Do you need those coins to sparkle again? This article shows you how to clean silver coins using a variety of methods.

What is Numismatics?

It is the study or collection of currency, including coins, tokens, paper money, and related objects. Cleaning collectible silver coins like the Morgan dollar, silver dollar, and silver eagle half dollars can bring back their original luster and shine. Most currency collectors rarely clean a coin as it can greatly reduce its value. Hence cleaning coins is generally not recommended but, if you want you to have to, here’s how to clean coins safely with minimal damage.

How to Clean Silver Coins with Vinegar

Vinegar is an aqueous solution of 5 – 8% acetic acid by volume and trace chemicals that may include flavorings. It is considered as a harsh solution. Cleaning silver coins with vinegar can be very easy and effective.


  • Take the tarnished coins and put them in a glass container that is filled with vinegar. Make sure that the coins are dipped in completely.
  • Allow them to stay in for not more than 20-30 minutes. Then, get the coins out and scrub with a clean toothbrush.
  • Rinse in tepid water and dry off.
  • You can also make a paste of baking soda and vinegar and use that to scrub the coins.

How to Clean Silver Coins with Baking Soda

You will need:

  • A non-metallic container
  • 1 cup of very hot or boiling water
  • ½ cup of sodium carbonate or baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) or salt (sodium chloride).
  • A strip of aluminium foil


  • Place the aluminium foil in the bottom of the glass container to place the coins on. Make sure the coins are touching the foil.
  • Add the washing soda. You can also substitute sodium bicarbonate, or sodium chloride is also known as table salt. 
  • Pour the hot water in it as the electrochemical reaction is faster in hot water.
  • This chemical reaction releases hydrogen sulphide which is a poisonous gas so resist the temptation to look directly into the top of the solution.
  • When the solution cools down, you will notice that the color of aluminium foil has changed because the sulphides from the coins have been transferred to the foil and the silver sulphide on the coins have been converted back into silver and stays on the coins. This is called an electrochemical reaction.
  • Take the coins out and Pour the solution off down the sink, where the washing soda will help clear any blockages you may have had.
  • Sulphides on the patinas have been loosened. Gently rinse the coins under a running tap, and use a soft clean toothbrush to take the blackness off.
  • All the tarnish removed and your silver coins will be left shining bright.

How to Clean Silver Coins with Lemon Juice

You will need:

  • Distilled water
  • Lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 cups olive oil
  • Heat safe container


  • Mix equal parts of distilled water and lemon juice into a glass container. 
  • Soak the tarnished silver coins in the lemon solution for up to one hour. 
  • Take out the coins from that solution.
  • Pour the olive oil and one teaspoon of lemon juice into another container.
  • Add the silver coins and place the heat-safe container into a larger container of near-boiling water. 
  • Take the coins from the warm bath and wash them with soapy water and allow them to air dry.

How to Clean Silver Coins with Toothpaste

You will need:

  • Tartar control toothpaste
  • Paper towel


  • For cleaning silver, squeeze a dab of toothpaste onto the surface and rub it onto the coin with your fingertips or a clean brush. Any toothpaste works, but the tartar control type works best as it contains more hydrated silica that works as a cleaning agent.
  • Use a paper towel to wash the dirty toothpaste off the coin. Rinse the coins with clean water and set them aside to air dry.

How to Clean Silver Coins with Ketchup


  • Pour ketchup into a dish. 
  • Submerged the silver coins into the ketchup and let them side for 5-10 minutes.
  • Remove the silver piece from the bowl, rinse with warm water and buff dry with a rag.


Shruti Saini is a passionate Digital Marketing Executive and a contributing author for The Homezz. She has always been fascinated with Home Décor, Lawn & Garden Ideas, and Home Maintenance Tips & Tricks.

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