Best Way to Clean a Penny
The Penny Trick
One of our favorite demonstrations is polishing a old penny. It’s quick, simple, and the results are clear. Flitz Paste Polish can be used to remove oxidation from the penny, along with a list of other uses and applications that can be found at the bottom of this blog post. The penny is not only a great demonstration but has an interesting history as well.
The History of Penny Composition
The penny’s composition has actually changed over time. The original pennies that date back before 1837 were made of pure copper. At that time, the composition was changed to bronze. Bronze is primarily copper with 5% tin and zinc. In 1857, the US Mint wanted the penny to have a more white appearance. This is when the penny was made with a mixture of copper and nickel. From 1864 until 1962, the penny was switched back to the bronze composition. During World War II, the penny was changed to steel coated in zinc. This was because copper was needed during the war for wiring, shell casings, etc. The US Mint states that there are probably only 40 unclaimed 1943 pennies out there in the world making them a hot commodity for coin collectors. One penny from 1943 sold for $82,500 in 1996 (we’ll wait while you go check your piggy banks!). There were also limited quantities of the copper penny minted in 1943, so the best way to determine whether you have a zinc-coated steel penny is to use a magnet. In 1962, not much changed besides removing the small traces of tin that were a part of the bronze composition. Since then, the composition switched to 97.5% zinc with a copper coating.
How to Polish Your Penny
Now to the cleaning of the penny: apply
Flitz Paste Polish, rub briskly, polish with a soft cloth. It’s simple enough to do in 30 seconds. We put Flitz directly on our Flitz Microfiber Towel, but you can also apply it to the penny (or whatever other surface you are polishing). Since it is non-toxic and authorized by the USDA (which means you could eat it, but the USDA doesn’t require us to make it taste good), you can apply Flitz Paste Polish directly with your finger. Don’t let the paste polish dry while you are using it. For best results, buff with a Flitz Microfiber Towel, a dry towel, or a Flitz Original Büff Ball if you’ve got a larger job. You can also use paper towel, but depending on the application, it may tear during buffingFlitz Paste Polish easily removes tarnish, rust, water stains, chalking, lime deposits, heat discoloration, lead & powder residue, oxidation, bugs, tar, oil, fingerprints, tree sap, bird droppings, graffiti, dyes, blackstreaks/scuff marks.
Flitz can be used on Brass, Copper, Silverplate, Sterling Silver, Chrome, Stainless Steel, Nickel, Bronze, Solid Gold, Aluminum, Annodized Aluminum, Beryllium, Magnesium, Platinum, Pewter, Factory Hot Gun Bluing, Painted Surfaces, Formica®, Cultured Marble, Corian®, Glass, Plexiglas®, Plastics, Fiberglass, Eisenglass, and Armatel®. You should not use Flitz Paste Polish on electroplated finishes. Flitz Paste Polish comes in a 1.76oz (50g) tube, a 5.29oz (150g) tube, a 1 lb (453g) jar, 2lb (906g) can, or an 8lb can (1 gallon) can.