Is Important
It’s essential to clean your coins regularly because they’re vulnerable to oxidation and discoloration if you don’t deal with them appropriately.
Coins are made of metals that oxidize over time. This oxidation can lead to corrosion, damaging the coin’s value and making it look dirty.
Here are the top reasons why cleaning your coins is important.
There are tiny microbes everywhere that can potentially affect your health. These germs aren’t easy to get rid of. Coins are something that you touch all the time.
Even though these comprise metal, they can be an ideal habitat for bacterial and fungal species. Therefore, the most concentration of germs is present in these.
Not cleaning them can make you vulnerable to those pathogenic germs that may result in life-threatening diseases.
Hydrogen peroxide is an excellent home remedy for cleaning coins. It is a disinfectant that kills germs. You can use it to clean any surface you don’t want to get germs on, such as your coins!
Increases Their Life
Metal oxidation is a natural process when metals are exposed to oxygen. The process causes the metal to become more brittle and less malleable. Therefore, it can lead to cracks and breaks in the coin surface.
These breaks can potentially decrease your coin value and make it look dirty. Cleaning is the best option to prolong their life as it removes tarnish and other gunk from the surface of your coin.
Coins cleaned by a professional are much more likely to last longer than those that have not. For that reason, experts say cleaning the coins is the key to their longevity.
Enhances Their Value (For Collectables)
Cleaning off dirt, dust, and other contaminants from your coins can help to increase their value. Preserving the coins is an easy task if you clean them regularly. An old coin in excellent condition is worth more than its actual value.
As a collector, you won’t choose to hang on to a dirty coin with cracks and a damaged surface. All these things decrease the coin’s value.
Proper cleaning keeps them safe from metal spoilage and oxidative corrosion. It helps to attain the original coin condition for a longer period.
On the contrary, cleaning coins helps to increase their value by making them look more appealing and less worn down over time.
How to Clean Coins With Hydrogen Peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide is an effective way to remove dirt from coins without damaging them.
Cleaning the coins with hydrogen peroxide involves simple steps that every individual can perform. However, you must be cautious during the process.
It is best to use it in a well-ventilated area because Hydrogen Peroxide can be toxic if inhaled or ingested.
Following are some methods to clean different coin types with hydrogen peroxide.
#1 Cleaning Copper Coins With Hydrogen Peroxide
Copper coins are the ones most abundantly present in the market. These coins have a significant part of copper, a soft metal that oxidizes quickly in the presence of water and air. As a result of oxidation, the coin may appear tarnished or dirty.
Hydrogen peroxide is an oxidizer that removes the tarnish from these, helping them look as good as new. Cleaning copper coins with hydrogen peroxide is safe for you and the coin, provided you follow all guidelines.
Experts suggest following a specific step-wise procedure that helps clean the coins ideally. The complete cleaning method is as follows.
What You Need
- Hydrogen peroxide
- Brush or scrub
- Collect all supplies and find a well-ventilated and shady area for the procedure.
- First, wet your hands with warm water. Then rub the coin with your fingers until it feels slippery.
- Use a soft brush to scrub off any dirt or grime that may be stuck on its surface.
- Immerse it in hydrogen peroxide for 10 minutes at room temperature (or longer if necessary). Make sure not to leave behind any sand particles after scrubbing!
- After washing off all visible dirt and grime from your copper piece, dry it thoroughly. You can use the dry blotting method with paper towels or a clean cloth towel. It will help prevent corrosion over time!
#2 Cleaning Zinc Coins With Hydrogen Peroxide
If your coins are of zinc metal, you can use hydrogen peroxide to clean them.
It is an effective way of removing tarnish and getting rid of stains from your coins. Moreover, it helps to prevent corrosion that causes the metal to crack and break over time.
However, before using it, ensure the concentration is ideal for your coin surface. A highly concentrated hydrogen peroxide solution can lead to permanent surface damage.
