Discussion in 'Coin Chat' started by Mojavedave, Aug 13, 2019.

  1. Mojavedave

    Mojavedave Senior Member

    I have decided to clean some dirty silver coins with MEK only. If I decide to submit these coins to a third party grader, will they designate them as cleaned coins (details).

  2. Avatar

    Guest User Guest

    to hide this ad.
  3. Maxfli

    Maxfli Well-Known Member

    Might not be a good idea.
  4. Kentucky

    Kentucky Supporter! Supporter

    MEK is pretty much the same as acetone. MEK is Methyl Ethyl Ketone and acetone is Dimethyl Ketone. If you got it and it is pure, use it.
  5. Maxfli

    Maxfli Well-Known Member

    But since it's not exactly the same, I'd want to know for sure (e.g., testimony from other CT members who've actually used it) that it's as safe as acetone before using it on coins I intend to submit for grading.
  6. desertgem

    desertgem MODERATOR Senior Errer Collecktor Moderator

    The advantage for cleaning ( organic) is better for MEK, but it is much slower to evaporate than acetone, so what ever you dissolved will stay around longer. Also MEK is not legal in California and maybe other states and will be hard to find, and the "Meets CA VOC Regulations" on the label of a MEK container is faked stuff. I Stick with acetone and like its activity and it ability.
    COCollector likes this.
  7. Mojavedave

    Mojavedave Senior Member

    Does anyone have an answer for this; If I decide to submit these coins after an MEK dip, to a third party grader, will they designate them as cleaned coins (details).

  8. Maxfli

    Maxfli Well-Known Member

    The answer is no . . . IF MEK performs the same as acetone, which only removes organic compounds on the surface of a coin, and does react with or alter the surface of a coin in any way.

    @desertgem suggests that MEK and acetone are interchangeable. Personally, if they were my coins, I'd pick up a quart of acetone at Home Depot or Lowe's for a few dollars and use that, just to be safe.
  9. Kentucky

    Kentucky Supporter! Supporter

    One of my favorite solvents for cleaning was tetrahydrofuran. Anyone ever use it?
  10. Mojavedave

    Mojavedave Senior Member

    Thank you Maxfli & Desertgem.
  11. Conder101

    Conder101 Numismatist

    Not if all you do is soak/swish in the stuff. (Unless the coin has certain types of artificial toning.)
  12. Kentucky

    Kentucky Supporter! Supporter

    Organic solvents in general will not react with metals and evaporate quickly. MEK (pure) will not damage a coin and will leave no trace.
  13. COCollector

    COCollector Well-Known Member

    Yes, MEK is better than acetone for dissolving organic contaminants (oils, grease, etc). Organics are common on circulated coins, right?

    But that doesn't necessarily mean that your MEK is suitable for cleaning coins.

    That is, there are different grades of chemical purity.

    My Suggestion: Dip a junk coin in your MEK. Then let it air-dry, and see if it leaves a residue that won't rinse off with water or acetone.

    BTW, acetone is better than MEK at dissolving water-soluble (polar) contaminants. Acetone is also cheaper and more widely available at retail stores.

    More info for a sleepless night: The Differences Between MEK and Acetone
    micbraun likes this.
  14. Randy Abercrombie

    Randy Abercrombie Supporter! Supporter

    I only know MEK as a very aggressive solvent. We cleaned missile parts with it in the army. When nobody was looking we would dump a cup of the stuff in our gas tanks before we went street racing. The stuff is very potent. Personally, I wouldn’t put MEK in the same room with my coins.
    imrich likes this.
  15. Mojavedave

    Mojavedave Senior Member

    You were lucky you didn't blow your car up. in any case you probably had the cleanest engine in town.
    Randy Abercrombie likes this.
  16. Kentucky

    Kentucky Supporter! Supporter

    Last place I worked, we received MEK and tetrahydrofuran (THF) in railroad tank cars. Our wash tanks were filled with MEK but THF was considered the stronger solvent. They were used to dissolve a urethane resin for coating purposes.
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page