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Acetone Soaking Method

coastaljerseyguycoastaljerseyguy Posts: 1,243 ✭✭✭✭✭

Do folks try to 'stand up' or have coins tilted while soaking to allow the 2 sides to interact with the acetone and maybe help drain any PVC/crud away from the coin?

Comments

  • jmlanzafjmlanzaf Posts: 31,850 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @coastaljerseyguy said:
    Do folks try to 'stand up' or have coins tilted while soaking to allow the 2 sides to interact with the acetone and maybe help drain any PVC/crud away from the coin?

    Dissolving isn't a gravity issue. If you want to keep the crud away, you need to change the acetone.

  • davewesendavewesen Posts: 5,847 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I use glass bowl and lay them flat, use wood handled cotton swab soaked for awhile and gently roll over exposed side and edge (you can tell how much stuff you are getting off from color of cotton), then lay on other side and repeat. If I am doing many coins I replace the acetone for the other side and a new swab when dirty.

    If you have never used acetone, be careful as it is very flammable and can make you sick in enclosed area.

    If you have a well circulated coin, be careful you do not take off too much crud around the letters/devices or the TPG will ding you for cleaning. This is not a problem with uncirculated coins. Some have said it effects color on copper, I have not noticed this but not really a copper guy.

    I just did a Jefferson set from a Harco coinmaster album and took a quart of acetone, about 100 long handled swabs, and roughly 3 hours total time over a 3 day period as I let them soak at least a half hour on each side. The last time I did this, I told myself never again ... but the discount made me do it. :)

  • coastaljerseyguycoastaljerseyguy Posts: 1,243 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Agree, but if you had the coin flat on the bottom of the glass container, wouldn't the acetone primarily only be interacting with one side. Then you would have to flip and lay the coin down on any debris that had already been removed. Maybe over-thinking it.

  • bsshog40bsshog40 Posts: 3,775 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I have a pair of coin tongs that I use for good coins so I can just shake them around in the acetone. For corroded coins, I just leave them in until the acetone evaporates. Then rinse and repeat if necessary.

  • AlanSkiAlanSki Posts: 1,818 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I usually use 3 different containers of acetone. First is for the initial soak. I air dry then move to the second, air dry then move to the third.

    I’m certain I use more than I should but it prevents me from needing to dump one container out just to fill it again.

  • coinbufcoinbuf Posts: 10,755 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @coastaljerseyguy said:
    Maybe over-thinking it.

    Yes. ;) Not that complicated, if the coin has a bunch of crud then you will need multiple baths in separate containers or changing out the acetone if using a single container. I also use a pair of plastic coin tongs and swish the coin around during the final bath to make sure any loose gunk falls off both sides.

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  • coastaljerseyguycoastaljerseyguy Posts: 1,243 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Well I'm trying out a new method. I use to just lay the coins down in the glass container, maybe up to 3 coins at a time. Wait a couple of days then flip. Seemed like a hassle using the tongs and getting off the bottom of the glass. Not sure what size containers folks use, guess if you let the acetone evaporate you could just turn over in your hand. Was trying to figure a better way to soak & get them off the bottom. My wife is into arts & crafts and she had these acrylic beads. I put them into the acetone and saw no impact with the acetone. Now I'm soaking this way which seems better. Much easier to remove and appears the crud lays on the bottom.

  • OAKSTAROAKSTAR Posts: 5,805 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I only use acetone for minor grime and finger oil from circulation. I saturated Q-tips in acetone. Then gently wipe the surface of the coins with the saturated Q-Tips while the coin is on a soft terry cloth towel. That's pretty much it. Pictures for your viewing pleasure.

    Disclaimer: I'm not a dealer, trader, grader, investor or professional numismatist. I'm just a hobbyist. (To protect me but mostly you! 🤣 )

  • lilolmelilolme Posts: 2,455 ✭✭✭✭✭

    So @lkeigwin comment on a previous thread on a way to do an acetone soak and transition from first to final soak. As noted for a larger amount of coins but the clean final acetone is the goal.

    https://forums.collectors.com/discussion/comment/13390237/#Comment_13390237

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  • davewesendavewesen Posts: 5,847 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @coastaljerseyguy said:
    Agree, but if you had the coin flat on the bottom of the glass container, wouldn't the acetone primarily only be interacting with one side. Then you would have to flip and lay the coin down on any debris that had already been removed. Maybe over-thinking it.

    yes - but there are many different ways to achieve the same thing. Be careful if you use something plastic, as acetone attacks many things and that is why glass is recommended for longer storage.

  • DeutscherGeistDeutscherGeist Posts: 2,990 ✭✭✭✭

    When using a cotton swab, make sure you do not rub over the coin. Roll the swab over the coin slowly to pick up any unwanted residue. I have 3 or 4 bowls of acetone. It requires several rinses and the final one should be the cleanest bowl of acetone. The final rinsing in clean acetone ensures no contaminants remain on the coin.

