How Do You Clean Running Medals? (Proven Ways)

When you’ve worked hard to earn a running medal, you want to keep it clean and shiny. Unfortunately, over time, the medal can become dull and damaged. 

Luckily for runners everywhere, there are several simple techniques for cleaning medals that will keep them looking like new!

How to Clean British Military Medals – YouTube
Proper cleaning methods can help maintain the appearance of running medals.
Use a soft cloth and mild soap and water to gently clean the medals.
Avoid abrasive cleaners or harsh chemicals that could damage the medal’s finish.
Specialized medal cleaning products are available for more thorough cleaning.
Polishing medals may not be necessary and can remove the natural aging or patina.

What if You Don’t Have Baby Shampoo?

If you don’t have baby shampoo, no worries! There are plenty of household products that can help you clean your medals.

Dish soap. You can use a small amount of dish soap to clean off the medal, but be sure not to let it sit in the sink for long periods of time or it may leave residue behind on the medal’s surface.

Toothpaste (not gel). Toothpaste will also help remove dirt and grime from medals, although it may leave some shine behind as well. 

For best results, give your medal a rubdown with toothpaste then rinse with hot water and dry with a soft cloth before using any other cleaning methods below.

Rubbing alcohol or Brasso metal polish (not recommended). These substances can work wonders if you want shiny surfaces back again after they’ve dulled over time due to frequent wear and tear 

But they’re not ideal for everyday maintenance because they’re too abrasive for delicate metals like those found in running medals! 

If your goal is just to get rid of grime without necessarily restoring luster all throughout each part of every piece though…you could try this method out for yourself–just make sure that whatever type of metal yours happens

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Soaking With White Vinegar

A popular method for cleaning medals is soaking them in white vinegar for an hour.

  • Fill a sink or large bowl with 3/4 cup of white vinegar and set your medal on top.
  • Let it soak for an hour, then rinse off the medal and dry with a soft cloth.
  • Do not use abrasive cleaners or scrubbing pads as they may scratch the medal’s surface.
Effectively removes stains and odorsSoaking items in white vinegar helps remove tough stains and odors.
Natural and non-toxicWhite vinegar is a natural and non-toxic alternative to harsh chemicals.
Versatile and multi-purposeIt can be used for various cleaning tasks, including laundry, kitchen, and bathroom.
Helps dissolve mineral depositsSoaking with white vinegar can dissolve mineral deposits on surfaces.
Environmentally friendlyWhite vinegar is an environmentally friendly cleaning solution.
Cost-effective and readily availableIt is a cost-effective option that can be easily found in stores.

Dishwasher Safe

If you’ve got a washing machine, you can use it to wash your medals. Just be sure that the medal is dishwasher safe. 

If a medal has enamel or gold-plated designs on it, don’t put it in the dishwasher because the heat will damage these surfaces.

Dishwashing Detergent Tabs

Soak your medal in a tub of warm water. Add 1/2 cup of dishwashing detergent tabs, which are designed to break down grease and oil on dishes. Let the medal soak for an hour (or longer if needed).

Rinse with warm water until there is no more soap residue left behind.

Dry with a soft cloth or paper towel before storing it in its pouch or box again!

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Brasso Cleaning Solution

Brasso is a brand name for a cleaning solution that’s made up of copper acetate and zinc sulfide. It can be used to clean medals made of any metal, including gold, silver, bronze and brass. 

This is because the tarnish on these metals is caused by sulfur atoms combining with oxygen atoms. Brasso will remove this tarnish by chemically reacting with it and removing it from your medal.

What If Your Running Medal Is Gold-Plated?

If your running medal is gold-plated, you can clean it with toothpaste.

Toothpaste contains an abrasive that will remove dirt and grime from the surface of the medal. Soak a soft cloth in warm water and wring out any excess liquid. 

Apply a small amount of toothpaste to the cloth and rub gently over your medal to remove any stains or marks. Rinse thoroughly with warm water and dry with another soft cloth

Use mild cleaning solutionsAvoid abrasive cleaners that could damage the delicate gold plating.
Gently wipe with a soft clothClean the medal by gently wiping it with a soft cloth.
Avoid excessive rubbing or scrubbingPrevent rubbing off or wearing down the gold plating.
Seek professional cleaning if unsureConsult with professionals for specialized gold-plated medal cleaning.
Preserve the shine with proper storageStore the medal in a protective case or cloth bag to avoid tarnishing.

Using Toothpaste to Clean a Running Medal

Use toothpaste to clean a running medal. Toothpaste is an effective way to remove dirt, sweat and grime from your medal. It also works well for removing stains from the ribbon, such as food or drink stains.

