How to Clean Copper Pennies


Rusty and ragged coins are an important component of everyone’s wallet. But your mind isn’t satisfied completely when you get dirty coins in return for your new and shiny dollar bills. The burden even piles up when you have to put effort in trying to keep those coins with you at all times. The value and stature that money has in our lives won’t allow us to throw them away as well.

People that have a hobby of collecting old pennies are also irritated by the dirty nature of copper pennies. However, there is no need to worry about cleaning them. In this article, I’ll help you out with shining all the copper pennies you have and making them as good as new. A lot of children use this copper shining trick for their science projects as well. Make sure you have all the equipment listed below before starting the cleaning process.

Equipment Required:

  • All of your stained or dirty pennies
  • A clean non-metallic bowl. Ceramic or glass
  • ¼ cup white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon table salt
  • Paper towel or piece of cloth
  • Tablespoon


  • Add the vinegar and salt you have into the non-metallic bowl. Stir vigorously and continuously until you cannot see any salt grains at the bottom.
  • Now take a handful of copper pennies one by one and start placing them inside the bowl of salt and vinegar mixture. Let the pennies settle at the bottom and be there for more than 5 minutes. Bubbles might rise above the water surface because of a simple chemical reaction between copper and sodium chloride.
  • Now use the tablespoon to bring only one half of the coins out first. Place them on the clean piece of cloth you have and let them be stationary for 5 minutes. Repeat the process for the remaining half coins in the bowl.
  • Now just when you take the second batch of coins out of the bowl, rinse the first batch with excess of water under a tap. Put these coins on a separate piece of cloth.
  • After washing one of the batches, let both sets of coins settle for at least an hour in the open. When the hour has passed, pick one coin from each set and you’ll realize that the rinsed coins are shinier and cleaner as compared to the ones that weren’t rinsed with water. The reason for this is that washing the coins wipes away a layer of dull compound called malachite from the coins.

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