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How To Clean Gold Coins: Everything You Need to Know

how to clean gold coins

Learn how to clean gold coins properly with this comprehensive guide.

Cleaning gold coins can be tricky, as you want to protect your asset’s pristine quality while subjecting it to a sometimes abrasive cleansing process.

To make your life easier, our guide will tell you how to clean gold coins, so you can keep your gold investment safe.

To clean gold coins, you need to start by finding a proper cleaning kit and research the appropriate chemicals, cleaners, and techniques to do it right.

But before cleaning any of your coins, be sure to check that it is real gold and store it in a safe place for the time being.

Let’s start with the basic supplies.

how to clean gold coins

What You’ll Need to Clean Gold Coins

To clean your gold coin collection properly, you’ll need:

  • One plastic cup and plastic bag

  • One spoon or fork

  • Soap or detergent

  • Clean bowl

  • Soft cloth

  • Coin sander optional

  • Water (a few tablespoons)

  • Non-metallic scrubber

  • Baking soda (optional)

  • Vinegar (1 tablespoon)

  • Toothbrush and toothpaste

  • Rubbing alcohol (a few drops)

  • Spatula

  • Gloves

Considerations Before Cleaning Your Coins

Gold tends to get tarnished over time due to exposure to air or dirty surfaces.

Therefore, you’ll need to take precautions and avoid unnecessary damage while cleaning them.

Cleaning rare coins can be demanding if you don’t have the right tools.

One tool that makes this process much easier is a coin sander.

You’ll also need a soft towel or soft rag.

Be careful with this part of the technique to prevent damage to the rare coin.

A plastic bag is also helpful for you to store your gold coins securely after you clean them.

Some collectors prefer to use glass jars instead of bags for storage because they are easier to see through and more discreet.

While cleaning a gold coin is easy with just a few tricks and tools, the real challenge comes in finding the proper technique.

How To Clean Gold Coins

The most important thing to remember when you are cleaning gold coins is to handle them gently.

Bullion tends to react negatively when you use harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaning materials.

The first step is to remove dirt and grime.

how to clean gold coins

 You can do this by using an old toothbrush and some water to remove dirt from the surface of your coins.

Another way you can wash your gold is by using a small rag or a soft cloth.

Now, it’s time for the less-than-glamorous part — scrubbing and wiping down the dirty coin with gentle dish soap and water to remove any remaining grime.

The mild soap or washing-up liquid will help dissolve any remaining dirt and oil as you rub it gently.

Be sure to rinse away any soap residue that may cause more harm later.

Be Careful When Cleaning Your Coins

Gold is a soft metal and can be easily damaged.

Coins are some of the most valuable and expensive items to clean.

But, if you know how to clean them correctly, they can look almost as good as new ones!

If you need to clean the coins, use soft cloth materials.

You should also use a small amount of household bleach (e.g., one cup) and water to ensure that your gold stays shiny and clean.

Cleaning Silver Coins

There are a few ways to clean silver coins.

A common way of cleaning silver coins is to soak them in a mixture of water and ammonia, as it will remove any dirt or corrosion on the rare coins.

Another formula is to use a mixture of salt and vinegar, which will remove tarnish and other grime from the surface.


how to clean gold coins

Methods for Cleaning Coins

Coin Cleaning Method 1

  1. Find an airtight container and a solution of water and hydrogen peroxide.

  2. Place the coins in the plastic container and loosely soak them in the mixture.

Leave it for at least three minutes, then use a clean and dry cloth gently to wipe off any residue.

  1. Let the metals air dry, then put them on display or store them away securely.

Coin Cleaning Method 2

There are four steps involved in cleaning gold.

These steps include:

  • Gently clean the outside of the gold with a soft cloth

  • Filet the outside edges of the coin to remove any dirt and oxidation

  • Use a mild mixture of water and gentle soap to clean the inside of the coin

  • Rinse off with cold tap water and air dry thoroughly.

Coin Cleaning Method 3

Cleaning gold coins can be a tedious and time-consuming task.

There are many steps involved in the formula, requiring the use of different tools and chemicals.

  1. You should wash it thoroughly with soapy water to remove dirt, dust, fingerprints, and any other contaminants from the coin.

  2. Rinse off the coin with clean tap water

  3. Cleanse with a mixture of ammonia and water

  4. Rinse thoroughly again

  5. Dry with a towel completely

Alternative Ways to Clean Gold

There are various ways to clean gold aside from the traditional formulas.

The most common way to clean gold is by following these steps:

  • Put some salt on top of a dish.

  • Soak the coins in a bowl of salt water for a few minutes.

  • Then soak the coins in clean water, and let them dry overnight.

  • You can also use vinegar with salt and soap as an alternative technique to clean coins.

Many people are now turning to alternative ways of cleaning gold.

For instance, some of them use a different type of water for cleaning-distilled water.

Other gold cleaners use a chemical solution to clean their pieces of gold.

Different formulas for cleaning gold have several pros and cons.

For example, distilled water is an environmentally friendly and more cost-efficient mixture than chemical solutions.