    Acetone is great at removing fingerprints, but not if they have been there awhile.

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  • Namvet69Namvet69 Posts: 8,670 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Acetone is very effective at dissolving all sorts of surface contaminants on coins. These contaminants reappear as sediment in the acetone. The heavy stuff is visible but much is in suspension and the acetone loses its crystal clear qualities. I change the acetone often, it's inexpensive by the gallon. Use a glass marble or 2 to lean a coin. I use black plastic lab tweezers to hold coins by the edge. I don't let acetone baths evaporate because the contaminants remain. IMHO.

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  • baseballjeffbaseballjeff Posts: 1,070 ✭✭✭

    This all sounds awful. I can not believe we are all standing behind this practice of "cleaning" coins.

    This is not cool in my book, at all. Anyone else in support of me here? Or is this just common practice now?

    :'(

  • MasonGMasonG Posts: 6,268 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Toning can ruin a coin, too.

  • coinbufcoinbuf Posts: 10,755 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @MasonG said:
    Toning can ruin a coin, too.

    I'd guess that @ricko would agree. ;)

    My Lincoln Registry
    My Collection of Old Holders

    Never a slave to one plastic brand will I ever be.
  • MasonGMasonG Posts: 6,268 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @coinbuf said:

    @MasonG said:
    Toning can ruin a coin, too.

    I'd guess that @ricko would agree. ;)

    Not just him. Check out the Peace dollar thread from the other day for a list of others.

  • coinbufcoinbuf Posts: 10,755 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @MasonG said:

    @coinbuf said:

    @MasonG said:
    Toning can ruin a coin, too.

    I'd guess that @ricko would agree. ;)

    Not just him. Check out the Peace dollar thread from the other day for a list of others.

    For sure, truth be told I'm one of the others. :)

    My Lincoln Registry
    My Collection of Old Holders

    Never a slave to one plastic brand will I ever be.
  • DisneyFanDisneyFan Posts: 1,683 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @davewesen said:

    PVC ruins coins ... we are not cleaning, we are conserving.

    Can anybody show some not so obvious examples of PVC? I'm having trouble seeing it.

  • 7Jaguars7Jaguars Posts: 7,250 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @OAKSTAR said:
    I only use acetone for minor grime and finger oil from circulation. I saturated Q-tips in acetone. Then gently wipe the surface of the coins with the saturated Q-Tips while the coin is on a soft terry cloth towel. That's pretty much it. Pictures for your viewing pleasure.

    Yes, this. I also saturate the Q-tips and then "tamp" the surface while the coin is immersed. I then rinse with regular ole tap water, then with some mile dish detergent and then really rinse it down with more tap water and tamp it dry with a high nap clean white towel....

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  • DisneyFanDisneyFan Posts: 1,683 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @davewesen said:
    It starts as a light haze and the coin has a stickiness on the edge. It probably got it from being in a PVC soft flip for too long, which makes the rim edge and high points prime spots for attack. When you take it out of the flip, you can see where it was, sometimes with a green circle where the edge was. Here is a set I just worked on.

    That is the shade of green you are looking for. A kind of lime florescent green. When it starts showing on a coin that color, it usually starts as a small ball and grows. It also is etching into the coin at that point and may or may not be repairable. If there for a long time, even after removal it will be pitted and could get environmental damage. Here are a couple pics from a recent auction I got outbid on, I do not know if they did anything to coin after returned, I doubt it.


    These are great pictures! It's obvious on the first one; but really hard to see with pictures two and three. Yet, PCGS definitely says it's there! White spots on the obverse?

  • NickelMikeNickelMike Posts: 190 ✭✭✭

    @baseballjeff said:
    This all sounds awful. I can not believe we are all standing behind this practice of "cleaning" coins.

    This is not cool in my book, at all. Anyone else in support of me here? Or is this just common practice now?

    :'(

    I don’t think of an acetone bath as “cleaning”. A long dip, a wipe, now that’s cleaning. A quick dip in diluted eZest for hazy/ugly toned coins is also okay to me.

  • SoCalBigMarkSoCalBigMark Posts: 2,786 ✭✭✭✭✭

    If you're in a hurry MS70 works great on silver.

  • Jzyskowski1Jzyskowski1 Posts: 6,651 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Then, ofcourse, there’s some crap that acetone won’t touch. I’ve got a coin that is one of the more expensive ones in this series I’m working on. The day it arrived and was given its new home, it just didn’t cut it with the rest of the page so beautiful. I tried living with it and finally decided it had to be soaked in acetone and given a chance.
    Negatory!! Some coins appear to be a good candidate and turn out to be beyond help. Recently won a lovely Xf -AU extremely clean example and replaced my BU with problems. Amazing how much better the entire page looks.
    I have had some luck with acetone, just be careful. Very flammable.

    🎶 shout shout, let it all out 🎶

  • SoCalBigMarkSoCalBigMark Posts: 2,786 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Acetone is also very toxic from skin and inhalation absorption.

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