Buried treasure does exist in the real world. However, it may not shine as brilliantly as treasure you might see in a movie. When money is buried underground, it is inundated by a number of corrosive substances that tarnish and destroy its surfaces. Cleaning money is a tricky process; applying a harsh chemical or wire brush to the money may actually hurt the overall value of your find.
Pour a small amount of warm water into one of your plastic bags. Mix a few drops of dish soap into the water. Agitate the mixture by shaking the bag back and forth repeatedly.
Drop a few of your buried coins into the bag and let them sit for half an hour. After the coins have sat, take them out and brush them with your soft toothbrush very gently. If the dirt does not come off, use the harder toothbrush, but maintain the gentle strokes you used before. Set your cleaned coins on a paper towel.
Fill a bag with olive oil if the dish soap method did not clean your buried money effectively. Place your coins in the olive oil mixture for four to five days. After the coins have soaked, remove them one at a time and brush each coin gently with the hard brush. If you succeed at cleaning the coin, set it on a paper towel to dry. If the method does not work, let the coin soak in fresh olive oil for another few days.
Use a hard ink eraser to remove dirt and corrosion if the previous steps do not work. You should press firmly on the surface of the coin with your eraser, moving back and forth with small strokes. This method takes time, so do not give up after only a few minutes.
Place the coins in a solution of sodium hexametaphosphate if the previous methods do not work. The sodium hexametaphosphate will slowly eat away at corrosion, but it is less harsh than acidic solutions. Take the coins out of the solution every few hours and cleanse them with water to remove softened corrosive material.
Aaron Marquis is a University of Texas graduate with experience writing commercials and press releases for national advertising agencies as well as comedy television treatments/stories for FOX Studios and HBO. Marquis has been writing for over six years.