Asked on Jul 2, 2013

Does anyone know how to clean a copper cauldron/Kettle?

KimLindyMelody Smith


I have a large copper cauldron used by my father to make apple butter --hung over a fire pit? I would like to clean/shine it up to turn it into a side table? Does anyone have any ideas what would get the carbon off the bottom without damaging the copper?
19 answers
  • Tammy Kelleher
    on Jul 2, 2013

    I have used clean copper bottomed pots and pans with a combination of salt, vinegar, and some elbow grease, but it does scratch... :/ good luck... There are on the shelf products in the cleaning aisle of must grocery stores and hardware stores are likely to carry something that will do the job...

  • LandlightS
    on Jul 2, 2013

    Go to your local Ace or big box store and look for "Brasso" it will work wonders. Gary

  • Linda Stone
    on Jul 2, 2013

    Try toothpaste, but not the 'gel' kind. Rub all over the item and then use a soft cloth to remove the toothpaste and rub until the copper shines. I have used this on brass as well. Works like a charm.

  • Shari
    on Jul 3, 2013

    When I was a teenager, it was my job to wash dishes after dinner, which included cleaning the copper bottoms of my mom's Revereware pots and pans each time she used them. We used "Copper Glo" (which is a Barkeeper's Friend product). It worked well, with minimal scrubbing. I assume it is still available in stores but since I had my fill of cleaning copper years ago, I definitely have no desire to own anything copper now.

  • Save Graves
    on Aug 4, 2013

    I just tried Brasso on an apple butter old kettle but didn't really work. Will try the other suggestions now

  • Sia@South 47th
    on Aug 4, 2013

    @Save Graves Try Plain ole tomato ketchup. Has worked for me for decades. xo

  • 6ft1003592
    on Jul 30, 2015

    Cigar or cigarette ashes

  • Daisy'smum
    on Feb 7, 2016

    Think I read about using a lemon, rubbed on.

    on Feb 7, 2016

    i too have used ketchup on my good copper bracelet....rinse and buff...sparkles..

  • Jeannette
    on Feb 17, 2016

    Just saw someone on here using ketchup for that.

  • Tzippora
    on Aug 17, 2016

    Citric acid (also known as lemon salt or sour salt) works well with hot water and a sponge.

  • Anderson Michael
    on Oct 28, 2016

    Make Your Kettle Clean Up And Shine With Citric Acid Lemon Salt" target="_blank">

  • Anderson Michael
    on Oct 28, 2016

    Make Your Kettle Clean Up And Shine With Citric Acid Lemon Salt" target="_blank">

  • Cyndy Coy
    on Dec 31, 2016

    Melissa, did you ever end up making a table out of your cauldron? I have one and am curious what you ended up doing.
    • Kim
      on Mar 26, 2017

      I have one too that I would like to make a table out of.
      Did you make one?
  • Lt_8380578
    on Jan 3, 2017

    Lemon juice cleans copper beautifully. I have a copper mixing bowl that I spread a thin layer of ketchup on, let sit for an hour, wipe with cloth, buff. Viola
  • Sherry H.
    on Jan 3, 2017

    If these ideas, go to Home Depot and ask. They will tell you.
  • Melody Smith
    on Jan 4, 2017

    apple cider vinegar and salt its like magic pour on vinegar and then salt let sit and then scrub with a chore boy

  • Lindy
    on Jan 9, 2017

    There is a special copper cleaner on the market that I have used for years and would highly recommend. Wrights Copper Cleaner is not like the ketchup/salt method which I have also used, but by golly the stuff works fast and takes the stains from high heat cooking such as what you mentioned off easily. It contains citric acid and ammonium chloride so should not be harmful to anyone. Once you clean it up I would recommend spraying with a good coat of clear sealer to prevent tarnish.
  • Kim
    on Mar 26, 2017

    How are you going to make a side table out of it? I have one but don't know what I will do to make it a table. Thanks!
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