Copper has become one of the most popular types of metals recently. Now being used for home furnishings, sinks, utensils, outdoor fixtures, jewelry and much more, it’s important to keep it looking bright and shiny.
Copper is a beautiful, vibrant metal, but isn’t for the faint of heart when it comes to keeping clean.
In fact, if you wish to keep your copper shiny looking and not ‘weathered’ it will be necessary to do so every few weeks, especially if it is an outdoor product. With many wondering how to keep copper shiny, there are many easy ways to wipe away smudges and fingerprints and keep copper as shiny as possible.
While there are several products on the market that are promised to retain the shiniest of copper, there are several home remedies as well that will do just that.
Below is a summary of some of the best products to purchase and some ingredients that you may currently have in your pantry right now (which makes these options affordable and rather easy for everyone.) Whether it’s indoors or outdoors, there are a variety of ways to keep your copper items looking their best.
Ketchup Can Make Copper Shiny
Everyone has ketchup and salt available in their kitchen and it can be a quick way to keep copper shiny and looking new.
Take a household washcloth, pour a dollop of ketchup, any brand, and add a dash of table salt. The acidity and sodium from both products will counteract with the damage to the copper and create a bright and shiny look.
Then take the washcloth and rub the mixture onto the copper in a circle pattern. As the mixture is being swirled onto the brass, you will see instant results and that copper shine will return. Lightly dampen another wash cloth and use that one to wipe off the copper item completely. Then use a dry towel to completely dry the item and it should look brand new.
Washcloths should be made of microfiber material for best results. Sponges should be new or at the very least in good quality.
Prevent Copper from Getting a Patina Look
If your copper is an outdoor piece, you may realize that it is beginning to patina. This happens when copper is exposed to the air for an extended period of time. It then begins to to a blue/green color through a process of oxidation.
This could happen on a copper roof, or other outdoor fixture that experiences weather conditions. While some may want their copper to look worn and weathered, others prefer the shiny copper look that was intended for that type of metal. Which leaves many people questioning how to keep their copper shiny?
According to Green Cleaning Specialist, Alicia Sokolowski, there is an easy method to keep copper shiny once again and it only involves using household products:
Mix white vinegar and salt together until it forms a paste, there isn’t an actual measurement, just pour both items in accordance to the size of the item you are cleaning. Then, use a sponge to spread all over the patina. It should take the blueish/green damage from oxidation. As with other types of cleaning methods, use another damp washcloth
Sokolowski also advises that for those who want to prevent future oxidation, that they place a thin coat of olive oil on the copper to protect it from the air. Below, there are additional ways to ensure that your copper stays bright in the future.
Store Bought Chemicals Can Also Help Keep Copper Shiny
If homemade remedies aren’t something you are comfortable with, there is another option. There are many products on the market as well, that will help keep your copper items shiny. A highly recommended product from Good Housekeeping magazine, called Weiman Wright’s Copper Cream is sold in stores and online and can be purchased for under $10.
A dollop of the copper cream should be placed on the sponge that is in the package or a wash cloth of your own. As you rub the cream on the copper, you should notice results as the product gets shinier.
Rinse the copper off to rid the item of any excess product on the item. Then completely dry. This product and technique works best for outdoor copper items and not any kitchen products.
Baking Soda is the Best Way to Keep Copper Pots Shiny
In recent years, copper pots and pans have become a ‘trendy’ way to stock a home kitchen. While these pans are expected to have a non-stick finish, with more use, these types of pans become harder to clean.
Sprinkling baking soda on the copper pan and then scrubbing it with a sponge in warm water, is the best technique to bring the life back to the pots and pans.
Additional Tips to Keep Copper Cookware Shining
Considering the use of kitchen utensils and the heat during the cooking/baking process, keeping your copper pots and pans clean can be quite a challenge.
According to cleaning expert Lauren Bowen, brillo and other sponges and washcloths with rough surfaces,shouldn’t be used to clean copper pots and pans, at any point, nor should any cleaner that could leave to corrosion.
Besides the regular washing with dish soap and warm water after every use, there is also a homemade remedy to ‘wax’ your copper pots and pans as well.
Mix baking soda and lemon juice in a bowl together until it creates a paste. When it comes time to use this paste, always add it to the outside of the pot/pan to prevent any damage to the inside. Soap and warm water should be the only cleaning agents used to clean the inside.
Use your fingers and add the paste to the outside of the pot/pan. Then, take a dry washcloth, preferably one made of microfiber to prevent any damage, and in a circles to help spread around and remove any and all build up or oxidation on the copper.
When done, rinse the pot/pan with warm water, completely until all of the paste is completely removed. Then dry with a dry microfiber towel, if possible, once again, nothing abrasive.
When it comes to storing copper pots and pans, always hang them in your kicthen, rather than stack them in the cabinet or pantry.
This will also prevent any damage to the inside of the item from stacking. Also, keep the pans away from excessive heat or water, moisture, to help retain their beautiful copper finish for as long as possible.
According to Bowen, it’s best to cook with olive oil and canola oil on a copper surface. This will prevent damage from food sticking and from the heat from the stove or oven. Also, use kitchen utensils that will be gentle on the inside portion of the pot/pan, to help keep an overall good looking cookware.
Vinegar is Always a “go-to”
Whether it is copper or another metal, using white vinegar is always a go-to cleaning agent. White vinegar is all-natural and non-toxic and a typical product that most households have on hand at most times.
White vinegar is a great cleaning agent for all metals, not just copper. The results of white vinegar, sometimes even combined with baking soda, are amazing and will have you wishing you thought of it sooner.
What Happens After the Copper is Clean?
Whether you have brand new copper that you wish to preserve or you recently cleaned your items, there is a way to keep it shiny. This will hopefully prevent the heavy duty cleaning that is necessary when the oxidation process begins.
Waxing copper is one of the best ways to make sure your copper stays shiny. A wax or even a copper cream will give the copper item a protective layer and stop oxygen from giving the metal a patina finish. This will allow your copper to stay bright and shiny for years to come.
Wright’s brand, that was mentioned above, also makes a wax product that will give the shiny look to your most loved copper products. These products are rather affordable and well worth it, when it comes to taking measures to protect your copper items.
Originally posted 2022-04-16 08:23:58.