I wanted to share a few bits of information that I got from some good sources in the field of cleaning coins. You should start with some necessary tools.

1. Brushes: a toothbrush, a plastic or fiber glass brush. A brass brush works the best.
2. Detail tools. Either a toothpick or a soft metal pick for cleaning between letters etc.
3. Cotton swabs for cleaning slightly dirty coins
4. containers for your solvents etc.
5. A good light is always nice

The best way that I know to clean coins is using olive oil. Simply soak the coins in the oil for about 4 days (in some instances coins must soak for much longer periods). After removing the coins from the olive oil you put them in a cup with one tablespoon of warm water and TSP {(tri-sodium phosphate)about 1/4 TSP 3/4 water}.TSP is available at any place that sells house paints. Shake the cup and the let it settle for about 5-10 minutes. Rinse the coins in water to remove the TSP. Use an old toothbrush or other type as mentioned above and gently brush away the dirt. Some coins will clean up very nicely. The ones that still have dirt caked on, should be placed back in the olive oil. Repeat the process until you are satisfied with the results. Don't rush the cleaning process. You'll be amazed at some of the results using this method.

Good luck and feel free to contact me with any questions

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Mark Hutto