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Cleaning Coins Without Damaging

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Valued Member

United States
79 Posts
 Posted 08/15/2022  11:08 pm Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add Coinseller88 to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
What's the best way I can clean a coin without damaging anything on the coin?
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United States
24708 Posts
 Posted 08/16/2022  12:34 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Spence to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
While the answer depends a little on the specific coin you are talking about, the overwhelming guidance we can give is to never clean any of your coins.
"If you climb a good tree, you get a push."
-----Ghanaian proverb

"The danger we all now face is distinguishing between what is authentic and what is performed."
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14633 Posts
 Posted 08/16/2022  12:54 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Sap to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
It also depends strongly on what substance, exactly, you are hoping to clean off of your coin.

- Dirt - as in literal, physical soil: use distilled water, perhaps with a mild soap - get advice on the soap to use, since some soaps can cause damage to certain coins. Avoid detergents since these are often sulfur-based, and sulfur discolours coins.
- Goo - glue, stickytape residue, paint, varnish or similar "organic" debris: acetone is the stuff you want. As pure as possible, since the stuff sold as "nail polish remover" often has smell-nice additives.
- Oxidation - toning or tarnish: there is considerable debate as to whether is is "good" or "safe" to remove an oxidation layer. Best advice here is to analyse each request on a coin-by-coin basis.
- Corrosion: sorry, there's nothing you can do that won't result in a "damaged coin". The coin is most likely "already damaged" and any cleaning strong enough to remove the corrosion will likely leave behind a crater.

Since new collectors often have difficulty telling the difference between dirt, goo, oxidation and corrosion, you can understand why the default advice for newbies is "don't clean coins". Because, as you can see, the answer to your question is "it's complicated", and complicated answers are not what we want to be giving to newbies.
Don't say "infinitely" when you mean "very"; otherwise, you'll have no word left when you want to talk about something really infinite. - C. S. Lewis
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United States
46437 Posts
 Posted 08/16/2022  04:59 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add John1 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Always practice on junk coins until you get the hang of it.
John1
( I'm no pro, it's just my humble opinion )
Searched 6.5 +/- Million Cents Since 1971
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United States
79 Posts
 Posted 08/16/2022  06:22 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Coinseller88 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Is baking soda something I could use to clean coins
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United States
46437 Posts
 Posted 08/16/2022  06:49 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add John1 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
No
( I'm no pro, it's just my humble opinion )
Searched 6.5 +/- Million Cents Since 1971
Valued Member
United States
79 Posts
 Posted 08/16/2022  06:57 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Coinseller88 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
It's a Andrew Johnson dollar coin what can I use for it
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17910 Posts
 Posted 08/16/2022  07:38 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add T-BOP to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I can tell you many things to use but I'm a hardliner coin collector so I will only say don't use anything but distilled water and maybe a Q-tip or toothpick for that dollar coin . As far as coins in general Do not clean coins .

In Memory of Butch L.
and Jim U. rest in peace .
Valued Member
United States
79 Posts
 Posted 08/16/2022  07:44 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Coinseller88 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
What's a hardliner coin collector and thanks for the advice
Pillar of the Community
United States
9287 Posts
 Posted 08/16/2022  08:11 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add ijn1944 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Pure acetone can remove most PVC and glue residue, along with most organic crud. Soak only, and gently rinse with clean water. No abrasive rubbing or brushing.
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 Posted 08/16/2022  08:29 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Coinseller88 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Ok thank you
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 Posted 08/16/2022  10:40 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add T-BOP to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
What's a hardliner coin collector and thanks for the advice

He only cleans coins when he knows exactly what he's doing . And he never sugar coats any coin that doesn't deserve it .

In Memory of Butch L.
and Jim U. rest in peace .
Valued Member
United States
77 Posts
 Posted 08/16/2022  10:00 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Snobro110 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
If you really have to, I would just rinse with hot water and gently scrub with a washcloth.
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 Posted 08/17/2022  03:55 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add John1 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Do not use a washcloth or q-tip or microfiber cloth on a coin...just don't.
John1
( I'm no pro, it's just my humble opinion )
Searched 6.5 +/- Million Cents Since 1971
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United States
20725 Posts
 Posted 08/17/2022  08:32 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add just carl to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Basically when you clean any coin you are removing something that may actually be part of the coins material. Doing so you could actually make a coin cleaner but also smaller. Cleaning in some instances is OK as long as no original material is lost and that is what happens in most instances.
just carl
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United States
897 Posts
 Posted 08/17/2022  12:22 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add NumismaticsFTW to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Snobro110- Why are you giving poor advice?

Dk NOT scrub it with a washcloth.
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