Here is a chemical reaction that is easy and fun to do – cleaning pennies with vinegar and salt! All you need are some dull, dirty pennies, salt, and vinegar. We put our pennies on a paper plate to work with them.

I asked the boys to try cleaning their pennies with soap and water first. They scrubbed, but were not able to get the pennies any cleaner! I explained that pennies get their dull color when the copper in them reacts with oxygen in the air to form copper oxide. Sometimes, pennies even get a greenish hue from the copper oxide.

Since the copper oxidizing is a chemical change and not a physical change (like simply getting dirt on something), soap will not wash it off. It takes a chemical reaction! The acetic acid in the vinegar reacts with the copper oxide and dissolves it.

We sprinkled salt over the pennies, and then used a dropper to coat them with vinegar. We rubbed the pennies a little with the salt, and they were shiny again!

You can also dissolve the salt in the vinegar and then dip the pennies in the solution. I’m not sure if there is a benefit to using either method.

The boys were impressed with the results!

5 Comments

Post a Comment
  1. Pamalot Jun 16, 2011

    thank you for this idea. In our kindergarten class we have been exploring $$ and had fun washing pennies!

    Reply
    1. Sally Sep 17, 2012

      I spent over an hour exploring your fun blog last night, which is something I don't usually do! You not only have wonderful ideas, but such a good way with your kids, especially teaching them gospel and Bible truths. We homeschool our 3 boys in Hawaii, and are always looking for more great ideas. You blog is definitely a keeper! Mahalo nui loa

      Reply
      1. scrapebox footprints Mar 27, 2016

        You can also present your web link on numerous short article directory sites.
        It provides the market share and profiles of the top companies involved in Lab automation. If you think
        that you have to spend a lot of money for making these page flipping publications, then you are not right.
        When your website is optimized by experts, you get the best value for money and high levels of page ranking at
        all times. The Content should be relevant and updated on a regular basis to generate traffic
        to your site. * Budget - Usually do not hire the extremely very first business that you encounter throughout your search.

        Reply
        1. Dan Baltudis May 29, 2016

          great post

          Reply
          1. boo Mar 10, 2019

            This was a great website!My daughters science fair project was on this and she won the "TEACHERS FAVORITE" award!Thanks!

            Reply

            Post a Comment