Cleaning a Penny Experiment

We were recently counting our money, when Logi-Bear tried to eat one of the pennies.  My main reason to not let him?  Because money is dirty.  Which naturally led to a discussion about cleaning the money, and started our next experiment! 

What is the best way to clean a penny?

Penny Cleaning Experiment for preschoolers

We looked up methods of cleaning pennies, and choose 4 relatively easy ones that we had all the materials for.

We gathered all of the materials we needed first…Penny Cleaning Experiment for preschoolers

We started off with the eraser trick.  Simple use an eraser and erase the penny!  Penny Cleaning Experiment for preschoolers

This actually worked okay, but it was time consuming.  And it wasn’t very easy either.  We took turns and got the penny looking okay.
Penny Cleaning Experiment for preschoolers

 

Our 2nd method was ketchup and baking soda.  First, using a toothbrush we scrubbed the penny with ketchup.
Penny Cleaning Experiment for preschoolers

We rinsed the ketchup off and then used our fingers to scrub with a baking soda/water paste. 
Penny Cleaning Experiment for preschoolers

 

Third we tried a vinegar and salt mixture.  Just add a penny to a mixture of vinegar and salt, stir, and let sit for a few minutes.
Penny Cleaning Experiment for preschoolers

After removing the penny from the mixture we scrubbed it with a baking soda/water paste.
Penny Cleaning Experiment for preschoolers

 

 

Last we tried a lemon/salt mixture.  We poured salt into a small container, added the penny, and then poured the lemon juice on top.  We stirred and let it sit for a few minutes.

Penny Cleaning Experiment for preschoolers

This one got fizzy pretty quickly!
Penny Cleaning Experiment for preschoolers

 

 

In the end, the ketchup and baking soda worked the best!  It wasn’t difficult at all, and produced a pretty clean penny.  The eraser was the simplest, but it was too tedious.  The lemon and salt was neat because of the bubbling reaction, but it turned the penny a strange color.  And lastly the vinegar and baking soda worked okay, it just didn’t work as well as the ketchup and baking soda.
Penny Cleaning Experiment for preschoolers

 

The boys loved seeing how clean we could get the pennies and which method would work best. We found out that once pennies get that black on them, they’re nearly impossible to clean, so when cleaning your pennies choose ones that aren’t blackened.

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2 thoughts on “Cleaning a Penny Experiment”

  1. This is such a cool experiment! I would have never guessed ketchup & baking soda would have produced the shiniest penny! I will definitely try this experiment with my little munchkin when he is older. Thanks for sharing ๐Ÿ™‚ 

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