The Last Guide On Taking Care Of Your Coins You’ll Ever Need & How To Clean Coins? Nah, Don’t Do It

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Written By Rudi
A passionate collector of both currency and Hot Wheels. Rudi has been collecting currency and Hot Wheels from around the world since he was a young boy.

How To Clean Coins?

How to clean coins? Nah, don’t do it.

  • Your coins have a natural toning that shouldn’t be removed.
  • Your coins have an important value, and you don’t want to damage them by cleaning them.
  • Your coins have a high numismatic value and should be left alone.
  • Your coins are rare, so do not clean them to preserve their value.
  • Your coins are collectible, so there is no need to clean them up.

Keeping Away From Cleaning Products

There are many cleaning products on the market, and you can easily find them in any store or backyard. However, please bear in mind that these products may cause damage to your coin collection. Therefore, it is not recommended to use these cleaning products at home. This action may decrease the value of your coins drastically, and you won’t be able to do anything about it.


Removing Dirt


Removing dirt is different compared to cleaning up your coin. Dirt is an abrasive that will scratch out of your coin. So if you want to remove the dirt, please don’t rub, don’t scrub, and never polish. You can remove dirt from your coins using a soft artist’s paintbrush. This can be performed in an area with running water or over a sink. A soft towel should be used to dry the coin, and never use paper products like paper towels. Paper can scratch coins and reduce their condition.

Removing PVC Film

The best way to remove PVC film is acetone. It will evaporate after a few hours, and the removal of the film will be complete. This process may also be used as a way to clean your coins. However, acetone is a harsh chemical that can damage your coins, so you must take proper care when using this method. To use acetone to remove PVC film, you’ll need:

  • Acetone (available at hardware stores) or a nail polish remover that contains acetone. Suppose it doesn’t list the ingredients on the label. In that case, the chances are that it contains acetone if the label says ‘nail polish remover.’ Other words like ‘acetate’ on the label indicate it does not contain acetone.
  • A glass container with enough capacity for all of your coins – make sure there’s room between them and above them if they float during cleaning. The coins should not touch one another while floating!
  • If possible, find something with sides high enough. When filled with liquid, no part of any coin’s edge will protrude from or even touch any part of its sidewalls (if there were such an object). Depending on what kind of container you can find near where you live, you might have to improvise here that fits all these requirements perfectly… I had some jars lying around in my kitchen, which worked for me 🙂 As long as nothing touches anything else inside this jar at all times, then we’re golden!

Removing Tarnish Or Toning

If you hate the toning on your coin, there are ways to get rid of it. But it’s best to leave it alone if your coin has light toning around the edges or if the toning has iridescent colors and looks like oil on water. Some collectors pay huge premiums for nicely toned coins, and removing all tarnish could lower their value. But, again, hire a professional if you’re not confident in your abilities.

Never use abrasives, acids, or commercial cleaning solutions on a coin—doing so can permanently damage its surface and reduce its value.

The Last Guide On Taking Care Of Your Coins You'll Ever Need & How To Clean Coins? Nah, Don't Do It 14

You can use a commercial coin cleaner called dip solution. This chemical bath is specially formulated to remove tarnishes from your coins without harming them. But, again, test dip solutions on common coins before treating valuable ones—and always wear protective gear like latex gloves and eye protection when handling these chemicals! Do not let them touch your skin!

Once you have some dip solution handy, place your corroded coin with tweezers (don’t touch the solution with your bare hands!) for up to 20 minutes or until the tarnish is gone. Then gently dry off the coin using a soft cloth—do not rub too hard as this could scratch its surface!

Removing Lacquer


If you’re cleaning a coin that has a lacquer coating, the first thing to do is remove the lacquer. The most cautious method for removing it is acetone-based nail polish remover. How much of this product you will need will depend on how long the lacquer layer is, what kind of coin it is, and how old it is.

Suppose your coin’s surface has been lacquered recently, even a few hours ago. Using a cotton swab or small brush, you may only need to dab some nail polish remover on top. However, if your coin’s layers have had more time to bond, you may need to apply more solvent until you can get the lacquer off completely.

If your coin’s layers have had more time to bond, you may need to apply more solvent until you can get the lacquer off completely. Remember that acetone can be dangerous if misused or accidentally spilled on skin or clothing—even plain water should not be used to clean up spills because this accelerates any damage that might occur due to exposure (acetone dissolves fats). In addition, acetone evaporates quickly into the air. It gives off fumes that can cause harm if inhaled over long periods (thus necessitating ventilation protective equipment).

Storing Your Coin Collection Correctly

The only surefire way to keep coins from tarnishing is to store them in a cool, dry place free from dust and dirt. Attics, basements, and garages are not good choices because they are susceptible to moisture and temperature fluctuations. You need to avoid storing your collection in damp places or high-humidity areas (such as bathrooms) when storing your collection. If you have high-humidity areas in your home, use a dehumidifier.

Cigar Boxes


They are great for storing cigarettes and your coins! Cheap and inexpensive but lack a certain sophistication and panache

Paper Envelope


Traditional and inexpensive. It comes in a variety of sizes and colors. You can color-code your collection, and a sulfur-free envelope is the best for long-term storage.

Cardboard 2x2s

Inexpensive. These start as 2×4 inch sheets of Mylar (transparent plastic film) glued to card stock containing two holes of identical size. The coin is placed on the Mylar, and then the holder is folded and stapled together. Some cardboard 2×2 has a layer of adhesive that seals the holder shut and eliminates the need for staples.

