How to Clean Copper and Restore its Shine

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Method 2: Use Lemon and Salt

before after cleaning copper

There are few cleaning jobs that lemon can’t accomplish. You can get rid of any tarnish stain with the dynamic duo of lemon and salt. The acidic nature of lemon combined with salt can break up surface corrosion, allowing you to completely clean your copperware.

Things you’ll need:

things need to clean copper

Lemon, cut in halves (acidic properties)
Salt (abrasive in nature)

Step 1. Scrub the copper surface with lemon and salt

scrub copper with lemon and salt

Dip the cut side of the lemon in salt, so that the salt coats the entire lemon surface.
Scrub the tarnished copper with the salted lemon to reveal the shining metal underneath.
When you run out of salt on the lemon, dip the lemon in the salt again before moving on to the next spot.
Go over the entire copper surface to clean any remaining tarnish stains.

Step 2. Buff the copper item with a towel to restore its shine

buff the copper with towel to restore shine

When all the tarnish stains are removed, wipe the mess clean with a towel.
Buff the metal with a dry face of the towel for a glossy finish.
clean copper surface

Method 3: Use Vinegar and Salt

before after cleaning copper

If you don’t have flour at hand, you can also make do with a simple vinegar and salt paste. The basic working principle is the same, just without the added benefit of flour. You may need to use more elbow grease.

Things you’ll need:

things need to clean copper

Salt (abrasive in nature)
White vinegar (acidic nature)
Kitchen towel

Step 1. Make a salt and vinegar paste

make a paste with salt and vinegar

Put some baking soda in a bowl.
Add an equal amount of white vinegar to it.
The bubbling will settle down as you mix the ingredients.

Step 2. Brush the copper surface with the paste

brush the surface with the paste

Use a brush to cover the entire surface of the copper item with the salt and vinegar paste.
Let it sit for about 30 minutes to allow the paste to work.

Step 3. Buff the copper item with a towel to remove the tarnish

buff the surface with a towel

Start rubbing the surface of the metal with a kitchen towel. You’ll notice that the tarnish-free metal starts surfacing.
Burnish the entire copper surface to reveal the shining surface underneath.
copper surface after cleaning

Method 4: Use Ketchup

before after cleaning copperware

The image of ketchup remains untarnished when it comes to removing tarnish from metals. The salt and vinegar present in the ketchup are responsible for its tarnish-removing capability.

The only downside is that it can be a sticky, gooey mess. You may not want to put it on your prized antiques.

You can also make a natural polish to lacquer your newly cleaned copperware with beeswax and olive oil to protect it from further corrosion. This is the basic formula polish that can also be used as a wood polish. Beeswax has long been used as a natural sealant for metals. It will give your metal a warm and earthy finish.

Things you’ll need:

things need to clean copperware

Ketchup (tarnish removing property)
Olive oil (prevents further corrosion) – 1 tablespoon
Beeswax (natural sealant) – 1 teaspoon
Kitchen towel

Step 1. Brush the copper surface with ketchup and leave it for 1 hour

brush copperware with ketchup

Coat the copper item with ketchup using any brush.
Let it sit for 1 hour to allow it to work.

Step 2. Wipe the copperware clean with a kitchen towel

wipe the copperware clean with a towel

Simply wipe off the ketchup with a kitchen towel. You’ll find that the tarnish comes off along with the ketchup.

Step 3. Make a natural polish with beeswax and olive oil

make a natural polish with beeswax and olive oil

Pour 1 tablespoon of olive oil into 1 teaspoon of melted beeswax and mix thoroughly.
You can melt beeswax in a microwave or a double boiler. You can also melt it in a water bath over a stove.
Once taken off the heat, the wax will solidify pretty quickly. So, you’ll need to be swift in adding the olive oil. After mixing in the oil, it won’t solidify as quickly.

Step 4. Coat your copperware with the natural polish

coat the copperware with natural polish

Brush a light coating of the natural polish over the entire copper surface.
You can also use a cotton cloth to buff the surface with this natural polish. Keep buffing until you achieve the shine you desire.
cleaned copper surface

Method 5: Use Baking Soda and Lemon

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