How to Clean Old Coins





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Cleaning old coins can be a fascinating and rewarding activity for any coin enthusiast. Whether you stumbled upon a stash of neglected coins or inherited a collection, restoring their original luster can bring their history back to life. Before diving into the cleaning process, it’s crucial to understand that improper cleaning methods can damage precious coins and decrease their value.

First and foremost, make sure to handle the coins with clean hands or wear gloves to avoid transferring oils and dirt onto their surfaces.

Start by inspecting each coin individually, noting any significant signs of corrosion or dirt buildup. Then, prepare a mild cleaning solution by mixing distilled water with a few drops of dish soap in a small container.

Gently submerge the coins in the solution, allowing them to soak for a few minutes. Using a soft-bristled toothbrush, gently brush the coin’s surface, focusing on any dirt or grime buildup. Remember to be delicate and avoid excessive scrubbing, as it can cause scratches or further damage. Rinse the coins thoroughly with distilled water and pat them dry using a microfiber cloth.

Finally, store your clean coins in appropriate coin holders or protective cases to ensure their long-term preservation. With patience and care, you can revive the shine of your old coins, making them a cherished part of your collection for years to come.


  • Handle the coins with clean hands.
  • Use a soft brush, like a toothbrush, to gently remove loose dirt or debris.
  • Soak the coins in distilled water to loosen stubborn dirt.
  • Pat dry the coins with a soft cloth.
  • Store the cleaned coins in a protective coin holder or sleeve.


  • Do not use abrasive cleaners or harsh chemicals.
  • Do not scrub the coins vigorously.
  • Do not use metal objects to clean the coins.
  • Do not attempt to polish the coins.
  • Do not expose the coins to excessive heat or direct sunlight.

Step 1

Rinse the old coin with warm water to remove loose dirt and debris.

Step 2

Prepare a cleaning solution by mixing mild dish soap and distilled water in a small bowl.

Step 3

Gently brush the old coin using a soft-bristled toothbrush dipped in the cleaning solution.

Step 4

Rinse the old coin with distilled water to remove any remaining soap residue.

Step 5

Gently pat the old coin dry with a soft, lint-free cloth.

Final thoughts 💭

Cleaning old coins can be a delicate process that requires patience and careful consideration. It’s important to remember that cleaning can potentially damage the coin, diminishing its value. However, if you are confident in your knowledge and skills, there are various methods you can try, such as using mild soap and water, soaking in olive oil, or using a baking soda paste. Before attempting any cleaning method, it’s always a good idea to research and consult with experts or numismatists to ensure you are making informed decisions. Remember, when it comes to cleaning old coins, less is often more. Proceed with caution and prioritize preserving the coin’s historical integrity.

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