Article provided by: LT's Challenge Coins and Promotional Items, LLC
Being a firefighter can sometimes be a dirty job. During the course of your day you may get dirt, soot, grease, or any other number of substances on your hands and in your clothing. If you’re carrying custom fire department challenge coins with you, it’s important to know how to clean your coins and keep them looking great and shiny for your entire lifetime. Here are some ways that you can clean your coins with things that you have around the house.
The first step in cleaning your coins is determining how dirty they are. If there is a lot of buildup in the grooves, it might take some more work than if they’re just a little dirty, running them under warm water might do the trick. If not, try some of these other methods:
Soap and Water
To freshen up your coins, using distilled water or soapy water if the coin has gotten greasy will help. When using soap, be sure to use a mild soap with no acidity to it. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush to gently coax hardened dirt out of the grooves and edges of your coin. You want to avoid any substances that have acidity because these are potentially abrasive and too tough on your coins. Use products that are as mild as possible and soft tools rather than harsh brushes or sharp objects.
Many coin collectors and collectors of ancient coins and delicate metals use olive oil bath to clean precious metals. This is effective because olive oil works to loosen hardened dirt. With this method, soak the coin in olive oil for up to a week, making sure to change the olive oil if it becomes discolored with dirt. The slow process means it works on the dirtiest of coins, so if you’ve had a coin for a while and have never cleaned it, this may be the best route to take.
If soap and water doesn’t work to dissolve grease, then you may need to use a bath of rubbing alcohol to clean your coins. Because rubbing or isopropyl alcohol is a mild acid, you will need to dilute it with equal parts water to avoid rubbing off the finish or the color of your challenge coins. You can leave your coins to soak in the diluted alcohol solution for two hours before rubbing the dirt away.
Call the Professionals
For precious coins, or if you’re nervous about cleaning the challenge coins yourself, we always recommend calling professionals. Coin experts are well qualified to clean your challenge coins without doing any damage to them. With stubborn stains, adhesives, and heavy grease, sometimes people get understandably nervous about applying potentially abrasive or color eroding substances to it.
At LT’s Challenge Coins, we know you’re proud of the work that you do and of the challenge coins you’ve received. You should, therefore, keep them looking sharp at all possible times. Keeping your custom fire department challenge coins clean doesn’t take a lot of time, but routine cleaning can help show respect for the work you do.