How to Clean Zinc Pennies

When it comes to cleaning your zinc pennies, you need to be extra careful as you don’t want to damage the pennies by using harsh chemicals or abrasives on it, yet, you want to remove the layer of dirt and grime from their surface. If you are looking for some safe methods on how to clean zinc pennies, then here is everything you need to know about it. Of course, keep in mind that if you end up finding old zinc pennies that might be worth some money, you should use the least harmful and abrasive method to clean them so that you don’t devalue them. 

We personally use the Dremel Cordless Rotary Tool. It removes all kinds of dirt within a few seconds. If you need a professional-grade tool, Dremel is definitely worth your attention. You can read more about how we use it further down in this article.

How to clean your zinc pennies using soap and water

One of the easiest and least abrasive methods that you can use to clean your zinc pennies is to use a soap and water solution to remove the dirt and grime off them. Here is how you can do it: 

  1. Take a small bowl and fill it up with water, then add a few drops of a mild hand washing liquid into this. Make sure that you add a very soft handwashing liquid only, and not strong laundry detergent, for creating this solution. 
  2. Mix it well to create a soapy solution. 
  3. Place your zinc pennies over an old towel or an old cloth. 
  4. Take the pennies one by one in your hand. Dip a soft toothbrush or a glass brush into this soapy solution, and use it to clean your zinc pennies gently. 
  5. Use gentle circular motions to clean the zinc pennies, and do not rub it too vigorously as you might damage the penny. 
  6. Using some paper towels, blot, and clean the zinc pennies, making sure that you remove all of the soapy residues from the pennies before you store them again. 

Best tools and cleaners for zinc pennies

Although most of these homemade solutions will do a great job in removing dirt off your zinc pennies, sometimes you can save time by using professional tools and cleaners. Here are our recommendations:

Dremel Cordless Rotary Tool

Best Tool
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If you want something that will make your zinc pennies shine and save you a ton of time and effort, then you need to check out the Dremel Cordless Rotary Tool. It is a multifunctional polishing tool that comes with a bunch of attachments that are fantastic for removing dirt and stains from any metal surface. It is lightweight but yet very powerful enough to remove even the most stubborn stains!

Check the price on Amazon

Cleaning zinc pennies by hand could be workable, but it might not always give you the results you are looking for. The Dremel Cordless Rotary Tool is a great option for when you want to really give your zinc pennies a good cleaning and make them look new again. 

The advantage of having the Dremel Cordless Rotary Tool is that you can use various attachments and features to really clean your pennies accurately and efficiently, without causing any damage. The rotary tool allows you to change the speeds according to your convenience, giving you greater control over your tool and more cleaning power. 

Dremel Cordless Rotary Tool is a compact tool kit that you can easily store in your cupboard or drawer. With just a charge of one hour, you can use this tool for all your cleaning purposes without hassle. The lightweight design of the Dremel allows you to work with your delicate zinc pennies without damaging them, yet cleaning them optimally. 

Why We Like It:

  • The lightweight body and cordless function of the Dremel allows you to work with smaller objects with precision
  • Fast charging of only one hour
  • Change the attachments easily without the need for a wrench or any other tools
  • You can easily change the speed of the tool for your convenience

What We Don’t Like: 

  • If you want to use the Dremel for heavy usage, you might find the charge to finish off pretty quickly

The fix: Since the Dremel comes with a fast charger, you can always charge the tool as many times as you need for heavy usage. Other than that, you can reduce the speed of the tool, which will automatically extend the battery life! 

Why You Should Get It:

Cleaning your zinc pennies have never been easier! The Dremel Cordless Rotary Tool is the best, compact, and lightweight tool you need for this purpose. Click here to check other customer reviews on Amazon. 

Dremel Cleaning/Polishing Accessory Set

Cleaning Set
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As good as the Dremel is, you can never go wrong with a few special attachments, which are perfect for cleaning and polishing zinc pennies. This tool accessory kit comes with 20 different attachments and a polishing compound, which works great on removing all kinds of dirt and stains. Every piece in the package has an excellent build quality and will give you many hours of usage.