If you have a coin in storage for more than 6 months, it may be too damaged to be used as money anymore. In this case, hydrogen peroxide can work wonders on that.
Here’s the complete procedure to clean your zinc coins using hydrogen peroxide:
What You Need
- Hydrogen peroxide
- Brush or scrub
- First, you will want to remove any dirt or oil from your coin’s surface using warm water and soap.
- Use some hydrogen peroxide solution (1 part water/3 parts hydrogen peroxide) and rub vigorously over both sides of the coin until they are completely clean.
- Now let coins sit overnight in a hydrogen peroxide diluted solution. This prolonged hydrogen peroxide exposure can help remove any additional stains without strenuous effort.
- Afterward, take the coins out of the solution and dry them with a cloth towel. You can also use a paper towel to dry the coins. However, do not rub their surface. Instead, pat dry the coins with a towel.
#3 Cleaning Nickel Coins With Hydrogen Peroxide
If you don’t clean your nickel coins regularly, they may become discolored or eroded over time.
Cleaning nickel coins with hydrogen peroxide is an easy and effective way to maintain the condition of your coins.
This method works best when you have the coin in your hand. You can directly rub the solution to get rid of tarnish and dirt. However, you can also use the immersion method and dip the coins in the solution if you have enough time.
The following steps will walk you through safely cleaning your nickel coins with hydrogen peroxide.
What You Need
- Hydrogen peroxide
- Brush or scrub
- First, you’ll want to remove any dirt or grime from your coin.
- Oil can cause corrosion when mixed with other materials, such as hydrogen peroxide, damaging your coin surface. Therefore, if there’s oil on your nickel coin’s surface, you should remove it before starting this procedure.
- Pour a small amount of hydrogen peroxide onto a paper towel and rub it into all sides of your coin until it’s dry (about 10 minutes).
- Moreover, you can let it rest in 3 part water and one part hydrogen peroxide solution for 24 hours to ensure maximum cleansing.
- Once satisfied, pat dry the coins using paper or a cloth towel.
Alternate Methods For Cleaning Coins
Other methods can be used to clean coins if you don’t have any hydrogen peroxide on hand. One of the most popular methods is baking soda and water.
Baking soda is an excellent neutralizer of acids. So, it works well as a natural cleaner for coins. Other options include soap and warm water.
Below you’ll find a step-wise guide to both these methods to clean your old coins.
#1 Cleaning Coins With Baking Soda
Baking soda is excellent for cleaning coins because of its abrasive properties. It can remove dirt and oil stains from coins and prevent them from rusting.
Baking soda is also an effective deodorizer and a great natural disinfectant. Its major constituent is sodium bicarbonate, which can absorb odors and grease while leaving a nice, light scent behind. It makes baking soda an ideal choice for cleaning coins.
Besides that, it has a pH of about 9, which means it’s slightly more alkaline. The alkalinity of baking soda neutralizes acids and other pollutants that can damage your coin.
What You Need
- Baking Soda
- Brush or scrub
- Collect all supplies and find a well-ventilated area away from heat to perform the task.
- Add two cups of baking soda to a bowl, then fill it with warm water.
- Stir until the mixture attains a paste-like consistency.
- Use a toothbrush to scrub your coins gently in this paste for about 15 minutes,
- Rinse them off under running water for about 30 seconds
- Use a paper or cloth towel to dry the coins. Pat dry their surface to minimize any frictional damage to the coins.
#2 Cleaning Coins With Soap and Warm Water
Soap and warm water is an excellent method of cleaning coins because it removes dirt and grime without damaging or scratching them.
The process creates a thin film of soap on the metal surface, protecting it from future damage and stains.
The best part about this method is that it’s as simple as it gets—you just need some soap, warm water, and your coins. You don’t even need any special equipment!
Both these elements are very gentle on the surface. Therefore, you won’t have to worry about coin damage.
What You Need
- Paper or cloth towel
- You’ll want to use a light-colored dish detergent with no added chemicals. It’s also important not to use too much soap or water—just enough so that your coins are covered in suds.
