3 Homemade Solutions for Cleaning Copper Ware

Summary: Copper tarnishing is a common problem with things made of copper. The green grime on edges or black spots makes the copper articles look bad. But the common belief that impurity causes it completely wrong. Pure copper reacts with water to form oxides which are the reason for the tarnish and spots. Hence alloys of copper like Brass take longer to tarnish. Generally metal clears containing VOC (Volatile organic compounds) like Formaldehyde are used to clean the copper articles. But these chemicals are harmful for human health. Many things present in home like lemon and salt can be used to clean copper effectively. 3 simple methods are illustrated in this article. Try them to clean your favorite copper ware.
Copper vessels will tarnish over a period of time developing spots of oxidation. This is generally confused as the copper being adulterated. In fact, pure copper will tarnish quicker than impure ones. The reason is the chemical reaction between copper and the moisture (water) in the air. This is the reason copper utensils takes longer to tarnish in dry countries like Saudi Arabia, where moisture content of air is pretty low. The tarnish removes the shine of copper and the copper ware will look old. So, to restore the shine generally metal cleaning chemicals packaged as tarnish removers are used. These tarnish and stain removers contain harmful chemicals which can be detrimental for health. There are many homemade cleaners that are right in everyone’s kitchen. You just need to be aware of the ingredients and cleaning copper articles is as easy as drinking water. 
Most of the products that are available in the market for cleaning copper contain formaldehyde. Formaldehyde is known to release fumes which cause irritation in the respiratory system, and can be the reason for short term and long term health issues. The various problems that can occur are asthma, allergy, nausea, damage of kidneys and liver and even the deadly cancer. Hence using natural elements to clean copper prevents exposure to these harmful chemicals.

Tomato Sauce/ketchup or salt and Vinegar – The easiest way to effectively clean copper ware is to use common ingredients found in the refrigerator. Tomato sauce is a great copper cleaner. The method of cleaning is very easy. Just rub some tomato sauce/ketchup over the stains using a soft cotton cloth and then rinse. You will get a nice shine following the cleaning. If you want to clean the whole copper surface vinegar and salt are a better option. You need to make a solution before cleaning. Boil 90 ml water with 30 ml white vinegar with a table spoon of salt to make the cleaning mixture. Use a soft cotton cloth to rub the mixture all over the surface. Let the surface cool and wipe with a dry soft cloth to get shining copper surface. East isn’t it?
Lemon and Salt or corn starch salt and lemon paste – For cleaning specific areas and bends salt and lemon is the best option. It does not require preparing a solution. Just slice one lemon and rub it over the surface. Now take some salt and rub after the lemon. Wash and rinse the surface to get the shine back and the tarnish gone. If want to have a polished surface use the corn starch, salt and lemon paste. Mix equal parts of corn starch, lemon and salt to make the polishing paste. Now apply all over the surface of the copper utensil. Rinse and clean with mild soap and warm water to get the strong polish.
Baking Soda and lemon juice– Sodium Bicarbonate commonly known as Baking Soda is another cleaning agent for copper. Mix some lemon juice in the baking soda to make a paste and apply all over and rinse with warm water. If the tarnish is deep use only dry baking soda. Sprinkle it over the surface and rub with lemon peel to get best results.

These homemade solutions are not only cost effective but keep you away from harmful fumes of commonly used Copper cleaners. Try the methods to see that it is effective and healthy way to clean copper articles.


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