Simple tips to care and clean copper containers

Copper develops a black patina on the surface when it comes in contact with oxygen. This article explains simple tips for copper cleaning and effective ways to care for the metal to make it look lustrous and brand new.


Copper is not new to mankind. It was the first element that got discovered. Since then it has been used widely throughout the world. Whether it is in manufacturing of kitchen utensils or the making of adorable beautiful jewellery, lustrous copper has been one of the favourites since ancient times. When first purchased the piece attracts everyone with its shine. It is one of the biggest reasons that most of us purchase copper items as the metal gives the traditional touch to the piece. Also, there are incredible health benefits of drinking water from copper container. One big disadvantage of copper is that it develops a black stain over time due to exposure to oxygen and also with constant use. However, the good news is the original lustre of copper can be restored without putting much effort and without spending lots of money on it. Moreover, copper cleaning can be carried out within home and does not require any professional help. Follow the below-mentioned simple tips and tricks and turn every single copper piece in décor, kitchen and jewellery box into sparkly and brand new.

Simple tips to care for copper utensils

  • Gently clean copper utensil or any jewellery piece made from copper. Do not overdo the scrubbing. Make sure to scrub lightly and gently. Otherwise, one may end up with a clean copper item but the scratches obtained while scrubbing may take away the charm.

  • Make sure the cloth or a scrubber that is used to clean copper item is not very abrasive or rough. Abrasive cloth or scrubber can also cause lots of damage to the surface and create unsightly scratches.

  • After cleaning copper utensil or any other item made from copper, it is important to dry them properly with a clean, dry cloth. If left wet, there is a possibility that stain may once again start building on their surfaces.

  • Utensils used in the kitchen are repeatedly used. Thus it is very likely they will be subjected to the frequent staining process. Those items which are not used repeatedly such as jewellery or showpieces need to be kept completely dry. Always store them in a dry place.

  • Copper utensils should not be over soaked in water for a very long time. Longer the soaking time, more stubborn stain will develop on their surfaces.

Effective copper cleaning tips

  • Tip 1: Use citric acid as a remedy
    Lemon contains citric acid. What can be a more easy way to get rid of unwanted tough stains from copper item than to use some lemon juice over it. Either lemon or lime can be used for the purpose. However, lemon is more effective. It is the traditional method and easiest of all. Sliced lemon can be rubbed over the stained area of the copper item to get rid of stains from it.

  • Tip 2: Add salt for a little scrubbing action
    Lemon and salt can also be used together as salt helps in the scrubbing process. Also, lemon and salt are easily available in every household. Slice lemon into two. Apply some salt over the fleshy side of the half sliced lemon. Rub it over the stained copper item. If the stain is light, within a few minutes it will come out. If the stain is too stubborn, it would be beneficial to leave the lemon and salt solution on the stain for at least 1 hour. One can also create a solution of lemon juice and salt. Dip a small portion of cleaning cloth in the solution and rub on the stained area. This technique is particularly useful to get rid of stains from delicate jewellery. Once the stain gets removed, clean the piece with warm water to get rid of all the salt and lemon juice. Dry it properly with a clean towel.

  • Tip 3: Cleaning inside of the copper bottle
    If the aim is to get rid of stains from inside of the bottle, one has to follow a slightly different method. Squeeze half a lemon in the bottle. Or else can add some vinegar to it. Also, add some salt to it. Cover the bottle with lid. Shake the bottle so that the solution runs through the entire length of the bottle. If the stains are stubborn, shake every few minutes and then rinse the bottle with warm water. One will find the bottle clean and stain-free from inside.

  • Tip 4: Vinegar and salt
    In case lemons or limes are not available in the home, one can make use of vinegar from the kitchen shelf. Create a solution by adding two parts of vinegar to one part of salt. Mix it properly until all of the salt dissolves in vinegar. Use a clean cloth to dip in the solution and rub it gently over stained copper utensil. If it is a delicate jewellery piece, a cotton ball or a soft toothbrush can be dipped in the solution. Cloth may not reach the inside of grooved surfaces. Thus, bristles of toothbrushes and cotton balls are easier to take away the stain from such pieces. Also, in the case of dents and grooves present on other copper items, bristles do more efficient cleaning. If the jewellery is very delicate and expensive, it is better to create a solution of water and salt. Do not use vinegar for the purpose. Once the stain is removed, wash with warm water and dry the utensil or other items.

  • Tip 5: Baking soda
    Baking soda on its own can get rid of black patina from copper items. When used in combination with lemon juice or vinegar, it proves to be effective in dissolving stubborn stains from the items. Simply wet the copper item and put some baking soda over it. Gently scrub it over the stains. Otherwise, prepare a solution by combining baking soda with lemon juice or vinegar and pour the solution over the stained area. Scrub a little and let the solution sit on stains for half an hour which should be followed by some more scrubbing. This method can effectively dissolve rigid stains from the copper vessels and other copper items.

  • Tip 6: Boiling method
    Vinegar and salt can effectively remove stains from copper items. However, certain stains are difficult to get rid of. In such situations, it is effective to use the boiling method. Add around 1 cup of vinegar, 3 cups of warm water and 1tbsp of salt to a container. Stir well so that the ingredients get well combined. Size of the container depends on the size of the copper vessel or item from which the stains have to be removed. The container should be large enough to immerse copper vessel or other copper items. Immerse the copper item in the container. The stained area should be well immersed in the solution. If necessary, double the size of the ingredients.

    Turn the gas on and let the solution boil. However, do not over boil it. Boiling it for 10-15 minutes is more than enough. Slowly one can notice the stain from copper item getting faded from the area, and soon the solution starts getting discoloured as the black patina enters into it. Let the copper item stay in the solution for half an hour which will enable it to cool down. Do not remove it from the hot solution. Hot copper may burn hands. Take a clean and dry towel. Clean the copper item with it until it is dry. Apply a little pressure to get rid of any residual stains from the surface.

  • Tip 7: Acidic scrub
    Tomato ketchup is easily available in every household. As it is acidic, it can effectively get rid of black patina from copper items. Why not use it to let the copper vessel shine and turn it into a brand new? Take a paper napkin or a clean waste cloth. Dip it in tomato ketchup and rub on the black patina. If stains are stubborn, let the ketchup sit on them for half an hour before wiping the areas clean. To make the process more effective, one can also add a little amount of salt which will help in scrubbing and dissolving of stains. Larger the area of the stain, more amount of ketchup will be required. After half an hour, scrub a little and wash the item with warm running water. Do not leave any ketchup on the stained area. After washing, dry the item properly.

    Alternatively, tamarind can also be used for the same purpose. Soak some tamarind in water. After some time, mash it by pressing the tamarind and prepare a pulpy thick solution. Take a paper towel or cloth. Soak it in tamarind solution and rub it over the stained area. Stains will easily get removed from the copper item. Later wash the item with warm water and dry it. It is an easy method to keep copper containers free from stain. Regularly wash copper vessels with this solution to keep them sparkling new and prevent formation of stubborn stains on them.

More articles: Copper cleaning


Author: K Mohan08 Oct 2020 Member Level: Platinum   Points : 2

I really liked the simple tips mentioned to maintain the copper containers clean and going. Normally we use the copper containers occasionally and the usage of steel containers or aluminium containers would be more in every home. What I have seen is that in joint families in which more family members are residing would certainly have the big copper containers and these tips can certainly be used by them for long-lasting life of such utensils.

  • Do not include your name, "with regards" etc in the comment. Write detailed comment, relevant to the topic.
  • No HTML formatting and links to other web sites are allowed.
  • This is a strictly moderated site. Absolutely no spam allowed.
  • Name: