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You know all those pennies you still have lying around? The ones not even stores will accept ever since the coins were phased out in 2012?

Yeah, don’t throw them out! It turns out they actually have a very useful purpose, at least, sometimes.

According to a new video released by the American Chemical Society, you can save wine that has spoiled after being left open for too long by simply dropping a penny in it. That’s right, drop a penny directly into the glass (although you really should wash the coin first), stir it around with a spoon, pull it out and your wine should be relatively back to normal.

The reason this works is because when wine begins to spoil, it releases something called thiols, which produce strong odours resembling rotten eggs, burnt rubber and burnt matches. When you plop a penny in there, it reacts with the thiols to produce an odourless compound called copper sulfide. The trick also works with a silver spoon, if you happen to have one handy.

For best results, use pennies made before 1996, as the copper content in the coins was significantly reduced after that.

Now if you try this at home, don’t be too disappointed if the trick doesn’t work. Because wine can spoil in many different ways, this method may not always be able to produce a reaction that can return your vino to normal. But heck, if you’re just going to dump it down the drain anyway, you might as well give it a shot.

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