The Easy Way To Clean And Polish Copper

2 Materials
15 Minutes
I love adding copper to our fall decor. It adds a fun pop of shine and the color is perfect for the season. When I was at the thrift store a few weeks ago, I found some amazing copper pieces to add to my new wood tray for our coffee table. The only problem was that the copper pieces had lost their shimmer and shine. I still liked them but I needed to bring their luster back and I found the easiest way to do it.
Lemon and salt. Kitchen staples were the easiest method I found for reviving the copper. I tried so many different ways with the salt and lemon, but in the end, I had the best results in using the two in a certain way.
I made a paste. I then put it on the copper pieces directly. Then, I used the lemon to rub the paste onto the copper.
I let it sit for a bit and then rinsed it with water. I thoroughly dried the pieces. Lastly, they were ready to be styled in the wood tray.
To see more details about this method, check out my blog post:
Suggested materials:
  • Lemon   (grocery store)
  • Salt   (grocery store)
Lindsay Eidahl
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
3 of 7 questions
  • Cel15885537 Cel15885537 on Sep 14, 2017
    I would love to hear from any one who has non stick pans, and how to clean the out side of the pan. Nothing works.

  • Sha12676980 Sha12676980 on Sep 24, 2017
    ive hears baking soda and vinegar works to is this true?

  • Connie Wilkie Connie Wilkie on Oct 08, 2017
    Will this work on copper bottom pans

Join the conversation
3 of 10 comments
  • Trudy Trudy on Oct 03, 2017
    I cleaned a very tarnished headboard with ketchup, it takes less "elbow grease" than salt and a lemon. But it didn't leave it polished, Brasso took care of that part.

    • Elaine Elaine on Oct 08, 2017
      Yes, Trudy, this is what I’m saying in the Question/Answer section above ... somehow, the item lacks the deep glow that comes from using the proper cleaner. Now that said, toothpaste worked great on a silver jug I had. I tried the baking soda/foil method a few times (on silverplate) and found the color of the silver lacked the glow that comes from using the proper cleaner. Same thing with brass. Brasso gives a beautiful deep glow to the finished piece. I have tried ketchup MANY times on my copper items and have no luck at all! I’ll try the lemon and salt method today just as an experiment.

  • Trudy Trudy on Oct 08, 2017
    I use your lemon and salt technique on copper bottom pans or something else that can sit in a sink. The ketchup clung to the headboard, but you have to let it sit for awhile.