Will hot sauce clean coins, silver or other precious metals?

by House of Scoville
June 05, 2018

Have you ever noticed the coins in your wallet seem to get darker and dirty the older the get? Well, that's a natural chemical reaction. The oxygen in the air react with metals like copper to form an oxide layer that coats your coins, resulting in a dirty appearance. 

There are several ways to clean your coins and make them look brand new again, giving them a second life.

Some people have suggested using hot sauce to clean them. So the question is:

Will hot sauce actually clean your coins or other metals?

Well, funnily enough, it will... sometimes. 
The majority (but not all) of hot sauces contain vinegar, which itself contains acetic acid. That, combined with the salt content of your hot sauce, will help remove the layer of oxide that coats your coins.

If you'd like to do the experience at home, follow these steps:

  1. Pour some vinegar-base (important!) hot sauce into a small bowl
  2. If your hot sauce doesn't contain much salt content, add more table salt to the mix
  3. Place your coins in the sauce and make sure they're completely soaked
  4. Leave them for an hour
  5. Rinse off the coins using water (important step if you want clean coins!)
  6. Tada!

Acetic acid alone doesn't clean your coins or metals as effectively if no salt is present. The salt tends to break down the oxide better, releasing chlorine ions in the mix which will react with the oxide and detach it from the metal.

Our recommendation:
DO NOT waste any delicious hot sauce on cleaning your coins! Rather make a solution of table salt and white vinegar which will work just the same if not better.

 Here's a video of someone doing the experiment

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