Numismatic and History Discussions > Uncleaned Ancient Coin Discussion

DW soaking advice


Roy W:
Hello, all!

I cleaned a lot of coins 20+ years ago, when olive oil was the common practice. Now that I’m getting back into it, I’m using DW soaks and changing the water daily.

1) How often do you recommend brushing/picking/etc? Every day at water change, or every x days?

2) I’m using quart (32oz) mason jars since I already had a lot of them from our yearly food canning. What would be a proper ratio of coins per jar? ie no more than 20 coins per 32 oz of DW? Just looking for a general guideline to go by.

As always, thank you so much!

Ken W2:

Hey Roy:  I use roughly 6" X 6", 3 cups volume, tupperware containers and can usually get a 20 coins in without the coins touching each other. These stack nicely on my desk for longer soaks.  I fill these containers about 2/3 full, which would be about two cups of DW.   I don't think there is a particular water to coin ratio to follow.  After the first soak and the "easy" dirt is brushed away, how long it will take additional soaks to achieve further softening or loosening of dirt varies greatly. You might soak a coin for a year and achieve no futher loosening; on the other hand you might soak a month and have three coins in one batch clean up fairly easily and nicely. In short, every coin is different.  If I just want to clean some coins, I might try again after only 2-3 days, but more commonly I wait at least a week and generally much longer.  Attached are some pics of my work desk and some pandemic cleaning production I shared a year or so ago.

Glad to have you on the FORVM.       

Roy W:
Ken, thank you for that input.

On a personal note, I’m in something of an “extended pandemic “ myself. I’m retired military, and my wife is in school, so I stay home with our 2 y/o. Being in a very small town in Oklahoma (pop 124 lol), there’s really not much else to do if it’s not at home. My fear was actually cleaning TOO much and damaging patina even with a toothbrush (I mean if a coin is brushed daily for 3 months, who knows).

I think I’ll change to the Tupperware so the coins aren’t stacked on each other so much (as you mentioned, not touching). I have approximately 100 coins in each mason jar, but even changing the water every 2 days it’s never dirty water. I’ll try your weekly suggestion.

My setup is similar to yours, just a more ghetto lol.



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