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Ultrasonic cleaner for Bronze Disease?


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Evening everyone,

I have a coin coming in the mail which I'm pretty sure has some active BD going on. I'm thinking about what would be the best way to go about trying to combat it.

Soaking in distilled water is a recommended (albeit slow) method. I'm wondering if running the coin through an ultrasonic cleaner would help? Those types of cleaners are designed to get into cracks and loosen gunk, so I wonder if it would be more effective - and save time - than for me to try scraping it away with a pick. Or do you think the cleaner would risk damaging the coin somehow? I believe they are used for cleaning delicate jewelry, so it may be fine for coins too.

Any input would be welcome.


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It doesn't look too bad. It looks like there was some significant damage done, the BD was removed, but then it came back a bit.

I'd love for it to just be something stable, and not BD, but the fact that the coin is an obvious BD survivor makes that unlikely, I'm afraid.

The coin was fairly inexpensive though, so I decided to take the chance.


Edited by CPK
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This is an interesting idea. I had never heard of an ultrasonic cleaner, until I read the OP post. Therefore, I did the following search on Youtube.

ultrasonic cleaner coins

I found the following 3 videos. In the 1st video, the person used warm water with the ultrasonic cleaner. In the 2nd video, it doesn't seem to say, what type of liquid the person used, but it seems to be something other than just water, because of the suds. In the 3rd video, it doesn't seem to say, what type of liquid the person used.

In video 1 and video 2, the ultrasonic cleaner didn't seem to have any effect, on the patina, or on the dirt, and the ultrasonic cleaner seemed to basically fail to do anything useful.

In video 3, the ultrasonic cleaner seemed to remove the patina from some of the coins. However, I wonder if the liquid was something strong, such as acetone. If the person used acetone, then perhaps the ultrasonic cleaner didn't contribute anything, and the coins were cleaned via the acetone.

For myself, I won't be buying an ultrasonic cleaner, for the purpose of cleaning coins. From the Youtube videos, it seems like, an ultrasonic cleaner does almost nothing. However, this is only 3 videos. Perhaps, if I had the time to find 100 videos, and watch them all, then I would have a more accurate idea, about whether ultrasonic cleaners work for coins.

Video 1

This video was not allowed to be embedded in this post, for some reason. But, you can click on the link, and watch the video.


Video 2

Video 3


Edited by sand
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After watching the above Youtube videos, it seems like, an ultrasound cleaner, doesn't produce enough force, to dislodge any dirt or deposits, on coins. Perhaps the ultrasonic cleaners, in the Youtube videos, are too cheap, to create much force. Perhaps a more expensive ultrasonic cleaner, would work. I don't know.

The idea of an ultrasonic cleaner sounds interesting. Perhaps a very high frequency sound wave, therefore with a very small wavelengh, in the air, or in a liquid, could interact with smaller objects, which have adhered to the coin. Sort of like, how a very high energy particle accelerator, is able to interact with the quarks, which are inside of a proton.

I wonder, if a water pick would work. It would definitly have a lot of force. If one used, one of the smaller nozzles, to create a very narrow beam of water, then maybe that would be able to dislodge some of the dirt and adhesions, on a coin. I don't know. One would want to use distilled water, not tap water. I have a water pick. Maybe I'll try it, sometime.

Edited by sand
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