Baking Soda Is Also an Option

Alternative ways to clean gold include using baking soda or vinegar to remove dirt from silver.

Collectors also add lemon juice or salt to their water for different precious metals like copper and brass.

how to clean gold coins

Pick a Coin Cleaning Process that Best Suits Your Needs

Gold can be cleaned through different processes, and they all have their benefits.

You can clean the fine gold using chemical solutions like sulfuric acid, nitric oxide, or chlorine.

You can also use magnetic fields to remove non-gold particles from surfaces.

Another process is to use ultrasonic waves, which are non-toxic and easily accessible.

How Often To Clean Your Gold Coins

It is essential to know how often you clean your coins to avoid reducing the coin value.

It is not uncommon for people to accumulate gold coins for many years because they find it difficult to part with them.

However, it is necessary to wash coins regularly to avoid losing some of them due to tarnishing and corrosion.

When Should You Clean Gold Coins?

There is no set rule on how often you should scrub the coins.

Many experts suggest that once per year would be enough for most people.

Another common question that people ask is, “How often should I clean my gold coins?”

The answer to this question varies, depending on the type of coin and the frequency you use it.

Here are some basic guidelines for cleaning your coins:

  • Clean your coins once a year when they show dullness.

  • Clean the coins more often if you have children or pets that tend to get their hands on them.

It is not easy for coins to be dirty, but with daily use, and perspirations on the surface, they will lose some luster.

You need to clean the coins up to three times a year if you plan on selling them.

If you use your precious metal for monetary transactions, you may need to clean it more often than this.

It is essential to know the number of times you can clean your coins without damaging them.

Knowing when to clean gold coins and other bullion keeps them safe. 

Regularly cleaning your coins can make them look new again, but doing this too often could lead to damage in the long run.

You can follow some guidelines to determine the number of times of handling gold to avoid any damage.

Understanding the cleaning technique is the first step in determining how often you should clean the coins.

Don’t Damage Your Gold by Using the Wrong Cleaners

Jewelry cleaners can be dangerous for gold.

You can use dish soap and water for this cleaning technique.

Gold can discolor over time if not cleaned properly, which will result in it looking dull or yellowed.

So it’s essential to clean your gold regularly to maintain its shiny appearance and value.

Use common sense when cleaning your metal because certain types of chemicals can damage the golden shine of the coin.

Although it is not necessary to clean your coins every day, you should do so a few times after some use.

And if you are going to sell them, then make sure to take them to a professional for cleaning, or else they might not be worth as much as they are now.

How to Clean Old Coins

The best way to clean old coins is by using a cloth and some distilled water.

Silver coin cleaning is a common practice among coin collectors — just as common as gold coin cleaning.

The processes and materials used to clean both are very similar.

Use More Caution When Cleaning Old Coins

It can be tedious and time-consuming to clean gold coins by hand.

Do not rub alcohol or other harsh chemicals with your gold or have contact with your old coins.

These substances can damage the surface of your gold, making it less valuable if you want to sell or wear it.

Additionally, make sure that you don’t use any chemicals that can harm the environment and other objects in your home during the cleanup process.

Warm water is always a safe choice.

Though, The best way is to enlist the services of a professional gold cleaner.

Methods to Clean Old Gold Coins

The methods of cleaning old coins are in four categories:

  • Physical

  • Chemical

  • Mechanical

  • Electrochemical

Physical: This includes using a soft toothbrush on the metal, using a damp cloth to wash them clean, and using hydrochloric acid to dissolve the tarnish.

Chemical: The chemical method is soaking the coins in salt water to remove the stain or placing them in a vinegar mixture.

Mechanical: It uses abrasives such as sandpaper and steel wool to strip off the layers of paint that obscure the design on a coin.

Electrochemical: The electrochemical process uses electricity or chemicals such as sulfuric acid.

Other Gold Coin Cleaning Methods

Coin cleaning is an age-old practice that people use to preserve and enhance the value of coins.

There are many ways to clean an old coin’s surface.

how to clean gold coins

Techniques for cleaning old coins:

  1. Use electronic cleaners by turning on a device like a toothbrush and then using a small soft brush.

  2. Mix vinegar and saltwater (mixing one teaspoon of salt with one cup of vinegar).

  3. Clean in boiling water for 10 minutes or until the metal starts to shine.

  4. Tumbler machines used by coin dealers like Jewelers, Goldsmiths, and Stationers

  5. Cleaning in running water for eight hours or more.

  6. Using a dishwasher machine: Old coins can sometimes be hard to get rid of, but you can polish them with the help of a dishwasher.

These methods will remove the tarnish and give your treasure a new life.

Final Thoughts: How to Clean Gold Coins

The best way to clean gold coins is by using a simple, chemically safe, and natural formula.

There are plenty of options to choose from, so you are free to pick one based on what materials you have on hand.

Cleaning your coins is an important part of collecting, as you want to ensure your investment remains in pristine condition.

Regardless of which method you choose, take your time, make sure you have the right supplies and setup, and always use proven techniques.


Jessica is a published author and copywriter specializing in personal and investment finance. Her expertise is in financial product reviews and stock market education.