People snap up copper pots and pans to bring warmth and a gorgeous sheen to the kitchen-but then find themselves wondering just how to clean copper. And it’s a fair question: While copper, which is considered a soft metal, is prized for its ability to conduct heat, it requires a little more TLC than other materials, so it’s important to care for it properly.
However, like most other metals, copper reacts with the environment and tarnishes. So, you might notice it turning black or even corroding, forming a blue or green patina. While in some cases the aesthetics of this patina is highly prized among artists, caution should be exercised to avoid bringing patina into contact with acidic substances such as acidic liquids or food. Failing to exercise care in this regard can be harmful and can lead to copper toxicity.
Here are some ways you can clean copper using natural ingredients:
- Dissolve 1 ½ teaspoons of salt in 1 cup of white vinegar. You can put this mixture in a spray bottle or apply the mixture with a soft cloth. Once applied, leave it to take effect for around 30 minutes and rinse and dry. If there is more tarnish present, repeat the process, and if there are dents holding any grime, use a soft toothbrush to gently scrub the copper.
- Use Copper Cleaning Powder (Pitambari) for best results. Completely Safe and gentle on hands. Pitambari can be used for Cleaning Steel, Copper & Brass utensils.
- Make a solution of 50ml water and some Tamarind Juice. Add rock salt to the mix and your cleaning liquid is ready! Rub this using a soft sponge over the vessel and rinse thoroughly. Voila! Your vessel is clean and ready to use. In case you don’t have tamarind at home, use lemon juice instead.
- In case your bottle has started darkening due to the effects of oxidation, no worries.Cut a lemon in half and apply table salt to the cut section. Rub the lemon on the surface and add more salt as needed. Rinse and dry.
- For a deeper clean, make a thick paste of lemon juice and rock salt. Apply this paste to the darkened parts and leave it on for half an hour. Gently scrub it with a soft sponge (or the lemon peel) and you’ll see the blackened part shining again.
- The acidity of ketchup is useful for a quick clean of lightly tarnished copper. All you need to do is cover the copper item in ketchup, let it sit for a while, and then rub until the tarnish has vanished. Finally, clean the copper with warm water and some dish soap and polish it with a clean, soft, dry cloth.
- Baking Soda is another common kitchen ingredient that doubles up as an effective cleaning agent. Combine lemon juice (or vinegar) with baking soda and stir until mixed completely. Apply to the surface and buff in a circular motion using a soft, clean cloth, then rinse and dry to clean hard stains on your copper vessels.