To clean pennies, make a vinegar solution, and let the penny soak for five to 15 minutes before rinsing and drying the penny. Polish it further with baking soda if the shine isn't satisfactory. Avoid cleaning collectible pennies that have numismatic worth, as cleaning them can drastically decrease their value.
- Mix a cleaning solution
Pour 1/4 cup of white vinegar into a deep bowl or cup. Add 1 teaspoon of salt and stir it until the salt completely dissolves.
- Place the penny in the solution
Put the penny into the mixture. If you're cleaning multiple pennies, make sure they are not touching. Allow the pennies to sit for five minutes, then check them. If they are still dirty, let them sit for an additional five to 10 minutes.
- Rinse and dry the penny
When the penny has reached your desired brightness, rinse it underneath warm water. Use a soft cloth to gently dry the penny.
- Polish the penny
If you want a brighter penny, mix a solution of water and baking soda into a paste. Use your fingers to rub small circles of the paste onto the front and back of the penny. Rinse and dry the penny when finished.