Vinyl 2x2s

Again this is inexpensive and great for handling and viewing coins. These 2×4, also known as flips, have two pockets that fold over to a convenient 2×2 inch size. One side holds your coin, the other a card upon which you may place a description.

Hard Plastic Holders


More expensive than the rest. These holders are often custom-made in various sizes for individual and multiple coins. The plastic layers are inert (they don’t react chemically with the coins), perfect for long-term storage.



The cost of slabbing a coin can range from $10 to over $100 each. It all depends on the company used and the level of service chosen. A small slip of paper, sealed in the holder, identifies the coin and shows its grade. Slabs offer the tightest seals of any holder, and some are claimed to be watertight and airtight.

AirTight Plastic Holders


Airtight plastic coin holders are great for storing coins. These holders are popular with coin collectors because they protect your coins from environmental damage. It also provides a “window” to view your numismatic collection in all its glory.

However, it’s important to note that these holders aren’t airtight, which is a good thing! If you don’t have air circulation inside the holder, moisture will build up and may cause corrosion on your precious metal coins.

Non-Plastic Holders

It would be best if you kept your coins in plastic holders. However, non-plastic holders are not ideal for the following reasons:

  • They’re often made of cardboard, making them vulnerable to deterioration over time.
  • They’re less than ideal for long-term storage and can cause damage to a coin since they don’t usually seal out harmful elements like air and light.

However, one advantage non-plastic holders have is that they are inexpensive. So, it might be worth investing in some as a short-term solution until you save more money or decide to upgrade your collection. If you go this route, never store a valuable or graded coin in a non-plastic holder. The damage caused by such storage would render the coin worthless. Once you’ve acquired your non-plastic holders, here’s how to store your coins inside:

  • Please ensure both sides of the paper card that holds the coin are clean before inserting the coin.
  • Place each side of the coin facing down on each holder’s side.

Guide On Taking Care Of Your Coins

If you’re like most collectors, taking care of your coins should be a no-brainer. After all, you’ve invested much to get your hands on those coins. So if you want to keep them in pristine condition, there are some simple steps you need to take. Of course, this is a survival guide for those just starting, so if you’re already taking these steps, awesome! But otherwise, let’s get started:

Handling With Kids Glove


It would be best if you had a pair of gloves to handle coins. Gloves prevent fingerprints from being passed on to coins – especially when removing them from their cases or holders. It may not seem like a big deal at first. Still, even the slightest smudge can make all the difference in value in some instances – especially rarer coins that are graded highly because of their pristine conditions.

Ask Before Removing A Coin From A Holder

When you’re a coin collector, you can’t just remove coins from their holders or albums and test them yourself. It would be best to always ask before removing a coin from a holder. If the holder is damaged, ask the owner if they mind if you remove it. Ask the album’s owner or holder for permission to touch their coins and other pieces of memorabilia. Take good care of any coins you give because they could be worth a lot!

Handle A Coin By The Edges

  • Always use a glove, but if you have to use your hand, keep your hands clean and dry when handling coins.
  • To ensure that your coins are not damaged, you can wear cotton gloves while handling them.
  • There is a reason why the phrase “handle a coin by the edges” exists because some oils on your fingers can harm your coins.

Keep Your Mouth Shut

If you’re in a situation where you need to examine an unprotected coin, breathe through your nose and don’t speak. This is because moisture-laden air escapes from our lungs every time we breathe.

Hold A Coin Over A Soft Surface


Holding a coin over a soft surface is a very useful tip. I’m sure you’ve dropped some coins before, and you know how damaging it can be for your coin! Also, scratched coins are less valuable because they aren’t minted anymore. So if you are ever holding a coin, ensure that the surface is soft, and if you drop it, it will not scratch. Another way to protect your coins from scratches and toning is to use “slabbed” holders. Slabbed holders are holders that hold your coin securely but also protect them from scratches or toning.

Keeping Them High & Dry

Be careful where you place your coins or keep them, as they can get damaged or even destroyed by moisture in the air. While air conditioning is excellent, you do not want to keep them in an environment with dry air that is overly humidified. This would be like taking a shower and then standing outside in the snow – a bad idea! You can keep the coin dry by using a desiccant (a substance that absorbs moisture) near your coins but not directly on top of them.

I like Silica Gel packets, which are cheap and easy to find online (or get some from new shoes). Another fantastic common household remedy for keeping objects dry also works well: uncooked rice. Just place it in an open container near your coin display area. Whatever you do, please don’t store your coins in that bathroom cabinet where there’s always steam from showers and sinks!


Now that you’ve learned how to get the most value out of your coins, it’s time to take care of them properly. If you want to ensure that your coins will be valuable in the coming years, store them in a cool and dry place. If you ever Google how to clean coins? Just remember you don’t have to, and you don’t need to.

Do not expose them to extreme temperature fluctuations! Exposing your coins to extreme heat and cold can cause irreparable damage. This is especially true for coins stored within plastic flip holders or capsules, which can cause condensation if left somewhere hot or cold enough.

Before you go…

Remember: Your coin collection is an investment! With proper storage techniques, it will only become more valuable as time goes on.

Check out my next article: “Should You Clean Collectible Coins or Not?

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