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topic 16630

Cleaning with acid without taking away the finish


I have tried all types of acidic liquids but they all have one drawback, they wipe off the penny's finish. If you clean a new penny in acid and compare it to another new penny you can clearly see the finish is gone. Is there any way to get of the dirt but keep the finish?

Nathaniel [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- West Hartford, Connecticut


I don't know what you mean by "finish", Nathaniel. If you clean the penny with a commercial cleaner like Brasso [linked by editor to product info at Amazon], I think it will retain "luster", or maybe a better way of putting it is that the luster will be restored because there is some kind of oil or wax in this commercial formulation. If you clean a penny with ketchup or salt and lemon juice, it is true that it will be left rather raw.

Ted Mooney, Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Pine Beach, New Jersey

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