How To Clean Your Military Challenge Coins

How To Clean Your Military Challenge Coins
February 6, 2020 Ian Wilcox (CMC, US Navy, Ret.)
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How To Clean Your Military Challenge Coins

You’ve heard that you just should never clean coins. this is often true if you’re a collector of old, circulated coins, such as Indian head nickels or Mercury dimes.

If you clean these sorts of collectible coins, you wash away the natural hue, which decreases their value.

But this doesn’t apply to your military coin collection. Because you can clean these collectable challenge coins, keeping them shiny and looking new. The key thing to remember here is when you are coin cleaning is never to use abrasive solutions or materials.

Do you have military challenge coins you would like to clean without damaging them?

Read this guide carefully upon cleaning your military coins using the safest and best methods.

Run Under Cold Water

If you’re just trying to remove dust, you’ll be able to run your coins under cold water. this will wash away dust particles. let them air dry on a soft cloth or gently pat them with the material to remove water droplets.

Wash in Warm Soapy Water

Add a small amount of mild, non-acidic dish soap to a plastic container of warm water. Avoid using a clay or metal container since they can scratch your coins.

Wash one coin at a time in the plastic container, in order that they don’t rub against each other. Shake the container gently back and forth to loosen dirt and grime.

You can rub the coin together with your fingers if the dirt isn’t washing off your coins.

Soak in water

For more persistent gunk stuck on your coins, try dipping them into water . it is a non-abrasive thanks to remove dirt without harming the colour of your coins. Just place your military coins during a container of distilled water. Add each coin one at a time in order that they don’t touch each other. let them sit within the water for 24 hours.

When you take them out, use a soft toothbrush to remove any leftover gunk. do this slowly and gently. Let your coins soak for another day if they’re still not clean.

Make a baking soda and Water Solution

Cleaning coins with a baking soda solution works best on copper, silver and brass coins. once you mix baking soda and water together for cleaning your coins, you want it to be a liquid solution. The last item you want is a bicarbonate of soda paste that you’ll have to clean off later.

You can make the solution by placing about two tablespoons of baking soda in an aluminum foil-lined bowl. Add boiling water to the bowl. Place your coins during a single layer into the bowl.

Leave the coins soaking until the water cools to room temperature. Remove your coins and rinse them in cold water. you can let them air dry.

Soak in oil

The olive oil cleaning method is one among the ways to clean old coins. this is the method many numismatists use to clean ancient coins with caked-on dirt.

Olive oil saturates the dirt, which loosens it for easier removal without damaging the coin. you employ this method for your dirtiest coins. Some ancient coins have to soak in olive oil for as much as six months before they’re clean.

Military coins should only take a couple of days of soaking. All you have to try to to 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.

Give them an Acetone Bath

Some coin collectors bathe their coins in isopropyl alcohol and water, but acetone is a better solution. Acetone’s vapour pressure is higher than the alcohol’s so it evaporates off your coins quicker. Also, isopropyl alcohol can leave a whitish film on your coins.

Acetone is effective for removing grease, adhesive and fingerprints. it is also great as a final rinse for all your military coins because it removes any deposits from soap, water, and other contaminants.

Should You Clean Old Coins?

If you’re wondering whether you ought to clean old coins, it all depends on if you’re a serious collector. Are you collecting old coins to retain their value? If so, don’t clean your old coins.

Keep in mind that old circulated coins tarnish, tone and develop patina at different rates. If you clean old coins, you will get a splotchy, altered coin surface.

Your coins will lose 90 percent of their value if you clean them. Not only that, it’s easy to ruin your coins if you don’t clean them properly.

When you try to trade or sell your old coins after cleaning them, the expert numismatists will be able to see the surface scratches and damage to the coins.

The lesson to be learned is that it’s almost never a good idea to clean a circulated coin. Once you clean off the first patina, what you’re left with may be a coin that appears cleaned.

Consider Leaving Coin Cleaning to the Professionals

If your military coins have an emotional or monetary value for you, consider playing it safe. Bring your coins to a professional coin cleaner for safe, damage-free coin cleaning.

Professional cleaners use several ways to clean coins chemically likeĀ 

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Challenge coins come in all shapes and sizes and it is important to take care of them.