Tumbler To Clean Coins?
Using a tumbler to clean coins is a popular method among collectors and hobbyists. A tumbler agitates coins in a mixture of water, soap, and sometimes small abrasives to remove dirt, debris, and tarnish from their surfaces. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to clean coins using a tumbler:
Materials you'll need:
Coin tumbler: You can purchase a dedicated coin tumbler designed for this purpose, or you can make your own using a container with a tight-fitting lid.
Stainless steel shot or stainless steel washers: These act as abrasives to help remove dirt and debris from the coins. Make sure they are clean and free from any rust or contaminants.
Soap: Use a mild dish soap or specialised coin cleaning solution. Avoid harsh chemicals or abrasives.
Water: You'll need enough water to cover the coins and shot inside the tumbler.
Steps to clean coins with a tumbler:
Prepare the tumbler:
Place the coins you want to clean inside the tumbler. Add the stainless steel shot or washers.
Add soap and water:
Pour enough water into the tumbler to cover the coins and shot. Add a small amount of soap or coin cleaning solution. The soap helps to break down dirt and debris.
Seal the tumbler:
Make sure the tumbler is securely sealed to prevent any leaks during the tumbling process.
Tumble the coins:
Turn on the tumbler and let it run for several hours to several days, depending on the level of cleaning needed. The agitation of the coins against the stainless steel shot will help remove dirt and debris.
Periodically check the coins to see if they have reached the desired level of cleanliness. If not, you can continue tumbling.
Rinse and dry:
Once the coins are clean to your satisfaction, remove them from the tumbler and rinse them thoroughly with clean water. Dry them using a clean, lint-free cloth.
Inspect the coins:
Examine the coins to ensure they are now clean and free from dirt and debris.
Important tips and considerations:
Avoid mixing different metals: If you have coins made of different metals (e.g., copper and silver), it's best to clean them separately to prevent any potential reactions.
Be cautious with valuable or collectable coins: While tumbling is a relatively gentle method, valuable or historically significant coins should be cleaned with caution, and it's often best to seek advice from a professional numismatist or conservator.
Use a dedicated tumbler: If possible, it's a good idea to have a tumbler dedicated specifically to coin cleaning to avoid potential contamination from other materials.
Remember that while tumbling can be an effective way to clean coins, it may not be suitable for all coins, especially those with delicate surfaces or intricate details. Always exercise caution and consider seeking professional advice, especially for valuable or historically significant coins.
copper coin cleaning