Harsh chemicals were once the only material used to clean copper to a sparkling shine. Fortunately, we’ve gotten a lot smarter about the cleaning techniques we use today. There are many ways to clean copper without harsh and expensive chemical cleaners. In fact, many materials you have in your kitchen can be used to detarnish and clean copper naturally.
Is it copper?
If you are unsure if an object is actually copper, test it with this quick method. Take a magnet and try to place it on the copper. If the magnet sticks, you have an object that is copper plated. If, the magnet doesn’t stick, you have an authentic copper piece!
Remove mineral build-up
Before you continue with any of the following methods, you’ll want to clean the copper with a mild dish detergent. Draw a sink of water and add a few drops of regular dish soap. Don’t use soap that contains bleach or perfumes. Allow the copper item to soak for 5 – 10 minutes and wipe it down with a soft cloth. Dry with a separate towel. This will help to remove mineral build-up that has set in over time.
Clean copper naturally with salt and vinegar
Fill a squirt bottle with a mixture of white vinegar and 3 tablespoons salt. Shake the mixture until the salt is dissolved completely. To clean copper to an unbelievable shine, saturate with the salt and vinegar mixture and allow it to sit for 10 – 15 minutes. Wipe clean with a soft cloth.
Clean copper naturally with flour
Another way to clean heavily tarnished copper without chemicals is to add flour to the salt and vinegar mixture. Spray the mixture on, and add flour directly to the object. This will form a paste that will clean and polish. Allow it to sit for 10 – 15 minutes and rub it in with a soft-bristled toothbrush. Polish with a dry cloth.
Clean copper naturally with lemons
Combine fresh lemon juice with cream of tartar. This will form a paste which can be applied directly with a soft cloth. Work the paste in using circular motions. Let sit for 5 – 10 minutes and polish with a soft cloth.
Clean copper naturally with ketchup
It may seem odd, but ketchup is a surprisingly effective substance for copper cleaning. Use what you have in the kitchen, or buy the cheapest brand you can find, and start cleaning. Simply pour a tablespoon or two into a soft cloth and rub on. Let it sit for 5 – 10 minutes and polish with a dry cloth. Why does ketchup work? It contains vinegar, salt, and has tomato acidity that makes it effective.
Use these methods to clean copper jewelry, copper décor, copper pots and pans, and other copper objects. Just remember to take the time to thoroughly dry the copper after cleaning. Otherwise you’ll be left with a clean, but watermarked, object.
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