Did you know that you can clean your money? Make your dirty pennies bright and shiny with a little chemistry!
What You Need:
- Old dirty pennies (at least 10)
- Table salt
- White vinegar
- Bowl of water
- Paper towels for drying
What You Do:
- Put all your pennies in a non-metal bowl and cover them with salt.
- Pour white vinegar on top.
- Rub the mixture over the pennies with your fingers. You can also just let them sit for a minute or so.
- Remove half the pennies from the vinegar and rinse them in a bowl of water, then dry them with a paper towel.
- Remove the rest of the pennies from the salt/vinegar mix and put them directly on a dry paper towel without rinsing them in water. Let these sit for about an hour while you have a snack, go for a bike ride, or play a board game.
The Science Behind the Fun:
Pennies get dingy and dirty because the copper reacts with oxygen in the air to form copper oxide. The salt/vinegar mix works to remove it.
The pennies that didn't get rinsed off should develop a blue-green layer. When it isn't rinsed away, the salt/vinegar mix speeds up the formation of copper oxide, which is a blue-green color. This is the same reaction that makes the Statue of Liberty appear to be green!