Don’t use toothpaste on gold-plated medals. The acid in most toothpastes will tarnish the metal coating of a gold-plated medal, which can ruin its appearance and value.

Don’t use toothpaste on sterling silver and oxidized medals. If you have an oxidized or tarnished sterling silver medal that you want to clean, use a gentle polishing cloth instead of toothpaste since chemicals in most types of toothpaste can damage this type of medal’s finish.

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Clean With Rubbing Alcohol

If you want to clean your medal, use rubbing alcohol and a cotton swab. First, apply the rubbing alcohol directly onto the medal with a cotton swab (a small, soft stick). 

If a lot of dirt is present on the medal, you may need to reapply more rubbing alcohol before rinsing it off with water. Rinse with water after cleaning and let it dry before storing or wearing again.

The frequency at which you should clean medals depends largely on how messy they are being used for. 

If they are just being worn on special occasions or kept in a display case, then once every few months should be fine; if they’re being used as prizes in races and training sessions, then perhaps clean them more frequently so that runners don’t have to wait too long between races!

Effective disinfectantRubbing alcohol is known for its disinfecting properties.
Removes dirt and grimeIt helps to effectively remove dirt and grime from surfaces.
Evaporates quicklyRubbing alcohol evaporates quickly, leaving no residue behind.
Versatile cleaning agentIt can be used for various cleaning tasks, including electronics and surfaces.
Helps dissolve sticky residueRubbing alcohol is effective in dissolving sticky residue.
Suitable for sanitizing frequently touched itemsIt is commonly used to sanitize frequently touched items.

What If Your Running Medal Has Enamel?

If your medal has enamel, then it’s important to know how to clean it. Enamel is a type of glass that’s covered in a thin layer of metal oxides, which gives the appearance of being shiny and smooth. 

It also makes enamel very durable because it can withstand heat and cold without cracking or chipping away.

Enamel is used as a protective coating on items such as tableware, jewelry, and medals. However, some types of enameling must be cleaned more delicately than others depending on how they were made. 

There are two kinds of enameling: vitreous and cloisonné. Vitreous is made with molds; cloisonné involves soldering tiny pieces together one by one by hand. 

Because both methods involve different techniques for creating layers on top of each other which means that they have slightly different cleaning requirements we’ll discuss each separately below!

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Sterling Silver and Oxidized Medals

If you have a sterling silver or oxidized medal that needs cleaning, first use a soft-bristled brush to remove any dirt. 

Then immerse the medal in warm water with mild detergent and allow it to soak for 15 minutes. 

Rinse thoroughly, dry with a soft cloth and polish with lemon oil or another high quality leather conditioner (don’t use petroleum jelly).

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If you’re aiming for a clean medal, it can be a bit of a challenge to get it. That being said, there are some simple things that you can do to make sure your medal stays as pristine as possible for years to come.

Further Reading

  • Australian War Memorial – Medals: Explore the comprehensive guide provided by the Australian War Memorial, delving into the history and significance of medals awarded to servicemen and women.
  • Olympia – How to Clean Trophies: Discover effective methods and tips for cleaning trophies to keep them looking their best. Olympia’s blog offers practical advice for maintaining the shine and beauty of your cherished awards.
  • Foxhole Medals – Medal Cleaning: Foxhole Medals provides insights and recommendations for cleaning and preserving military and commemorative medals. Their guide offers step-by-step instructions and expert tips to ensure the longevity and condition of your medals.

And here’s the FAQs section in Markdown language:


How should I clean my running medals?

To clean your running medals, gently wipe them with a soft cloth and mild soap and water. Avoid using abrasive cleaners or harsh chemicals that could damage the medal’s finish.

Can I use vinegar to clean my trophies?

Using vinegar to clean trophies is not recommended, as it can potentially damage the surface or remove the protective coatings. It’s best to stick to mild soap and water for cleaning trophies.

How often should I clean my medals?

The frequency of cleaning your medals depends on factors such as usage, exposure, and personal preference. As a general guideline, cleaning them once every few months or when they appear dull or tarnished is recommended.

Are there specialized products for medal cleaning?

Yes, there are specialized medal cleaning products available on the market. These products are formulated to safely clean and restore the appearance of medals. Always follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer.

Should I polish my medals?

Polishing medals may not be necessary, as it can remove the patina or natural aging that adds character to the piece. If you choose to polish your medals, proceed with caution and use a non-abrasive polishing cloth to avoid damaging the surface.