how to clean copper

Copper has a beautiful rose-gold patina that is attractive to the eye, that is, unless it is tarnished. You must learn how to clean copper to keep it shining.

Copper commonly turns green when it is tarnished, and thus, it looses it’s visual appeal. Today, we’ll uncover a few ways it tarnishes and learn how to clean copper with items you likely already have in your home.

The most common reason that copper begins to tarnish is the chemical interaction between molecules on the surface of the copper interacting with molecules in the air. Humidity aggravates the problem.

Further, airborne molecules cause a thin layer of condensation on the copper which causes it to appear tarnished. But, this can be easily removed with a few common household items.

How to Clean Copper:

How to Clean Copper Using Table Salt and Vinegar:

One method for removing tarnish from copper is by using table salt and vinegar. There are two ways you can use this remedy. One way is to pour vinegar over your copper piece over an open sink and gently polish away the tarnish with a cloth dipped in salt.

A second option is to boil a pot of water and add 1 tablespoon of salt per 1 cup of white distilled vinegar. Place the copper item in the boiling water and allow the solution to boil to remove the tarnish. Then, once the copper item and the water are cooled, rinse and dry.

How to Clean Copper Using Toothpaste:

When using toothpaste, look for the paste variety and not the gel, as seen above. You can apply the toothpaste with a cloth or an old toothbrush to wipe away the tarnish from the copper surface. Use water to rinse clean.

How to Clean Copper Using Ketchup:

While it sounds odd, ketchup can be quite effective at cleaning copper. Start by using a paper towel and begin rubbing the ketchup all over the copper surface. Allow it to sit for a few minutes and then wipe a small area to see if the tarnish has started to improve. If not, give it more time and retry until it accomplishes the task. Rinse with water and towel dry.

How to Clean Copper using Lemon Juice and Baking Soda:

Lemon slices dipped in baking soda remove tarnish from copper, also. The lemon helps to provide an acidic reaction while the baking soda acts as a mild abrasive to gently scrub the surface. Use a paper towel to wipe the surface clean. Rinse with water.

Special Notes: Never place copper items in the dishwasher. The detergent is too abrasive, and the heat and detergent combined will ruin your copper pieces. Instead, wash by hand using one of the methods mentioned above.

how to clean copper

I hope this information has been beneficial to you and that you now have a better understanding of how to clean copper. If you haven’t done so already, subscribe to my blog for information, tips, and tricks on cleaning and organizing everything in your home.

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Need to deep clean? I have lists for you to guide you along.

My How to Deep Clean Your Kitchen list can be found here.

My How to Deep Clean Your Bathroom list can be found here.

My How to Deep Clean Your Kids’ Rooms list can be found here.

My How to Deep Clean Your Living Room list can be found here.

My How to Deep Clean Your Bedroom list can be found here.

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how to clean copper

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Check out the most popular posts on deemiddleton.com: 

14 Things That Make Your Home Look Cluttered

How to Do A 1 Day Declutter

How to Create a Daily Housekeeping Schedule

How to Clean House When You Are Completely Overwhelmed By Clutter

What is Preventing You From Getting Organized?

Also, check out a great post on decluttering over here from becomingminimalist.com. Joshua Becker has some great tips on decluttering and minimalism.

For further reading, check out the fly lady here. She has some great cleaning and decluttering ideas plus excellent organization tips to get you started.