how to clean steel pennies

Is a 1943 steel penny worth anything?

If they are in circulated condition, they are worth approximately 10 to 13 cents apiece, but if they are in uncirculated form, they are worth at least 50 cents each.

How do you get rust off a steel penny?

It should be possible to remove the rust off pennies if you mix up two teaspoons of lemon juice and one tablespoon of water, stir the mixture well, and then immerse the pennies for a few minutes.

How do you clean a 1943 copper penny?

Soap. Cleaning your old coins with a mild dish detergent and some water might help remove some of the filth that has accumulated on them. To clean the coins, first submerge them in warm water with a few drops of gentle dish soap in a small plastic container, then remove them and use your fingers or a soft toothbrush to rub them.

Can vinegar damage coins?

Baking soda and vinegar are great for making volcanoes at science fairs, but they are not effective at increasing the value of coins. In point of fact, it is so effective that, much like the other coin cleaning methods that have been discussed in this article, it is capable of entirely removing the original patina and destroying the value of the coin.

Should you clean wheat pennies?

Polishing antique coins is not something that should be done under any circumstances. It is a common misconception that increasing the value of a coin by cleaning it and eliminating the years’ worth of filth and grime that have accumulated on it will result in an increase in the coin’s value. However, the reality is that this is not the case. When you polish a coin, you incur the danger of scratching or otherwise harming it, which will cause the value of the coin to decrease. The absolute worst thing that might happen is that you would ruin the coin beyond repair.

Does rubbing alcohol clean pennies?

In order to properly soak your coins, you will need to construct a bath out of salt and isopropyl alcohol. It is essential to take into consideration the fact that each of these substances is abrasive and acidic. Even while they will perform an excellent job of cleaning your coins, you should limit the amount of time that they come in touch with your skin.

Does cleaning a penny decrease its value?

The one most crucial thing that you should avoid doing is cleaning your coins.

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Simply stated, cleaning rare numismatic coins will result in a considerable decrease in the value of those coins. It is not worth the risk to clean a coin whose value is based only on the amount of silver it contains, despite the fact that doing so won’t cost you very much.

  • 20 or so dirty pennies
  • Two small glass bowls
  • Clear vinegar
  • Table salt
  • Paper towels
  • Lemon juice or orange juice
  • Access to a sink


Take a look at the pennies and observe the layer of grime that is on them. Make an effort to wash this off with water… It will not be possible for you to make it shiny.

Put a half cup’s worth of vinegar into the bowl, then sprinkle in two tablespoons’ worth of salt.

Keep a penny submerged for approximately 15 seconds before pulling it out midway through the liquid. Make some observations.

Put the remaining pennies into the solution of vinegar and salt, and then wait for about ten to fifteen minutes.

Take away half of the pennies and give the remaining ones a thorough washing with water. Invest some time in giving them a light scrubbing to remove any trace of salt or vinegar that may still be on them.

Get the other coins out, and instead of rinsing them, just put them on a piece of paper towel and let them there. Hold off on making any judgments until they are completely dry.


The world that we live in is constructed from fundamental building blocks of matter known as elements. By combining with one another, these elements can produce a wide variety of different kinds of materials. This is an example of chemistry! After some time, the majority of metals, including copper and iron, will form chemical bonds with the oxygen in the air. This process, which is referred to as “oxidation,” causes the metal to “rust.” This is the reason why the Statue of Liberty has turned green and why a bicycle that has been left out in the rain for an extended period of time will turn rusty brown. It was formerly a copper statue that was polished to a shine, exactly like your freshly minted and polished pennies.

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The “dirt” on the pennies was actually a recently discovered chemical compound known as copper oxide. As you discovered when you attempted to remove it with just water and a scrub brush, it does not come off easy. However, when you combine the salt and vinegar, a new substance is created. This new thing is an acid of some kind. This acid is quite effective at deteriorating the soiled pennies into smaller pieces. If you rinse it off thereafter, there will be no further reaction, and they will maintain their cleanliness.

You observe, however, that the pennies that were not washed have become a grotesque shade of green and should not be touched. The copper reacts even further to generate a new substance as a result of the chemicals that were left behind on it.

Experiment further: 

Experimenting with this concept can be done in a myriad of different ways. Do you know of any other ingredients except salt and vinegar that could possibly do the job? Do you think that salt and lemon juice would work? Take a look at what goes into making ketchup. Will that be successful? If it were dipped in plain vinegar or plain salt water, would the same thing happen to it?

This is how dirty pennies are supposed to be used, but what about other coins? What about a variety of salts to choose from? Salt in varying proportions: what’s the deal? Wow, there are a lot of different things to try out, and you have all of them right there in your kitchen!

What is the easiest way to clean pennies?

Copper oxide can be dissolved by adding table salt to a mixture of dilute sulfuric acid, and vinegar is a type of acid. You might also clean your pennies using salt and lemon or orange juice because both of these juices are acidic. Another option is to use vinegar.

Can you clean a penny with Coke?

The tarnish can be removed rather rapidly with the help of Coke and other colas. Simply put, you shouldn’t have any coke after that.Phosphoric acid, which is present in coke, is used to remove oxides. Either put your pennies in lemon juice for a while or experiment with different citrus juices to find out which one works the best.

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Does baking soda clean pennies?

Scrub your pennies with baking soda if they still require additional cleaning after being rinsed with soap and soaking in vinegar. Baking soda functions as a mild abrasive and can be used to remove any remaining traces of tarnish and grime from coins. It is especially useful for getting into the intricate crevices of coins.

How do I remove corrosion from pennies?

  • Apply a generous amount of pure water to the coin and thoroughly wet it.
  • Baking soda should be rolled over the coin. Baking soda is a material that has an abrasive quality.
  • Use a toothbrush or a towel to remove the corrosion off the surface.
  • Wash the coin till it is clean.
  • Scrubbing and rinsing should be done in succession until all of the corrosion is eliminated.

What cleans a penny the best?

Vinegar (or Lemon Juice) and Salt


This process is the most effective way to clean your pennies, and it will leave them with a highly vibrant hue that is somewhere between copper and orange. Patina, also known as brown oxidation, can be removed off a penny by employing the low quantities of acids that are naturally present in vinegar and lemon juice. This method is used to do this.

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