Do you want to know how to clean copper pans? Do you want to know how to clean copper pieces and polish copper without using harsh chemicals found in traditional copper cleaners? We all know copper tarnishes and can be difficult to clean. This has been on my kitchen to-do list for quite some time. I have some copper pots and a strainer that have stubborn stains and are just plain dingy-looking. I decided to try a bunch of DIY methods for cleaning copper, using natural ingredients, to see what would work best. It doesn’t have to stop with cleaning copper pots and copper cookware, you can use these techniques to clean other copper items as well.
Let’s get started on how to clean copper Pans.
Here are the top 3 winners!
Salt, Vinegar, and Flour – In a bowl I mixed together 1 cup of vinegar, 1 Tablespoon of salt, and added flour, mixing it together to make a polishing paste. Mine was a bit runny as you can see. I spread it on the entire surface and let it sit on the copper for 1 hour. Because of the chemical reaction, you could almost see it working on the surface of the copper immediately.
Once the hour was up I rinsed it off with warm water and the good news was it made my pots shine without a bit of elbow grease! The combination of the weak acids of the vinegar and the gentle abrasive of the salt really tackled the tough stains on my copper.
Boil Method – In a pot mix 1 cup of white vinegar, 1 Tablespoon salt, and add water to fill the pot so that the copper surface is covered.
Bring to a boil and place the copper in the mixture.
The amount of time you need to let it sit, will depend on how much tarnish is on the copper. It didn’t take long at all for mine, 30 seconds or less..
Lemon Juice & Salt Paste – I poured about 1 Tablespoon of lemon juice into a bowl, added table salt and mixed until I created a paste. I used a scrub pad to scoop up the mixture and rubbed the copper bottoms in a circular motion.
After it was as clean as I could get it, I rinsed it off and wiped it dry.
Here’s what didn’t work…
Ketchup/Tomato Sauce – I spread ketchup on the left side and tomato sauce on the right. I let it sit for 15 minutes.
I scrubbed both sides after the 15 minutes, and rinsed it off. The ketchup did a little work but the tomato sauce didn’t really do anything to the surface of the pan.
Lime – I rubbed a lime all over the copper for several minutes and it might have gotten a little lighter but overall I was not impressed.
Regular Toothpaste – I rubbed on regular toothpaste with a soft, clean rag. I rinsed it off and sadly it again showed a little change but not a lot.
My favorite to the test: I was ready to do my copper strainer. I decided my favorite was the salt, vinegar, and flour mixture.
I coated the strainer with the mixture, and you could see it working immediately. I let it sit for an hour and rinsed it off.
This technique made it sparkle again and it was by far the easiest way to clean any copper item!
*With all of the techniques there were a few dark spots left behind. I’m not sure what those are but I could not get some of them to budge for a perfect finish.
So now that you have seen the best way in my opinion, here are some other tips:
- Use a clean cloth, and it can be a dry cloth or a microfiber cloth.
- Make sure to remove all of the food particles and food residue and start with clean pots by washing them with mild dish soap and warm soapy water.
- Use high heat with the white distilled vinegar to make sure the water and vinegar are boiling for best results.
- YOu can use coarse salt or baking soda instead of table salt to get rid of the copper oxide.
- Some people like to use bar keepers friend or wright’s copper cream, I just prefer to stick with more natural ingredients.
- I haven’t had luck with tomato paste.
- Yes, this can clean more than copper kitchenware like copper pipes, copper sinks,
- Depending on how bad things are it can be really difficult to get all of the black spots off.
- You can use a lemon half or fresh lemon with the salt method instead of lemon juice if you prefer.
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How To Clean Copper Pans Video
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