coin cleaning


Dec 26, 2004
Detector(s) used
Fisher Labs CZ-20 & CZ-21
I've read up on this quite a bit and it just depends on what you have and how clean you want it.

I hunt the Outer Banks of NC currently and most coins are tarninshed. The coins I pulled from Florida were encrusted. And, the coins pulled from dirt in Maryland, Indiana are pretty dirty and tarnished.

What I've found that is working for me is a rock tumbler. I first used the brass cleaning media that came with the unit, and it worked well, until the rouge started sticking to the coins. Then being cheap I got some corn cobs and cut them up. They work great, put the process is slow. The pennies seem to really darken the media (corn cob), which I separate out and wash to reuse. The same happens when I clean the nickles, dimes and quarters, but not as bad.

I finally broke down and bought some brass shell casing media (Green Corn Cob and Pecan Shell w/rouge) from Gander Mtn sporting goods. I have yet to try it, but if it cleans brass it should clean coins in my opinion.

Most sites I've read suggest only cleaning with water and soft tooth brush.
And suggest you don't want to clean anything that will loose it's value from being cleaned. OLD and RARE coins and the like!

Hope this helps! Good LUCK!


jim c

found this on the forum hope it helps posted by SPWalker To all

What you need is an electrolysis system. You can make your own and here is how.

1. Find in your house a transformer says 6 watt or so. This is the type of thing that we use on plug-ins for calculators. I use a T.I. CLASS 2 TRANSFORMER. The output is DC 6V and Input is AC 120V 60Hz 6W. They are common and are DC units so no 110 volt stuff.
2. Get a small plastic or glass container like a cooking cup.
3. Baking soda.
4. Take the transformer, cut the wires at the end, and strip the wire back.
5. Note that one end will be positive and the other negative. The one with the stripe should be the positive end. But you will want to check it to be sure.
6. Mix two teaspoons of baking soda in a cup of water, (This is non corrosive un-like salt). This is your conductor.
7. Place a stainless steel spoon or knife in the solution with the negative wire clipped to it. I use a steel clip for papers like you get at the office.
8. Place the object you like on the positive clip. This will clean the object by way of an ionic method. Keep the object in the solution and not the clip holding it. You must have a metal to metal connection to the wire
9. Watch the object closely, after a time go to the sink, and brush it with a toothbrush. This will lift off the scum.
10. Start with an item you can stand to damage to verify you have the polarity correct (copper penny). The positive end should be the one that bubbles. The gas is CO2.

You will find that this work very well with scum and actually re-builds the object back by forcing the separated atoms back onto the object that has corroded off. The system acts like a car battery in reverse. It is safe and will not scare the object.

You will learn how to do it better when you work at it. It turns the solution black so do not get it on the carpet or the wife will beat you for it.

After a hunt I look forward to the cleaning to see what I really have.

Let me know how it works. Or if you have questions.




Full Member
Dec 17, 2004
wilmington nc
Detector(s) used
used to own a whites dfx. i dont currently own a machine. cant wait to save up for a new machine
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
replace the baking soda with salt works much better. and its a very slow process.

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