Check the price on Amazon

Having a great toolset at home can really make your cleaning jobs much more comfortable. Dremel Tool Set is an excellent buy for those who are looking for a convenient way to clean their zinc pennies at home. 

The Dremel Tool Set comes with 20 different bits and attachments, all to help you make your life much easier! The cleaning and polishing wheel on the Dremel Tool Set is absolutely perfect for cleaning smaller objects like pennies. You can change the tools for even more precision, like using the different sizes of Nylon Bristle Brushes, or the Polishing Wheel. 

Attaching and removing the parts from the tool kit on to your Dremel is extremely easy; you don’t need any other tools like a wrench or a screw to help you with this. There are plenty of tools in this kit, so that you always have a few spares at hand in case you need them. 

The best part about the Dremel Tool Set is that it comes with an easy to carry storage case, making it convenient for you to take with you anywhere you need.

Why We Like It:

  • Different size tools for various cleaning and polishing needs
  • Easy to attach and remove the Dremel Tools from the main tool
  • Reusable storage case so you don’t ever lose any of the tools and attachments
  • Smaller size tools for precision cleaning of zinc pennies

What We Don’t Like:

  • The Dremel Tool Set does not come with any instruction leaflet which can help you figure out how to use the tools and for what kind of jobs you can use them

The fix: Fortunately, you can check out the usage of the different tools and how to clean, store, and use them for all kinds of different jobs online or on their website! 

Why You Should Get It:

Your zinc pennies require smaller, more precise brushes to really get in and clean them out properly. The Dremel Tool Set gives you just that, and much more! Click here to check other customer reviews on Amazon. 

KrudKutter Metal Clean & Etch

Best Cleaner
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Krud Kutter is one of the leading companies when it comes to producing cleaning solutions. Their metal cleaner is not an exception. It works very well in removing oxidation stains and dirt from the surface of zinc pennies or any other metal surface you might need to clean. The formula doesn’t contain any harmful fumes, which makes it safe for regular use. On top of all, it works extremely fast.

Check the price on Amazon

Sometimes, just soap and water is not enough to clean your zinc pennies and make them look spotless. Here arrives KrudKutter Cleaning Solution to save the day. KrudKutter is not only a powerful cleaning formula that helps you get rid of all those stubborn bits of dirt and grime from your zinc pennies, but the best part is, the solution is biodegradable! 

When it comes to using an excellent cleaner for your zinc coins, you want to use something simple and useful, but also does not damage the face of the pennies. KrudKutter comes in a unique formula that is safe and gentle, does not produce any harmful fumes, and gets the cleaning job completed in absolutely no time.

You can use it to clean your zinc pennies manually with a soft brush, or you can also use the cleaner along with a cleaning tool for more precise cleaning. 

Why We Like It:

  • No harmful fumes and gases make it safe to use regularly
  • Removes stubborn grime, dirt, and adhesions from zinc pennies
  • Water-based and biodegradable formula- safe for the environment
  • Powerful yet gentle cleaner; you need to use very little product for it to work

What We Don’t Like: 

  • The orange perfume in KrudKutter might not be a favorite for some users, especially those who are sensitive to smells

The fix: You can clean your zinc pennies with KrudKutter while having proper ventilation in your room, or do it outside in the open air so that the orange perfume does not bother you! 

Why You Should Get It:

Having an excellent cleaner for your zinc pennies is very important, and KrudKutter, with its unique formula and beautiful orange smell, does the job perfectly! Click here to check other customer reviews on Amazon. 

How to clean your zinc pennies using white vinegar

In case you are not worried about reselling the zinc coins and want to clean them and make them look as good as new again, you can clean them using white distilled vinegar. Here is how you can do it: 

  1. Take a small bowl and pour some white distilled vinegar into the bowl. 
  2. Drop your zinc pennies into the white distilled vinegar for about an hour. 
  3. Gently remove the pennies and rinse them under cold water. While doing this, use your fingers to gently rub and remove any dirt, stubborn grime, and other residues from the surface of the zinc penny. 
  4. Gently rub the zinc penny using a soft cloth like a microfiber cloth, and finally, blot dries the zinc pennies using a clean, dry towel. 

