For any collector or owner of challenge coins, you have probably heard that you should never clean your coins. This is true is you are a collector of old, circulated coins, such as Indian head nickels or Mercury dimes.
Cleaning vintage coins washes away the natural patina, which in turn decreases the value of these old coins. However, this rule does not apply to your military coin collection. You can clean these collectibles and keep them looking exceptional. The key when you are cleaning your coins is never to use abrasive solutions or materials.
If you have military coins that you would like to clean without damaging them, we are here to help. Today we provide you with everything you need to know when cleaning your military coin collection.
Use Cold Water
The first step is to remove dust and debris. Running your coins under cold water will wash away dust particles. Let them air dry on a soft cloth or gently pat them dry to remove the water droplets.
Washing In Soapy Water
For a deeper clean, add a small amount of mild, non-acidic dish soap to a plastic container of warm water. Stay away from clay or metal containers as they can scratch your coins.
Wash each coin individually in the plastic container and shake the container back and forth to loosen any debris. You can rub the coin with your fingers if the dirt and grime isn't washing off of your coins.
Soak In Distilled Water
This method is for the persistent debris stuck to your coins. It's a non-abrasive way to remove dirt without harming the color of your coins. Simply place your military coins into a container of distilled water, adding each coin one at a time.
Let them soak for 24 hours. Upon removal, brush your coins with a soft toothbrush to remove any leftover dirt. Do this slowly and let your coins soak for another day if they are still not clean.
Baking Soda & Water Solution
For copper, silver, and brass coins, a baking soda solution is your best options. The solution is made by placing about two tablespoons of baking soda in an aluminum foil-lined bowl. Then add boiling water to the bowl. When you mix baking soda and water together for cleaning your coins, you want it to be a liquid solution.
Place your coins in a single layer in the bowl and let them soak until the water cools to room temperature. Remove your coins and rinse them in cold water before letting them air dry.
Soak In Olive Oil
This method is reserved more for old coins. Olive Oil saturates the dirt, which loosens it for easier removal without damaging the coin. Use this method for your dirtiest coins and expect a surprise at the results.
Military coins should only take a few days of soaking. All you have to do is place your coins in olive oil and let them soak. Once the dirt comes loose, remove your coins and rinse them using the warm soapy water method.
The Acetone Bath
Some collectors bathe their coins in isopropyl alcohol and water, but acetone is a better solution. This method is useful for removing grease, adhesive, and fingerprints, its also a great final rinse for all of your military coins.
Coin Cleaning Professionals
If your military coins have an emotional or monetary value, consider taking them to a professional coin cleaner. Here you will get safe, damage-free coin cleaning.
Professional cleaners use several different methods, which are dangerous and could cause personal harm or damage. To keep your coins looking exceptional at all times, rely on a professional for cleaning.
Though you don't want to clean old, circulated coins, you can and should keep your military challenge coins clean. It's essential to preserve your coins in case you want to give them as signs of achievement and more. This coins cleaning guide will help you keep your military coins looking great for years to come.