Copper Cleaning Hacks

I have some copper pots and a strainer that are just plain dingy looking. I decided to try a bunch of copper cleaning hacks to see what would work best to clean it.

Time: 15 MinutesCost: $2Difficulty: Easy
  • copper cleaning hacks
Let's start with the top 3 winners!

Salt, Vinegar, and Flour - In a bowl I mixed together 1 cup vinegar, 1 Tablespoon salt, and added flour mixing it together to make a paste. Mine was a bit runny as you can tell. I let it sit on the copper for 1 hour. You could almost see it working immediately though.
  • copper cleaning hacks
Once the hour was up I rinsed it off and look how clean it was!
  • copper cleaning hacks
Boil Method - In a pot 1 cup vinegar, 1 Tablespoon salt, and add water to fill the pot so that the copper is covered.
  • copper cleaning hacks
Bring to a boil and place the copper in the mixture.
  • copper cleaning hacks
It will depend on how much tarnish is on the copper to determine how long it will need to sit, but over all it didn't take long at all. I think mine only was in there 30 seconds or less.
  • copper cleaning hacks
Lemon Juice & Salt Paste - I poured about 1 Tablespoon into a bowl, added salt and mixed until I created a paste. I used a scrub pad to scoop up the mixture and made circular motions on the bottom of the pan.
  • copper cleaning hacks
After it was as clean as I could get it, I rinsed it off and wiped it dry.
  • copper cleaning hacks
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.
  • copper cleaning hacks
I rubbed at 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.
  • copper cleaning hacks
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.
  • copper cleaning hacks
Regular Toothpaste - I rubbed on regular toothpaste with a soft cloth. I rinsed it off and sadly it again showed a little change but not a lot.
  • copper cleaning hacks
My favorite to the test: I was ready to do my copper strainer. I decided my favorite was the salt, vinegar, and flour mixture.
  • copper cleaning hacks
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.
  • copper cleaning hacks
This technique made it sparkle again and it was so easy to do.

*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.

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  • Tikva Morrow
    Tikva Morrow
    on Apr 25, 2018

    Wow, I've never heard of the salt/vinegar/flour trick! Using that for sure!! Thanks for sharing, Chas :)

      • Chas
        Chas Fort Collins, CO
        on Apr 25, 2018

        Thanks Tikva! I hadn't either, but I'm sure glad I found it - by far my favorite! Wait until you see the video coming soon - the instant changing is pretty amazing to watch. :)

      • Hilda
        Hilda Australia
        on Apr 28, 2018

        Hi, I clean my the copper base of my pans with salt and vinegar or salt and lemon juice. They come up really good.