Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Disney Pressed Penny Machine Prep - Penny Tubes and Cleaning Pennies

We're working on a few projects this month for our upcoming Disneyland trip. Last year, my daughter (then 3) loved the pressed penny machines, and she still looks at and talks about those souvenirs frequently. She's really looking forward to making some more and has been saving her quarters and pennies (it costs $.50 per penny). We decided to shine the pennies up this time so they'd be even prettier when pressed. I read a tip online to use pre-1982 pennies, because the zinc in later coins can cause discolored streaks after pressing. I used these tips for cleaning the pennies.

We started by soaking the pennies for 5 minutes in a mixture of vinegar and salt. Make sure you don't do this with post-1982 pennies, or they'll turn black. After scrubbing with a toothbrush, rinsing, and drying them, they looked much cleaner, but I decided to test out the pencil eraser tip (method 5 from the link) as well, and I was amazed by the difference.

Check out the 1946 penny!

Rubbing them with the pencil eraser after the vinegar soak/scrub/dry took almost no effort, and the end result was so worth it! I decided to try the eraser on a penny I hadn't first cleaned with vinegar. It took a lot more rubbing, and the crevices didn't come as clean as the pre-cleaned pennies, but it still looked much better than it started.

Left: vinegar wash, then eraser. Right: no vinegar wash, just eraser.

Once I finished cleaning the pennies, I stored them away in our penny tubes for the park. I made these from M&Ms Minis tubes wrapped with scrapbook paper, labeled with stickers (Meg did this part herself), and coated in Mod Podge for durability. I wish I could tell you where to find the Minis tubes in stores, but my kids received them as gifts last year from family, so I have no clue. Also, I can't take credit for this idea. It's all over blogs and Pinterest and Disney message boards.

The "penny" tube holds stacks of 2 quarters and a penny, for quick dispensing when we find a machine. The "pressed" tube holds the finished pressed pennies. The "wish" tube holds new shiny pennies for using in Snow White's wishing well.


1 comment:

Mark Dacoron said...

If you are looking to keep track of the pressed pennies, try this free app.