How to clean silver coins with citric acid


This article contains our method of silver coins cleaning using a citric acid. We focused on that way of cleaning silver after our experiments with professional reagents. If you are going to clean silver coins our way, you do it on your own risk. Before starting cleaning read this article once more.

How to clean silver coins with citric acid

This method of cleaning requires:

  • citric acid (E330)
  • cotton pads
  • cotton swabs
  • distilled water
  • soap
  • plastic container for cleaning solution
  • electronic scales (not necessarily)
  • plastic tweezers (not necessarily)

Silver coins cleaning. Step 1.

Preparing the cleaning solution, we begin by weighing the citric acid  that you bought in the store. We recommend using a solution in the proportion of 5-10 grams of acid per 100 ml of water. Mix the acid better in warm or hot water, so the reaction will go faster. Also, you can always keep the solution warm by heating it.

Having weighed the citric acid on the scales, pour the necessary 5..6..7..8..9 or 10 grams into the hot water. The solution is ready.

In the prepared hot solution we immerse the coin for cleaning. You can omit the coin even with a touch of clay, because the acid will clean clay too. At this stage it is good to have plastic tweezers, it is convenient to turn over or get a coin from a hot solution.

After immersion, bubbles of air will start to form on the surface of the coin – the reaction has begun. The first from the coin will begin to separate mud raids and light greens. A few minutes later you can get a coin and see how the process is going. With a cotton swab dipped in a solution, you can try to remove dirt and light greens from the silver coin field.

The coin to the left has already been in solution, and the coin on the right is not yet there. As you can see in the photo on the coin, there are both green growths and clay soils. We do not recommend cleaning such dirt with a toothbrush. And we advise to reduce to zero any mechanical cleaning, if you do not have experience. It is very easy to damage a silver coin , you can also simply scratch the coin’s field.

If a coin is valuable, we advise not to leave the reaction unattended and start cleaning with a 5% solution of citric acid. This tip is also suitable for coins that simply have tarnishing or clay contamination. Like this one:

Step 2. Cotton pads for coin cleaning.

In the list of necessary we mentioned cotton pads, now it’s time to tell what they are for. After the coin was removed from the solution, and on it were large green growths, we need two cotton pads. The diameter of the discs allows you to use them even on thalers.

We take a plastic container preferably small and put the first layer of a cotton disc, then a coin and cover the coin with another cotton disc. Disks can be pre-soaked or then simply poured with a prepared solution of citric acid, they must be wet. In this form, the coin can be left for several hours, from time to time looking at and flipping the discs themselves. If the room is warm, you need to pour the solution when the cotton dries. After a while lifting the upper cotton wool disc you will see that it formed a trace from the coin. Green oxides and dirt simply pass from the coin’s field to the cotton pad. Cleaning occurs virtually independently, you only need to change the discs as they become dirty.

If the area of the coin is small and the quantity is large, two, three or four coins can be placed on the disc at once.

How to clean silver coins. Step 3.

If green coats remain on the coin’s field for a long time, you can change the solution from time to time or warm it up. So the reaction will go faster.

After the result of cleaning you arrange a coin you need to wash it with soap and wash it off with water to remove the remains of citric acid from the coin field.

How to clean silver coins at home.

Here is the result of cleaning the coin by this method. The coin was cleaned for about a day with the change of cotton pads and one change of citric acid 7% solution (7 grams per 100 ml of water). Thus it was possible not to damage the native stamp shine of the coin, which survived after three and a half centuries in soil.

In this form, she landed into a soil in Middle Ages.

IMPORTANT! We hope our article will be useful to you and will help to clear many excellent silver coins. In turn, we do not insist that this method is the best and do not take any responsibility for spoiled coins when cleaning with citric acid. This article describes only our method and our experience, and the result may differ from any other.

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