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

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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?
  17 answers
  • Tammy Kelleher Tammy Kelleher on Jul 02, 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 LandlightS on Jul 02, 2013
    Go to your local Ace or big box store and look for "Brasso" it will work wonders. Gary

  • Linda Stone Linda Stone on Jul 02, 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 Shari on Jul 02, 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 Save Graves on Aug 04, 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 Sia@South 47th on Aug 04, 2013
    @Save Graves Try Plain ole tomato ketchup. Has worked for me for decades. xo

  • 6ft1003592 6ft1003592 on Jul 30, 2015
    Cigar or cigarette ashes

  • Daisy'smum Daisy'smum on Feb 07, 2016
    Think I read about using a lemon, rubbed on.

  • CAROL CAROL on Feb 07, 2016
    i too have used ketchup on my good copper bracelet....rinse and buff...sparkles..

  • Jeannette Jeannette on Feb 16, 2016
    Just saw someone on here using ketchup for that.

  • Tzippora Tzippora on Aug 17, 2016
    Citric acid (also known as lemon salt or sour salt) works well with hot water and a sponge.

  • Cyndy Coy Cyndy Coy on Dec 30, 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 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 Lt_8380578 on Jan 02, 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. Sherry H. on Jan 03, 2017
    If these ideas, go to Home Depot and ask. They will tell you.

  • Melody Smith Melody Smith on Jan 04, 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 Lindy on Jan 09, 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 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!