Why Does Soda Pop Clean Coins?

Why Does Soda Pop Clean Coins?
••• Wikipedia Commons

Introduction

Coins, being made of metals, are subject to tarnish and buildup dirt and oils accumulated by passing from hand to hand and pocket to pocket. This residue and tarnish can be removed by soaking the coin for a short period of time in a carbonated drink to restore the original metal's coloring and to reveal the molded images that have not been worn away by time and touch.

Cleaning

Take a carbonated drink and pour it into a glass; it doesn't matter whether it is diet or regular. Place the coin(s) into the drink. Check every 20 minutes until the coin is as clean as you need. It may take a more than a few hours, but because the drink contains a mild acid, do not leave the coin in the drink for too long because it will dissolve. Leaving it in for more than 24 hours is a bad idea. Rinse with warm water and dry well on a clean, soft cotton cloth.

Why It Works

An acid is formed by forcing carbon dioxide (CO2) into a liquid form. When the pressure is released, the CO2 returns to its natural state, which causes bubbles. The carbonic acid created will react with the residue on the coin and act as a mild cleaning agent, but all it is really doing is eating away the top layer. The same reaction will happen with other mild forms of acid such as citrus acid. You can accomplish the same task by using catsup (or ketchup) or orange juice. There are professional solutions made just for cleaning coins, so if your coin looks like it might be very valuable, you might wish to consider using a cleaning agent rather than acid.

Related Articles

How to Use Vinegar & Salt to Make a Penny Disappear
Science Project for the Effects That Beverages Have...
Science Fair Project on Soda Dissolving a Nail in Four...
Hydrochloric Acid Safety Precautions
How to Neutralize an Acid
Step-by-Step Science Project on Which Juice Cleans...
Coca Cola Science Fair Projects
Chemical Reactions to Do at Home
Experiments With Salt and Vinegar
Experiments on Cleaning Pennies
If You Dilute Vinegar, How Will It Affect the pH Value?
What Happens When You Put Gold in Muriatic Acid?
A Science Fair Project on Tooth Decay
How to Measure the Acidity of Soft Drinks
How to Remove Acetone Residue
How to Remove Bee Propolis Stains
Why Does Citric Acid Clean Pennies?
How to Refine a Gold Smelt
How to Make a Rubber Wishbone With Vinegar
How to Use Lye Safely

Dont Go!

We Have More Great Sciencing Articles!