Removing Corrosion on Old Coins / Small Metal Objects




About: Just a dude from Ohio.

Last year in my town, there was a small construction site, and they ended up dumping loads of extra excavated dirt down a hill. My brother and I decided to explore and see if there were any Native American arrowheads that may have been dug up in the process! We found no arrowheads, but what we did discover was a small medicine bottle from the 1940's or so. We returned to the spot many, many times, and found loads of antique glass bottles, along with a World War Two button. Along the way I collected a coin shaped object, but it was so heavily corroded I was unsure if it was worth keeping.

After about a year of the unknown object sitting around, I decided to try to create a solution that would remove the corrosion, and possibly reveal what it actually Is. To our surprise, the corrosion was quickly removed, and the object turned out to be a 1943 silver nickel!

I hope that this solution I came up with will be as helpful to someone else as it was for me!

Step 1: Introduction

So.. You have a very corroded object like the one shown in the picture. But, you dont want to spend much time or effort removing the corrosion. Well what if I told you that you CAN remove the corrosion very easily, using materials found in almost EVERY house! Sounds pretty good huh? Why dont you give it a shot!

Step 2: What You Will Need..

You will need..

· Object with corrosion

· Glass jar

· Measuring cups

· White vinegar

· Lemon / lime juice

· Iodonized table salt

After you have all of these materials, you are ready to begin!

Step 3: Mix Ingrediants..

-Pour into your glass jar -

·1/2 cup of white vinegar

.1/2 cup of lemon / lime juice

·3 table spoons (tbs) of iodonized table salt

- Continue mixing until the salt is completely dissolved in the solution.

Step 4: Patience!

Let your corroded object sit in the jar until the corrosion is gone. If you wish to speed up the process, you may take the object out and gently scrub it with a brush, then return it to the solution and wait. After you believe the corrosion has been removed, remove the object and dispose the solution properly.

Step 5: Done!

Your corrosion should now be removed!

I hope this Instructable was helpful to you, good luck!



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5 Discussions


3 years ago

that is a great solution. i would not have thought of that. i would most likely put it in Dr. pepper

1 reply

3 years ago on Introduction

Every time I see something about removing corrosion, I am reminded of 9th grade science teacher Mr. Masters. He was one 3 or 4 science teachers in our single middle-school of our small town and paid very poorly compared to his technical educations (all teachers receive the same pay usually regardless of the value of the knowledge outside the education system, one of its major fault.)

He drove a beat up old pickup truck and in the summer break went to Mississippi to work the fishing boats to make ends meet.

Then one day watching TV commercial about removing tarnish from silver, he got an idea about an certain odd ion exchange he'd thought of back in college. He did some experiments. Came up with a formula, sold it, and …

...boom instant millionare. The product is still on the market thought I can't remember the name.

Moral: Never hurts to think hard about humble things.

1 reply

Reply 3 years ago

Wow very inspiring story! And yes that is a great moral. Thanks for sharing!


3 years ago

Great instructable! Very well done.