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Anonymous asked in Science & MathematicsChemistry · 1 decade ago

Why does ketchup clean pennies so well?

12 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Its the acidic content of the vinegar inherent in ketchup. Its an ideal acid that does not impact the copper content of older pennies (modern pennies are made of zinc with a coating).

    So a vinegar solution (as used in the old days...) is a great way of removing grunge from a penny.


  • ?
    Lv 4
    5 years ago

    Clean Pennies

  • didieu
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    Ketchup To Clean Copper

  • 1 decade ago

    It's the acid in the vinegar and the salt. If you find copper-nickel coins (cupro-nickel) like nickels, dimes, and quarters, say with a metal detector, that have been in the ground until they discolor reddish or brown, you can remove this patina by soaking the coin (or coins) in a mixture of vinegar and a little bit of salt and after about an hour using a stiff brush to knock off the patina. Likewise, lemon juice will do the same (a little salt can be mixed in it too), but when you brush off the coin a slight pink color remains on the coin. "Pennies" (actually the U. S. and Canada have cents not pennies) are easy to clean with either mixture.

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  • 6 years ago

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  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    For the best answers, search on this site

    It is the acid, but also from the vinegar. Vinegar is often used to clean metals and works best when heated. (one example would be cleaning grills in restaurants, vinegar is almost always used) If you would like a more effective way to clean coins, you can use a pencil eraser to 'erase' the build-up. =)

  • 1 decade ago

    the acid in ketchup.. maybe the vinegar in it?

  • 1 decade ago

    My guess is that the acid content of tomatoes probably does the job

  • 1 decade ago

    most likely because of the vinegar. try putting a few in some vinegar to see...

  • 1 decade ago

    if i told u, u'll never eat ketchup again..;P

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