If you want to know how to clean copper jewelry properly with everyday household items, stick around as our blog is focused on all things copper today. You will learn how to remove green oxide tarnish on copper and how to improve the overall appearance of both copper jewelry and copper-ware, should you have at home. These cleaning guidelines are also applicable to different types of copper-ware like pans and mugs.
1. Cleaning Copper Jewelry with Lemon Juice
Natural lemon is one of the earliest cleaning methods for copper jewelry and copperware. Lemons were common and ubiquitous, and therefore, it made a lot of sense to use them for cleaning a lot of things, not just copper. Lemon can also be used to clean a variety of other metals, not just copper.
Use lemon for brassware and brass jewelry, as well as sterling silver. It is an effective cleanser, and you will notice immediate and often spectacular changes to how to the copper looks when you introduce lemon.
To clean copper jewelry with lemon, you will need a nonreactive bowl, regular salt, and a few lemons.
Depending on how many copper jewelry you are planning to clean, you may need just one lemon or several of them. Cut your lemon in halves and squeeze out as much juice from the fruit halves as possible. Add salt to the lemon. The ratio of salt to lemon juice is 25% salt, 75% lemon juice. Salt is also an excellent cleaner, and even though most of it will dissolve in the juice, it will add some natural abrasive power that will help remove most of the grime and patina from the copper jewelry.
Mix the salt and the lemon juice well with your fingers until the salt becomes well-incorporated with the lemon juice. Take a toothbrush or a cleaning cloth and saturate the brush or cloth with lemon juice mixture. Scrub the surface of the copper jewelry and do so until you see the green coming off.
Sometimes the patina of copper jewelry is multicolored. Metals react differently to catalysts floating around in the air.
Take note that in some instances, if the salt granules are too hard, they may end up marring the surface of the copper jewelry or copperware. Avoid this problem by first dissolving the salt in the lemon juice. In some instances, people sprinkle salt onto lemon slices or lemon halves, and they use the fruit directly on the copper jewelry. This might work, and there is certainly nothing wrong with the approach. However, if the jewelry is small, you might have a tough time cleaning the more hidden parts.
2. With Worcestershire Sauce
The mild acidic components of Worcestershire sauce can help remove tarnishing from copper. If you have some extra Worcestershire sauce at home and don’t mind using it as a cleaning agent, follow these steps.
First, apply the Worcestershire sauce across the surface of the copper item. The same goes if you are cleaning any copperware or copper kitchenware. When the copper jewelry or copperware’s surface is coated, allow the Worcestershire sauce to dry out. This will cause the sauce to form a thin film over the surface of the jewelry.
Using a moist cloth, rub the jewelry’s surface until you see the tarnish coming off with the dried Worcestershire sauce. Take note that this is only effective when the surface is soaked, so if you need the jewelry to lighten a bit more, you have to repeat the soaking process.
After clearing the patina with Worcestershire sauce, simply wash the jewelry with warm water and some soap. Use mild dish soap only. Dry with a towel and allow to air-dry before bringing your copper jewelry back to their organizer.
3. With Vinegar
Full-strength or pure white vinegar is another excellent copper cleaner that needs more credit than it is currently getting right now.
People think that pure white vinegar is only fantastic for cleaning floors and tiles, but it can also help remove the pesky patina off of copperware and copper jewelry. To create the perfect vinegar cleaner for copper jewelry, simply combine a cup of full-strength white vinegar with two tablespoons of salt. Stir everything for a quarter of a minute.
Place all your copper jewelry in the cup and allow the jewelry to soak for about thirty minutes. After thirty minutes, you have two choices. You can gently scrub the copper jewelry with a toothbrush, some water, and soap or rinse immediately. After rinsing, pat your jewelry dry and air-dry thoroughly. Never store jewelry that is still moist after any kind of cleaning.
4. With Ketchup
Ketchup, like Worcestershire sauce, has acidic components that work well with removing tarnish. The method of application is identical to Worcestershire sauce. Smother the copper jewelry with ketchup and allow the ketchup to do its magic for fifteen minutes or more.
When the ketchup has dried out a little, gently use a clean cloth or soft brush to remove the patina from the surface. The patina will lift off quickly if it has been soaked for at least a quarter of an hour. This makes ketchup ideal if you only have time for quick cleaning of your jewelry.
After scrubbing, wash the jewelry with soap to make sure that you get any leftover ketchup. Rinse with warm water thoroughly and dry with a paper towel or a microfiber cleaning cloth.
5. With Baking Soda
Baking soda can be used purely, or it can be paired with full-strength white vinegar. The vinegar will serve as the activator of the baking soda. To clean with baking soda, combine three or four tablespoons of baking soda with spritzes of water. Allow a stable baking soda paste to form. Apply this paste on and around the copper jewelry. Scrub the surface with a soft toothbrush afterward.