cleaning silver coins with aluminum foil, baking soda, and boiling water.

Discussion in 'Coin Chat' started by riff, Feb 11, 2013.

  1. riff

    riff I ain't got time to bleed

    anyone tried this? i did it to a common peace dollar with horrible black toning all over and it really worked well. it was almost solid black, but now looks a lot better. placed the foil on the bottom of a pyrex dish, poured in baking soda, placed coin in, and pour boiling water over it. after about ten seconds, the ugly black was gone, now stuck to the aluminum foil. the side touching the foil gets instantly cleaned without any scrubbing, wiping, q-tipping, etc... i have cleaned jewelry this way, but wanted to see what it did to a silver coin. i didnt think to take a before pic, but this is after one quick bath note the reverse, it was the side laying on the foil:
    MIGuy and imrich like this.
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  3. John14

    John14 Active Member

    I would just use the silver dip, if you must clean it. Just dip it 8-9 seconds and rinse with water.

    I think that peace dollar looks good though btw.
  4. riff

    riff I ain't got time to bleed

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  5. hontonai

    hontonai Registered Contrarian

    The aluminum/baking soda method works with warm water - it doesn't have to be boiling hot.

    No comment on whether removing tarnish qualifies as the "C" word.
  6. George8789

    George8789 Leaving CoinTalk for good

    Invest in some E-Zest. I bought a nice little tub of it for $5. There are a couple videos on youtube showing how well that stuff works.
  7. silverfool

    silverfool Active Member

    I'm cheap. I like the 15 cents of soda, foil and water. I've used that method on silver bars but never on a coin.
    Jdiablo30 likes this.
  8. Doug21

    Doug21 Coin Hoarder

    never heard of this method before
  9. Blissskr

    Blissskr Well-Known Member

    I've done this many times with junk silver that has no real numismatic value. I usually not only place a tinfoil sheet on the bottom but also cut up a bunch of 'confetti' tin foil and put it in the water also. It works well from the times I've done it.
  10. Dean 295

    Dean 295 D.O.M.

    OK so this morning I used Kosher salt becuse my wife told me to use that, Well it didn't work properly. I will try it again when my wife isn't around.
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  11. Dean 295

    Dean 295 D.O.M.

    So I tried with two litle packs of salt and baking soda in a solution in a glass pan,with aluminum fold and it didn't work again. It actually cleaned some of the real hard stuff off but not like in the video. I even waited about 3-4 minutes and nothing. I believe it's Busted.
  12. Blaubart

    Blaubart Melt Value = 4.50

    Keep in mind this will only remove tarnish/oxidation from a silver coin. It will not remove dirt, grease or grime from a coin, and the baking soda must be fresh.
  13. SilverStandard

    SilverStandard New Member

    I am very wary of cleaning coins because if there's just one small screw-up, your coin could instantly lose value. Dealers can spot a cleaned coin almost immediately also. Leave the cleaning to a professional, or just leave the coins as they are. Some of them actually look better uncleaned in my unprofessional opinion
    Big Money likes this.
  14. Blaubart

    Blaubart Melt Value = 4.50

    I can't believe it took four days for someone to toe the party line on coin cleaning. ;)

    I feel the same way. The ONLY coins I've ever cleaned were heavily circulated junk silver coins, and primarily for educational purposes.
  15. riff

    riff I ain't got time to bleed

    i would only do this on bullion. and as far as it being "busted", the issue is what YOU are doing wrong, not that it doesnt work. this works good for cleaning junk silver.
    MIGuy likes this.
  16. Morgandude11

    Morgandude11 As long as it's Silver, I'm listening

    DO NOT clean any coins.
    Earl Clark likes this.
  17. riff

    riff I ain't got time to bleed

    Why? some coins NEED a cleaning. if you are throwing bullion in a sack, what does it matter if its cleaned or not? if one feels compelled to clean a coin, clean a coin. i have coins that i wont ever sell, so if i want to clean them up, why shouldnt i? contrary to popular belief, it doesnt ALWAYS hurt the value. in some cases it can improve it.
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  18. riff

    riff I ain't got time to bleed

    using acetone IS CLEANING. yet everyone seems okay with that. this is electro-chemistry. not rubbing a coin with baking soda to make it shine.
    midas1 and Big Money like this.
  19. Marsden

    Marsden Well-Known Member

    But you did it on a Peace Dollar. BTW, if the coin is covered by the solution and in contact with the aluminum, both sides should become de-oxidized. I don't use this method with coins but I've used it many times with sterling flatware. As noted upthread the water does not have to be boiling hot. Opinions vary on the addition of salt. The silver must be in physical contact with the aluminum (although technically you can chain the silver contacts).

    The electrochemical activity will reverse the effect of tarnish but as noted will not remove grime etc. It could be argued that it's not a cleaning, technically speaking. However, the results on old, soiled coins will be irregular. Additionally, the reversal of the silver sulfide reaction will de-patinate old surfaces on a molecular level and with flatware sometimes a light polishing is indicated to restore an attractive sheen. You would not want to do this with your valuable coins.

    The best description of the chemistry that I have found is here:
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  20. jloring

    jloring Senior Citizen

    I love when people say this. Sounds more like a command than a recommendation. Anyway, coins that are worth melt are still worth melt, no matter how harshly cleaned. So... clean away, if the mood so strikes.
    Big Money likes this.
  21. Kentucky

    Kentucky Supporter! Supporter

    [​IMG] Originally Posted by Morgandude11 [​IMG]
    DO NOT clean any coins.

    Not a command, more of a commandment, and we know how many people break those. The full commandment is "Thou shall not harshly clean any coin". The electrochemical method does work well to take off tarnish, but it would strip any luster there might be on the coin, so don't use it to try and remove unsightly toning to get a lustrous coin.
    Stevearino and Big Money like this.
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