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Why lemon juice cleans copper pennies better than bleach

Why does lemon juice clean copper pennies better than bleach and other detergents? And please hurry I need the answer. Make the answers nice and long too!

Isaiah S. [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Mays Landing, New Jersey, United States


Did you want those nice long answers single or double spaced, Isaiah? Teachers beg us to just tell you to do your own homework :-)

Ted Mooney,
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha - Pine Beach, New Jersey

Sigh.. another student that just wants to cut and paste and turn it in to a teacher. Isaiah, do a search on this site, and you will find the answer to your question...or read one of your science books, or better yet, pay attention in class.

Marc Green
Marc Green
anodizer - Boise, Idaho

Study or else you'll end up in one of those mines inhabited by Orcs in Middle Earth.

tom pullizzi animated    tomPullizziSignature
Tom Pullizzi
Falls Township, Pennsylvania


First of all dull and dirty pennies have a layer of copper oxide (copper and oxygen mixed together) and that can be dissolved by a weak acid. Lemon juice is a weak acid; so are orange juice and vinegar [in bulk on eBay or Amazon].

Jennifer C [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Moncks Corner, sc, U.S.

Lemon juice cleans pennies better than bleach because bleach takes out stains from things that have pores or spaces for things to live but pennies are solid things that don't have a lot of pores and stuff. And acid which is in the lemon juice dissolves things on the surface and that's why lemon juices works better than bleach.

Carmella C. [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- PC, New York

I agree with Jennifer. Thanks for trying to help, Carmella, but I don't agree. Please see F.A.Q. on Cleaning Pennies. It will tell you everything you need to know for this science project. Good luck. smiley faceTed Mooney,
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha - Pine Beach, New Jersey

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