How to clean your zinc pennies using baking soda

You can also use a paste made out of baking soda and water to clean your zinc pennies and restore them. Here is how you can do it: 

  1. Take a small bowl and add one teaspoon of baking soda into it. Now, slowly start adding some water while you stir the mixture to create a paste. Keep adding water very slowly into the mix until you reach a thick, paste-like consistency. 
  2. Now, take an old, soft, toothbrush and dip it into the baking soda solution.
  3. Using your toothbrush, gently rub the zinc pennies one by one to remove any surface dirt and grime easily. Don’t rub the zinc pennies for more than 2 or 3 minutes at a time, as baking soda can be quite abrasive if you rub it too vigorously. 
  4. Rinse out your zinc pennies under cold water and rub them with your fingers to remove the residual baking soda from them. 
  5. Use a soft, clean towel to blot them dry and store them again. 

How to clean your zinc pennies using lemon juice

Here is another excellent solution using lemon juice that you can use at home to clean your zinc pennies. Here is how you can do it:

  1. Take a lemon and cut it into half. Now, squeeze out the juice from half a lemon only into a small bowl. If you have several zinc pennies, then you can even use the entire lemon juice. 
  2. Place the zinc pennies into the bowl of lemon juice and allow it to sit undisturbed for about one or two hours (depending upon how dirty your zinc pennies are). 
  3. Gently remove the zinc pennies individually and rinse them under cold, running water. Using your fingers or a sponge, rub the surface of the zinc pennies to remove any stubborn dirt and grime from the pennies. 
  4. Finally, blot and dry your zinc pennies with paper towels before you store them. 

How to clean your zinc pennies using toothpaste 

An alternative cleaning method you can use is to use toothpaste for cleaning your zinc pennies. Here is how you can do it:

  1. Make sure you are using only a white toothpaste, and not a gel or any other kind of toothpaste for this cleaning method. 
  2. Take an old, soft toothbrush and squirt a small amount of toothpaste on to the brush.
  3. Using the toothbrush, gently start brushing your zinc pennies one by one. Of course, you should be careful not to brush your zinc pennies too vigorously, as you might damage them. 
  4. Allow the toothpaste to sit on the zinc pennies for a few minutes undisturbed. 
  5. Finally, take the zinc pennies and rinse them under cold water. Use your fingers to rub and remove all the toothpaste from the surface of the pennies before you blot them dry using paper towels.

How to clean your zinc pennies using ketchup

Finally, one last easy and time tested method you can use to clean your zinc pennies is to use ketchup. Here is how you can do it: 

  1. Take an old toothbrush and squirt a small amount of ketchup directly on to the toothbrush. 
  2. Take your zinc pennies one by one and start scrubbing them using the toothbrush and ketchup. 
  3. Rinse out the zinc pennies under cold running water. 
  4. Make a paste out of baking soda and water, and rub the paste over the zinc pennies using your fingers only. 
  5. Finally, rinse your zinc pennies under running water and blot them dry using paper towels. 

How to polish zinc pennies

Whether you love collecting coins or have some old pennies you want to polish, having an excellent polishing tool can really help you with your job. Use a good quality cleaner and a polishing toolset at a low speed and polish your zinc pennies to make them look shiny and new.

Of course, you can also choose to use a good cleaner and a soft, damp cloth to polish your zinc pennies one by one manually. This might take longer, but it does the job beautifully, as long as you have a good cleaner with you!


  1. Zinc – Wikipedia
  2. Zinc Penny – Wikipedia
  3. What is a penny made of – Livescience

1 Comment
  1. I have seen cleaning with coke in Youtube but this one is different. Good one!

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