Extreme Science: Penny Shine - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Extreme Science

Extreme Science: Penny Shine

Join us every Saturday morning for Extreme Science with Radical Rick. This week Rick shows us how to 'shine a penny' with science!

Here's what you need for this experiment:

  1. Several tarnished (dark) pennies
  2. Small plate
  3. Hot sauce or taco sauce
  4. Sink (to rinse pennies)
  5. Electrical tape (optional)
  6. Adult supervision

Procedure:

  1. Place your pennies on your plate.
  2. Pour some taco sauce over your pennies.
  3. Using your finger, gently rub the taco sauce into the penny. Do not lick your hands afterwards as the pennies are filthy and disgusting! Also, be careful if you have any small cuts in your fingers as the taco sauce may irritate it.
  4. Let the pennies sit for 2 – 3 minutes while you wash your hands.
  5. Rinse the pennies off and check out the difference!

What is going on?

There are actually several things that you can use to clean pennies such as lemon juice and salt, vinegar and salt or, your favorite taco sauce! If you took the ingredients of the taco sauce such as tomato paste, vinegar or salt and tried to clean the pennies separately, you wouldn't get them very clean. When salt is dissolved in the vinegar as it is in the taco sauce, the salt breaks down into sodium and chloride ions. The chloride ions will combine with the copper in the penny to remove the tarnish form its surface.

Try this:

  • Try covering half of a penny with some electrical tape prior to cleaning it with the taco sauce. Afterwards, when you remove the tape you can see how much tarnish was actually removed.
  • Try a mixture of vinegar and salt to clean some more pennies. Does this solution work any better than the taco sauce?
  • Try mixing a solution of lemon juice and salt to clean some pennies. How does this solution compare to your previous attempts?
  • Try using different brands of taco sauce. Is there any difference in how well each brand cleans the pennies?
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Searchers return to campsite where toddler went missing

    Searchers return to campsite where toddler went missing

    Sunday, May 21 2017 5:45 PM EDT2017-05-21 21:45:55 GMT

    BOISE, Idaho (AP) - Almost two years after a toddler disappeared during a camping trip with his family, investigators plan to return to the campsite to search for new evidence.  Lemhi County Sheriff Steve Penner told KTVB-TV last week that deputies will return to the campground outside of Leadore, Idaho once the weather improves.

    >>

    BOISE, Idaho (AP) - Almost two years after a toddler disappeared during a camping trip with his family, investigators plan to return to the campsite to search for new evidence.  Lemhi County Sheriff Steve Penner told KTVB-TV last week that deputies will return to the campground outside of Leadore, Idaho once the weather improves.

    >>
  • WATCH: Mom's video warning others of tick paralysis goes viral

    WATCH: Mom's video warning others of tick paralysis goes viral

    Sunday, May 21 2017 7:13 PM EDT2017-05-21 23:13:48 GMT

    LA GRANDE, Ore. - We've told you about tick paralysis before on KHQ, but one Oregon mother's scary video of her daughter showing the effects of tick paralysis has gone viral on Facebook since it was first posted last week.

    >>

    LA GRANDE, Ore. - We've told you about tick paralysis before on KHQ, but one Oregon mother's scary video of her daughter showing the effects of tick paralysis has gone viral on Facebook since it was first posted last week.

    >>
  • Small plane crash lands at Coeur d'Alene Airport; no injuries

    Small plane crash lands at Coeur d'Alene Airport; no injuries

    Sunday, May 21 2017 8:55 PM EDT2017-05-22 00:55:51 GMT

    COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho - Deputies and fire crews from Northern Lakes Fire department responded to a report of an airplane in distress around 4 p.m. It was reported to the Coeur d'Alene Airport by the pilot, identified as 62-year-old James T. Ostrich from Redding, California, that he had a possible landing gear issues. 

    >>

    COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho - Deputies and fire crews from Northern Lakes Fire department responded to a report of an airplane in distress around 4 p.m. It was reported to the Coeur d'Alene Airport by the pilot, identified as 62-year-old James T. Ostrich from Redding, California, that he had a possible landing gear issues. 

    >>
HD DOPPLER 6i
/
  • Top Stories from KHQHomeMore>>

  • Chris Cornell to be buried at Hollywood Forever Cemetery

    Chris Cornell to be buried at Hollywood Forever Cemetery

    Monday, May 22 2017 10:37 AM EDT2017-05-22 14:37:34 GMT

    NEW YORK (AP) - Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell will be buried Friday in Los Angeles, his attorney Kirk Pasich said Sunday.  Pasich said Cornell will be buried at Hollywood Forever Cemetery in a private service. Cornell's body was transported to Los Angeles on Sunday. He was pronounced dead early Thursday morning after being found unresponsive in his Detroit hotel room.  

    >>

    NEW YORK (AP) - Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell will be buried Friday in Los Angeles, his attorney Kirk Pasich said Sunday.  Pasich said Cornell will be buried at Hollywood Forever Cemetery in a private service. Cornell's body was transported to Los Angeles on Sunday. He was pronounced dead early Thursday morning after being found unresponsive in his Detroit hotel room.  

    >>
  • Jury selection begins in Bill Cosby's sex assault case

    Jury selection begins in Bill Cosby's sex assault case

    Monday, May 22 2017 10:19 AM EDT2017-05-22 14:19:13 GMT

    PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Bill Cosby's lawyers say Cosby is "looking forward" to getting jury selection started in Pittsburgh and is "holding up fine" as the trial nears. Defense lawyer Brian McMonagle says he hopes the process will go fairly quickly. Lawyers hope to have a jury in place this week. 

    >>

    PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Bill Cosby's lawyers say Cosby is "looking forward" to getting jury selection started in Pittsburgh and is "holding up fine" as the trial nears. Defense lawyer Brian McMonagle says he hopes the process will go fairly quickly. Lawyers hope to have a jury in place this week. 

    >>
  • Airway Heights businesses adjusting as water crisis continues

    Airway Heights businesses adjusting as water crisis continues

    Sunday, May 21 2017 9:56 PM EDT2017-05-22 01:56:47 GMT

    AIRWAY HEIGHTS, Wash.- The city of Airway Heights is still flushing out contaminated water out of their system. The city says they’ll be done with that process Monday morning, and then they’ll be able to send a sample for testing. The contamination likely came from two chemicals found in a firefighting foam that Fairchild Air Force base used to use.

    >>

    AIRWAY HEIGHTS, Wash.- The city of Airway Heights is still flushing out contaminated water out of their system. The city says they’ll be done with that process Monday morning, and then they’ll be able to send a sample for testing. The contamination likely came from two chemicals found in a firefighting foam that Fairchild Air Force base used to use.

    >>