Coin Cleaning Tips


These tips were compiled by Gene(Tenn) and were taken from the Fisher forum.Thanks for your help Gene and to all the Fisher fans out there for your contribution.



1. I had found a silver nickel that was pretty bad and read about Electrolysis and tried it on my nickel. The results were great! You might want to try it. Mix 1 tablespoon of salt and 2cups of warm water in a
bowl. Take a 12-volt battery charger or 12-volt battery and attach the negative lead to your coin and set the coin in the salt water. Hook your positive lead to a stainless steel spoon and set the spoon in the water
making sure the positive does not touch the negative. Turn the charger on for 5 or 6 minutes. Turn power off, remove coin and clean with a toothbrush.

2. I use electrolysis on my coppers. I've never found any large cents (don't laugh, I'm kind of sensitive about it), but it seems to work well on my wheaties. I've also found that you can make the solution with just salt, 1 measuring teaspoon per cup of water. I was first told that you had toadd lemon juice; but the idea of acid on copper is pretty scary, especially if it was a large cent.

3. If the coins are already pretty bad or not of great worth,you can try electrolysis if you are very careful with the non silver coins.This process will quickly remove tarnish from silver.On copper coins you have
to watch that you do not erase any of the image of the coin.Play with some really beat up Lincoln cents first to see what I mean.







1. I've had good luck on silver with a 24 to 48 hr soak in Simple Green (from your supermarket) and then brushing them with a brass brush. Please, if one of those coins is worth 300 Bucks-don't do it!

2. I have found that EDGE gel is great on golden colored coins with an aluminum alloy. It is doing pretty good, although slower, on my 1837 brass token imitation of a sovereign of Victoria issued on the occasion
of the departure of the Duke of Cumberland to become King of Hanover, 1837. Didn't do anything for silver. Ate the patina off of old coppers and nickels too quickly, leaving them in an ugly red pitted condition.

3. I soak my silver in Silent Green for a day (or two if real stained) then I scrub them with a Brass Brush- I know, you're not supposed to do this- but brass is softer than our coins and they come out great. Try it-you'll like it.

4. I found a well worn Standing Liberty quarter that was stained and I used silver polish (just hand rubbed with a piece of paper towel). It came out clean and shiny.

5. The problem with the silver polish is that it removes some of the metal, so I don't think that I want to try that. I guess it doesn't really matter most of the time, because most of the coins that come out of the
ground are not in the best of shape.

6. Olive oil seems to work best on the copper that you dig...not too good on silver though.

7. It seems that most of my silver coins come out with black crud on them. Now this may sound bizarre but the fastest method I have found to clean the black off of silver is to BOIL the coin in a solution of lemon juice and baking soda for about 10 minutes. A couple of things with this method: 1) the coins will come out of the solution black. Don't panic, just have a toothbrush on hand to scrub off the coin. The crud will come off with a little effort. 2) The baking soda reacts when heated by producing a large amount of bubbles and will easily overwhelm the pot you use to boil the coin. Have a spatula ready to scoop the bubbles before you make a huge mess and have the wife ban you from the kitchen. Like I said this sounds strange but it does do the trick. Also some heavily cruded coins require two boilings to remove the black stuff. I do this often and have NEVER damaged a coin by doing so.

8. Someone posted that Simple Green, a household cleaner, was effective on coins. I tried it on an 1883 V nickel and a 1926 buffalo nickel that had a very black encrustation on them. It worked great! It took 48 hours but it did a super job.

9. I'll tell you my "secret" way to clean coins. I use green Palmolive dishwashing soap. ***This can take up to a month *** Never be in a hurry to clean anything you find. I've killed several good coins like this. Let the coins soak in the soap. Every now and then remove them and scrub with a toothbrush and replace. Add soap as needed as the soap evaporates. (This method takes time.) I've got some Buffalo's soaking right now and they are starting to shine! When they come out they will be "eye catchers" as the dates are still on them. Try it on some Jeff. nickels and see.

10. My half dollar had some dirt caked on it so, I soaked it in a heavy duty non-toxic concentrated cleaner called Simple Green, for about 3-4 hrs and it did a great job cleaning it. I don't know about discolored silver, I imagine it would take longer.

11. I use simple green lightly diluted in my tumbler with my aggregate being beach sand to clean my "black" clad before it is rolled and taken to the bank. Stuff really works great!

12. I was advised of a fantastic way to clean silver etc. Place 2-in. of water in a glass cooking dish. Heat water in microwave until it is very hot. Place a piece of aluminum foil in bottom of the pan. Mix in 3 tsp of Arm & Hammer "washing soda". (*Must be Arm & Hammer washing "soda") Lay object on tin foil and remove when it stops fizzing. I have found this is the best cleaning method on silver. It does not damage the object

13. I know I read this recipe on one of the forums a while back, and I've used it on Indian head pennies with great results. Use a half-n-half mixture of Clorox cleanup with vinegar.

14. If the old standby of months in olive oil using a toothbrush doesn't suit. Try putting a paste of "Bar Keeper's Friend" cleanser on the coin for a while or a few days. It's main ingredient is Oxalic Acid...this is
best for disolving rust but will do Ok on copper oxidation too. Then brush it off with a toothbrush. If that doesn't remove the green stuff, repeat the process several times. And finally remove the last paste
coating with 0000 steel wool. If you do this carefully you'll end up with a nice coin with some patina left. I've done this with green lumps and turned them back into coins. Certainly not approved for rare items, but this makes a useless lump into something you could show someone.

15. Try soaking it in lemon juice. It might not make it shine but it should get rid of the red copper oxides.






1. I have tried an ultrasonic cleaner for coins, and I didn't have much luck with it. I am speaking of clad coins. I wound up buying a tumbler, and I am very pleased with the results. On silver coins, I use olive oil only. The ultrasonic will work great on jewelry, as it was designed for it.

2. I tumble the clad as I need them with aquarium gravel and dish soap. I'd like to add a few more silvers yet.

3. I clean my coins using a Lortone dual tumbler using aquarium gravel and a solution of water, cream of tartar and Dawn dish soap. Oh, it also involves using SnoBol, and that really cuts the tarnished crud prior to tumbling!

4. If it is just new and clad coins I use a product call Finch in my rock tumbler for about 2 hours and 90% come out looking like new. Finch products are a colored gravel with some powder that you add water to.

5. I use the stuff you can buy in pet stores for the bottom of your fish tank. It is an extremely hard stone, and does a good job in the tumbler. It is also dirt cheap!! It comes in a lot of colors, but buy the white
stone. It seems to work the best.

6. I have been using a tumbler for cleaning modern coins for about a year now. I use dish soap and water.......some folks use a little sand. Make sure you put the pennies in seperate from the nickles, dimes and quarters. As long as you don't have a valuable coin.......the tumbler is the easy way. Then roll them and take them to the bank.

7. I use it for clad coins and it does a good job. I use aquarium gravel and dish soap.