Are you struggling to remove copper tarnish? Don’t let the stink of Brasso and the bad reputation of copper tarnish stop you from owing gorgeous natural copper pots and pans. Give the elbow grease and the chemicals the shove, and get your copper gleaming in less than an hour with this easy, cheap and effective 3 ingredient paste. You will be amazed!!
The lure of copper, and the fear of tarnish
Like many, I have always loved the look of copper pots and pans hanging in a cottage kitchen. They are one of those special items that contribute equally to beauty and function, which helps remove some of the guilt about the cost! I am yet to commit to copper pots or pans for my own kitchen, but would love to in the future.
One thing that makes some homeowners apprehensive about copper, is its reputation for being high maintenance. The expectation that one will be constantly polishing to keep the lovely shine, lest the tarnish will set in and ruin the item forever!
This is so untrue though! Copper is so easy to maintain, and for a very small amount of effort you get such a special, natural warmth that is impossible to fake.
My solid copper Fowler’s Preserving Unit
For a long time, I have coveted the old solid copper Fowler’s preserving pots. I have seen many times that people have stripped back the paint and polished the copper. They are divine! I have owned one for a while, one that I purchased with the intention of stripping and polishing. But I just have not had the heart to do it. Even though they are relatively common, and the polished copper would be so beautiful, I just couldn’t do it – I would be essentially destroying an antique. I came up with the idea of offering my unit up for a swap, my very good original condition unit, for a similar unit in very bad condition. My theory being that stripping back a unit that is already “destroyed” would be much more like a restoration!
After searching for a few weeks, I got incredibly lucky and was able to make a swap with a local collector. She had a solid copper unit identical to mine, with almost no paint left on it, and did not have the unit that I had in her collection. So I got my copper unit to polish up, and she added a good quality original to her collection. It was an amazing win-win.
The unit had been hanging about in a shed for many years, so was very tarnished. But as I said above, this is such an easy fix! In less than an hour, the unit was gleaming and so so beautiful!!
3 ingredients and half an hour to gleaming perfection
The most common product most people go to when looking to remove copper tarnish is good old Brasso. But there is a much, much better product you can use! And you likely have it already in your pantry.
So what’s the secret?
That’s it! You will not believe how effective such an innocent combination is!
- Mix about a cup of vinegar, two handfuls of salt, and enough flour to make it a paste – about toothpaste consistency is perfect.
- Smear that onto the copper and let it sit for a minute or five.
- Scrape it off and watch the tarnish go with it. It almost feels like magic!
- Give it a wipe with a cloth and redo any stubborn patches if necessary, then go ahead and give it a polish.
You can use Brasso for the polish if you like, but another great natural pantry staple that will do a great job is Tomato Sauce (ketchup). Give it a try – the acidity in the sauce is fantastic for the copper and polishes it up as well as any commercial alternative.
it’s so easy to remove copper tarnish!
If you have some copper to clean up, and you don’t want to stink your house out with Brasso or spend hours rubbing and buffing, try this. I promise you will be amazed at how easy it is, and how absolutely stunning the results will be.
Let me know if you try this – I would love to hear your success story!
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