Sometimes (most of the time), it's the simplest activities that end up being the most entertaining. Shine up dirty copper pennies using two everyday household ingredients: salt and vinegar.
Gather your supplies. Pennies dated after 1982 are only copper-plated and may corrode if they have been scratched.
Have your child measure and pour 1/4 cup of vinegar into a glass jar.
Have them measure a tablespoon of salt.
Add it to the vinegar and mix well.
Add the pennies.
Observe and wait. Give your pennies a few hours or let them sit overnight. Take them out, rinse well and let them dry on a paper towel. Shiny!
Other things to try:
- Set some of the pennies out to dry without rinsing. Watch for the resulting patina known as 'verdigris'.
- Add a quarter to the mixture after removing the pennies.
- Soak a newer scratched penny in the mixture overnight. If you're lucky you'll have a heavily corroded coin in the morning.