How to Clean Copper

Copper is a beautiful metal. Its beauty, however, happens to be vulnerable to the effects of nature. Therefore, copper requires a high degree of care and attention to maintain its brilliance. Keep reading for an ingenious way to keep your copper belongings nice and clean for years to come, or to restore old pieces to their former corrosion-free splendor.

copper plant stand
credit: Sarah Dorsey

Things You Need

  • Salt
  • Vinegar
  • Flour
  • Warm water
  • Drying towel

Step 1

Combine a mixture of one teaspoon salt, one cup vinegar and flour (as much as needed to form a paste).

Step 2

Apply the paste liberally to the copper items you're cleaning.

Step 3

Allow the paste to sit for a while for maximum effect — no less than 15 minutes. For items that have been neglected for years or have high levels of corrosion, a longer period of time is recommended (up to one hour).

Step 4

Rinse away a small area of the paste to test its effectiveness. Determine whether a longer period of time is needed: If the copper below is bright and shiny, rinse the entire item with warm water; if not, allow the paste to sit longer to complete the cleaning process.

Step 5

Dry each copper item thoroughly to maximize the time between necessary cleanings. The end result should be a nice, clean, corrosion-free, copper shine.