- Place the coins in a bowl or container and add warm water and soap solution.
- Let them sit there for an hour or two. The amount of exposure time varies with the coin condition. That means a dirty coin will have to sit in the solution for longer.
- Once the time limit is complete, take them out. Use a cloth to dry the coins. Gently pat on the surfaces to get rid of any moisture.
How Do Professionals Clean Coins?
When cleaning coins, few things are more important than having the right tools. For instance, if you don’t know the metal type of your coin, things can go wrong for you.
You can damage your coin instead of cleaning it. So, it is better to get everything you need for the appropriate coin cleansing procedure.
Professionals clean coins by using a variety of methods, each with its advantages and disadvantages. Hydrogen peroxide comes at the top of those ones. Experts tend to choose this chemical for coin cleaning because of its moderately abrasive nature.
The chemical is ideal for cleaning as it helps remove any dirt, tarnish, or stain without damaging the coin’s surface.
Why Do Coins Lose Value When Not Cleaned Properly?
There are two main reasons why coins lose value if not cleaned properly. The first is oxidation. It occurs when oxygen molecules from water and air interact with the metal on a coin’s surface, causing it to become pitted or discolored.
Oxidation can also cause debris to get stuck on their surfaces, making them look dirty and reducing their value even more.
The second way that coins lose value is through contamination. If certain bacteria or fungi find their way onto any type of metal object, they’ll grow over time and cause a tarnish. It makes the coin surface look dirty and damages the metal.
Can You Clean Coins Using Vinegar?
Vinegar is a weak acid, so it can remove dirt and grime from the surface of coins. However, it’s not strong enough to remove tarnish from copper coins.
You can use a few drops of household vinegar to clean the coins. You should use the same amount of vinegar as water.
Moreover, you can dip the coins in the mixture and leave them on your counter for at least thirty minutes to soak up the solution. The next step is to rinse them off with warm water and dry them with a paper towel before storing them away.
Will Vinegar Damage Coins?
It’s a common misconception that if you put vinegar in your coin collection and leave it for 24 hours, all the coins will come out looking new. But is it true? No!
Vinegar can work adequately to clean your coin surfaces, but only if its exposure is minimal. Although it is a weak acid, its longer exposure can damage the coin surface, especially if you are cleaning a copper coin.
Vinegar won’t work if you soak the coins for 24 hours n it. Instead, it will destroy the metal surface and cause permanent, irreversible damage to the coin state.
Should Old Coins be Cleaned?
When it comes to cleaning coins, it’s important to know the difference between old and new. Old coins are usually worth more if they are dirty.
If you have an old coin worth more than $100, it is best to leave it that way. That is how some people will assume that your coin is rarer and more valuable than it actually is (this also works for copper and zinc coins).
However, if you want to clean it so that you can sell or trade them later on, then, by all means, clean up those coins. Just make sure not to use any extra corrosive agents, as they will destroy their original surface.
How Do You Tell If An Old Coin Has Been Cleaned?
You can see if your coin has been cleaned with different methods by looking closely at it. If you see signs of wear, especially on the face of your coin, there’s a good chance it has been cleaned.
Moreover, with careful examination, you can see scratches or dents that weren’t there before.
If you don’t see any signs of damage to the coin but still notice a shiny surface, the coin has likely been polished. Furthermore, it also depicts that the cleaning method involves using generic products.
Long story short, any scratch or damage to the coin surface signifies a cleaned old coin.
The Take-Home Point
Coins are our historical assets, and cleaning them can help us preserve history. However, cleaning techniques can damage their surface. Therefore one must find a suitable procedure to clean the coins.
There are many ways to clean them, but hydrogen peroxide is one of the best. It is inexpensive and easy to find at most stores.
Furthermore, you can use it on all types of metals for preservation. Our store can be your ideal destination if you want to get your hands on ideal hydrogen peroxide concentration for cleaning the coins.
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