Introduction: Cleaning Pennies

Picture of Cleaning Pennies

We all have pennies, and they are usually dirty. With this instructable, you can clean your pennies very easily using only a few steps.

Step 1: Gather Supplies

Picture of Gather Supplies

You will need:

Dirty pennies

1/4 cup vinegar

1 tsp salt

a non-metal bowl

napkins/paper towels

a cup or bowl of water

Step 2: Create the Cleaning Solution

Picture of Create the Cleaning Solution

In a non-metal bowl, mix the salt and vinegar. Stir until the salt if completely dissolved.

Step 3: Clean the Pennies

Picture of Clean the Pennies

Place about 5 pennies in the vinegar solution. Wait for 10-20 seconds, then remove the pennies and place them in water. This will remove any extra vinegar. If you don't do this, the pennies will start to turn a gross color of green.

Step 4: Dry Them Off

Picture of Dry Them Off

Take the pennies out of the water and place them on a napkin/paper towels. Dry them off and then you are done. You now have clean pennies!


PlaidPete (author)2016-09-02

Step one: take your pennies to a bank. Step to ask for new pennies.

jchavis2 (author)2016-08-17

The best thing I have used to clean copper is muriatic acid, found near
the paint thinner in your local hardware store. It only takes seconds
to clean it with a q-tip, but you definitely need to wear thick gloves
and be very careful. Also, when not even boric acid will clean copper
wires, I have used it to remove black corrosion from copper wires before
soldering. The stuff is wonderful, but very dangerous. I also recommend
paying the premium for low odor formula because the stuff is disgusting
if you breathe it in.

Cpat150 (author)jchavis22016-08-18

I went with this option as it is safer than muriatic acid, and i had all the supplies lying around my house.

jchavis2 (author)Cpat1502016-08-18

It is certainly safer. But the acid is much faster and I think it does a better job. Each has it's pros and cons.

picturesofsilver made it! (author)2016-08-16


1. after 1 half-hearted attempt at cleaning w 1 recipe (I missed my copper fountain, even Brasso didn't clean it before)

2. second attempt, I had recipe in bowl and was washing the pot, I noticed the bottom looked better after soaking a bit

3. I got serious

4. Clean enough! I like some oxidation, and since rocks will cover the bottom no big deal!

5. Look at my beautiful fountain! Very little rubbing to boot!

Thanks Cpat150!! You're my hero!!! It really works!!!

Cpat150 (author)picturesofsilver2016-08-18

I am so glad that this worked for you!! Also, thanks for the patch!!

picturesofsilver (author)2016-08-17

I like the fact that this is safer than other chemicals; I still used gloves as a precaution, but there was no odor other than the vinegar. I've cleaned drains by dumping baking soda in the drain then adding vinegar that foamed up. I don't know if that was unhealthy to breathe but I didn't get close enough to breathe it anyway.

russbrew2 (author)2016-08-17

If the penny is valuable (and some really are- check a coin book for condition and value) then you've totally ruined it. This goes for any coin- copper, silver, gold. Check for condition/value first.

shermanduke (author)russbrew22016-08-17


TomV4 (author)2016-08-15

And what is the cost per penny?

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