Cleaning Your Challenge Coins – A Simple Guide

Challenge Coins

The concept of challenge coins primarily began as a military tradition. With time,, it has found wide acceptance and application in police and fire departments and other organizations, brands, and businesses have also embraced the concept and are proudly using custom challenge coins.

So, what are they? Challenge coins are essentially tokens given to members of an organization or team as a way of recognition. A custom firefighter challenge coin for instance can be issued to honor a firefighter and help them feel like part of a team that provides essential services to their local community.

The coins can be customized according to size, shape, style, finish color, border, or coating. They can also be upgraded with special add-on functionality such as a bottle opener, spinning centerpiece, or an aluminum metal core to manage the weight.

Because of the value, these emblems carry, they need proper care and maintenance to remain true to their name. But how exactly do you clean them?

For starters, if you thought keeping a custom firefighter challenge coin clean and polished is a no-brainer, think again. It’s never just about cleaning but cleaning the right way. You must adopt certain techniques for the best outcomes.

Continue reading this guide to learn how best to clean your custom firefighter challenge coin without damaging it.

Why do challenge coins matter?

A challenge coin is a powerful way of identifying with a community, cause, or group. It can be especially beneficial when a person is feeling downcast, forgotten, depressed, or even suicidal. When the coin is presented to a trustworthy person, it serves as an unspoken indicator that the person needs help.

In other words, challenge coins provide an extra line of communication in situations where words cannot express the underlying problem. In the employment setup, challenge coins can be an excellent morale booster because they make employees feel valued.

How are challenge coins cleaned?

Keeping your custom firefighter challenge coin clean is a sign that you value what it represents. It is actually easy to polish your challenge coin without damaging its integrity.

Try these simple tricks:

· Wash it using warm water

If you examine your challenge coin and notice significant dirt buildup on or around it, then it is time for a thorough wash. Simply hold the coin under warm running water for about 30 seconds on either side. Afterward, let the coin dry off slowly on a towel. No need to rub it unnecessarily, to avoid scratching the coin’s surface.

· Upgrade to soap solution or distilled water

Running warm water can only do so much for your coin. When it comes to stubborn stains on the coin, you need more active cleaning tricks (of course in a gentle sense).

Once you have washed the coin, dip it in a soap solution or distilled water. Being gentle, distilled water can easily get rid of the stubborn gunk on your coin without discoloring it. All you need to do is soak the coin in the water for a whole day. If you have more than one coin, soak them separately.

After a day, take out your coin and lightly scrub it with a toothbrush. If the stain proves stubborn, soak it for an extra day.

In case of a greasy challenge coin, prepare a soap solution using warm water and dish soap before dipping the coin in the solution. While submerged, start rubbing it gently with a toothbrush. You can rinse the coin and dip it again until the gunk completely comes off.

· Turn to olive oil

This method applies to the dirtiest of coins. Why? Because the process is super slow. That said, olive oil does an excellent job at loosening accumulated dirt on and around the coin. This makes it easier for you to get rid of the dirt without damaging the coin.

To achieve the best results, soak your dirty coin in olive oil for at least a week. Observe the process each day and make sure to change the oil once discoloration sets in. The oil becomes discolored when saturated with dirt from the coin. After the soaking is complete, get your coin and clean it with water and dish soap. That should do the trick.

· Get professional cleaning

When things get out of hand for the layperson, a professional is always the solution. A pro coin cleaner is an expert at using different chemical-based cleaning methods to clean your coin while preventing damage. Don’t be shy to seek their help.


IITSWEB is the Chief Business Development Officer at IITSWEB, a Magento design and development company headquartered in Redwood City, California. He is a Member of the Magento Association and an Adobe Sales Accredited Magento Commerce professional. Jan is responsible for developing and leading the sales and digital marketing strategies of the company. He is passionate about ecommerce and Magento in particular — throughout the years his articles have been featured on Retail Dive, Hacker Noon, Chief Marketer, Mobile Marketer, TMCnet, and many others.

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