How to Clean Medals with Toothpaste


Medals are often sentimental and valuable items that we like to keep in good condition. 

Over time, however, medals can become tarnished and dirty, and regular cleaning is necessary to keep them looking their best. 

Toothpaste is a great option for cleaning medals, and in this post, we’ll go over the things you need to do just that.

Let’s get started.

Things You’ll Need:

  • Toothpaste (non-abrasive variety)
  • Water
  • A clean, soft cloth
  • A soft-bristled brush or toothbrush (optional)


  1. Squeeze a small amount of toothpaste onto a clean, soft cloth.
  2. Wet the medal with water.
  3. Rub the toothpaste onto the medal using circular motions.
  4. Use a toothbrush or soft-bristled brush to scrub the metal and loosen any dirt or grime.
  5. Rinse the medal with water to remove the toothpaste.
  6. Dry the medal with a clean, dry cloth.

Advantages of Using Toothpaste for Cleaning Medals:

  • Toothpaste is a natural cleaner and is non-toxic, making it safe to use on medals.
  • Toothpaste is also a mild abrasive, which makes it great for removing dirt and grime from medals.
  • Toothpaste is inexpensive and easy to find, making it a convenient cleaning option.

Disadvantages of Using Toothpaste for Cleaning Medals:

  • Toothpaste may not be strong enough to remove heavy tarnish or corrosion from medals.
  • Toothpaste may not be suitable for use on medals with delicate or intricate designs, as it may be difficult to clean around them without damaging the medal.

What Kind of Toothpaste Can You Use to Clean Medals?

Any type of toothpaste should work well for this purpose, including both regular toothpaste and whitening toothpaste. But I found it’s best to use non-gel toothpaste for cleaning medals.

It is important to use toothpaste that does not contain any abrasive particles, as these can scratch the surface of the metal. 

Avoid using toothpaste that contains baking soda or other harsh abrasives, as these can potentially scratch the medal. 

It is also a good idea to use a toothbrush with soft bristles to avoid damaging the medal while cleaning it. 

How Often Should You Clean Your Medals?

It’s a good idea to clean your medals at least once a year to remove dirt and grime that can accumulate over time. 

If your medals are heavily tarnished or corroded, you may want to clean them more frequently to keep them in good condition.

Won’t Cleaning with Toothpaste Scratch My Medals?

Toothpaste will not scratch your medals as long as you use a non-abrasive variety and apply it gently. 

However, it is always a good idea to test the toothpaste on a small, inconspicuous area of the medal before using it on the entire surface to make sure it doesn’t cause any damage.

Important: Test First!

I just want to repeat the reminder above, be sure to test the toothpaste on a small, inconspicuous area of the medal before using it on the entire surface. 

This will help you ensure that the toothpaste does not cause any damage or discoloration.

While toothpaste is generally safe to use on most metals, it is important to be careful when using it to clean certain types of metals. 

For example, toothpaste can be abrasive and may scratch or damage delicate or soft metals, such as gold or silver. It is also not recommended to use toothpaste to clean antique or valuable metals, as it may diminish their value or cause damage that cannot be undone. 

In general, it is best to avoid using toothpaste to clean metals that are thin, fragile, or have intricate details or designs, as the abrasive nature of the toothpaste may damage these features. 

If you are uncertain about whether toothpaste is safe to use on a particular metal, it is a good idea to consult a professional or use a gentler cleaning method.

Things to Avoid When Using Toothpaste for Cleaning Medals:

  • Avoid using too much toothpaste, as this can be difficult to remove and can leave a residue.
  • Avoid using toothpaste on medals with a special coating or finish, as it may cause damage.
  • Do not use hard bristle brushes as these can scratch and damage your medals.
  • Don’t use toothpaste on any medal that has been damaged or is missing a part of its design.


I hope you’ve found this guide useful and that you have all the answers to your toothpaste medal cleaning questions. 

If you’re looking for more cleaning uses of toothpaste see my article on How to Use Toothpaste to Clean Gym Mats.

Thanks for dropping by.

-Baking Soda Guy   

Photo by DS stories from Pexels