How To Clean Copper?

How To Clean Copper?
January 27, 2022

Copper is widely used for a wide array of things in our world. From wired, jewelry, and even pots and pans, copper is a common material.

It occurs naturally and is ranked third for being the most common metal mined throughout the world. Although copper is an attractive-looking metal, with a distinctive reddish-brown color, it is prone to tarnish.

Tarnishing is the name given to the process of oxidization. Copper will slowly react to the surrounding oxygen, so even if you do not use the product, it will change over time.

When something that is made out of copper oxidizes a lot, it can start to corrode, which will make it turn green. This is a common occurrence in jewelry, as copper rings will stain your fingers green.

If you have copper products that are tarnished, and you want to make them look as good as new, you have come to the right place. Here, we CLEANA commercial cleaning company sharing five easy methods you can do at home to get your copper products looking their best.

All you need for these methods are a few basic household ingredients or a specific copper cleaner. We will go through each method below.

Method 1 – Vinegar And Salt Copper Cleaning

Product Needed

  • Lemon – lemon juice or a few fresh lemons to act as the mild acid
  • Salt – salt will be needed to act as the abrasive agent
  • Old rag / sponge – a sponge or rag will be needed to buff the product
  • Copper product – a tarnished product made from copper to be cleaned

Steps

  1. Add one part salt to two parts lemon juice and mix into a thin paste
    • The amount you require will depend on the size of the copper product or how many you wish to clean. You can use fine or coarse salt depending on how badly the product is tarnished, but be careful not to be too rough with it or be scratched.
  2. Once the solution is mixed, get a sponge or rag and dip it into the lemon and salt solution. Now you can start buffing the copper product gently.
    • Make sure to buff the copper product over a large bowl or sink, so you do not mess lemon and salt everywhere.
    • Depending on how badly your copper is tarnished, you should be instant results.
  3. When you have buffed all the tarnish off your copper product, rinse it under fresh water and dry it. Now it should be in pristine condition and ready to be used again.

Method 2 – How To Clean Your Copper With Salt And Lemon

Product Needed

  • Vinegar – vinegar will act as the mild acid
  • Salt – salt will act as the abrasive agent
  • Old rag / sponge – a sponge or rag will be required to buff out the tarnish
  • Copper product – a tarnished product made from copper to be cleaned

Steps

  1. Place your copper product in the kitchen sink or a large bowl to avoid messing products everywhere. Then, sprinkle on the salt, followed by the vinegar. If you accidentally wash off the salt, add some more on the top of the vinegar.
    • You can use fine or coarse salt depending on how badly the product is tarnished, but be careful not to be too rough with it or be scratched.
  2. Let the vinegar and salt sit on the copper product for a few seconds, then use a sponge or rag to start buffing out the tarnish.
    • Be careful not to be too rough with the product, or else you could damage it by leaving scratches on the beautiful metal.
  3. Once the tarnish has been buffed out using the sponge or rag, rinse the product under some water and dry it. Now it is ready to be used again and looks amazing!

Method 3 – Cleaning Copper With Baking Soda

Method 3 - Cleaning Copper With Baking Soda

Product Needed

  • Baking Soda – baking soda will act as the mild abrasive
  • Lemon (optional) – you can add lemon juice, but it is not necessary. The lemon juice will act as the mild acid if added
  • Old rag / sponge – an old rag or sponge will be needed to buff out the tarnish
  • Copper product – a tarnished product made from copper to be cleaned

Steps

  1. You can sprinkle some baking soda onto a rag or sponge directly and start buffing your copper product, OR you can create a 2:1 solution of lemon juice and baking soda to create a paste.
  2. If you created the paste, get some on your sponge or rag and start buffing out the tarnish from your copper product. If you are using only baking soda, continue buffing out the product.
  3. Once all the varnish is gone, rinse off the baking soda or paste with fresh water and dry the product. Now it is ready to be used again!

Method 4 – Using Ketchup To Clean Copper

Product Needed

  • Ketchup – the ketchup will act as a mild acid
  • Old rag / sponge – an old rag or sponge will be needed to buff out the tarnish
  • Copper product – a tarnished product made from copper to be cleaned

Steps

  1. Get your tarnished copper product and place it in the kitchen sink or any other area you don’t mind ketchup being spilled on.
  2. Pour some ketchup either directly onto the tarnished brass or onto a rag, and start buffing the product to get the tarnish off.
  3. Buff the product until all tarnish is gone, then rinse under fresh water and dry. Now it is ready to be used again!

Method 5 – Breaking Out The Copper Cleaner

You may need to break out the hardcore products if your copper is in terrible condition. There are a number of cleaning products that are made especially for copper, or that are great matches.

If you are looking for a commercial product that specialized in cleaning tarnished copper, there are products like Brillo Cameo, Twinkle, and Wright’s Copper and Brass Clean Cleaner.

Product Needed

  • Copper cleaning product – this product will clean your copper beautifully
  • Old rag / sponge – an old rag or sponge will be needed to buff out the tarnish
  • Copper product – a tarnished product made from copper to be cleaned

Please note that directions will vary depending on the copper cleaning product you use. All brands may have different directions, and you should always read the instructions before using a new product. For the purpose of this method, I will be following the instructions given by Bar Keepers Friend.

Steps

  1. Get the copper product you want to clean and place it on a flat surface that you do not mind getting a little dirty. Sprinkle some Bar Keepers Friend over the copper.
  2. Get a damp sponge and begin buffing out the tarnish. If the tarnish is bad, you may need to get a cleaning brush for the harder spots.
  3. Once all the tarnish is gone, rinse the product under fresh water and dry. Now it is ready to be used again!
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Final Thoughts On Cleaning Copper

Copper is beautiful and resilient when cared for properly. Although it does tarnish over time, copper products can be brought back to their former glory when cleaned appropriately. This metal is primarily used for cookware.

Because of this, most methods mentioned above are perfect for removing tarnish from saucepans and other similar objects. To clean smaller items like jewelry, extra care may be needed, but the methods should still work well.

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