Head To The Fridge Next Time You Need To Polish Your Copper Pots

A new set of sparkling copper pots and pans offers a great, warm alternative to the cold and sometimes sterile look of standard stainless steel. The reddish metal adds a bright pop of color to your kitchen, and cookware made of this material is pretty versatile. Excellent at conducting heat, these pans cook your food more evenly. Best of all, copper pans are fairly easy to maintain, though they should be cleaned after each use. About twice a year, you'll also want to polish them. Fortunately, you probably already have an item in your home that will save you a trip to the hardware store and money on expensive copper polish. All you will need is a container of plain yogurt to keep your pans looking good as new.

While copper can add a fresh look to your kitchen aesthetic, these pots and pans, like other copper items in your house, require some upkeep. Over time, as the copper interacts with oxygen, the surface will oxidize, leading to a coating of brown tarnish on the surface of the pans. Polishing them every six months or so will prevent the tarnish from building up. So head to your refrigerator and grab a fresh container of yogurt to get started on restoring the beauty of your copper pans.

How to use yogurt to polish your copper cookware

Using plain yogurt to polish tarnished copper cookware enables you to restore its shine without investing significant time, money, or effort. To start, rinse the copper pot with warm water to remove any loose dirt or debris. This will ensure that the yogurt can work directly on the tarnished surface. Dry the pot with a soft towel to remove all of the moisture.

Next, take a small amount of plain yogurt and apply it directly to the tarnished portions of the copper pot with a gentle circular motion. Use your fingers or a soft cloth to spread the yogurt evenly across all affected areas. Then, allow it to rest for at least 30 minutes. Once the yogurt has sat on the pot long enough, wipe it off with a soft cloth, buffering the surface to reveal the shine. Rinse any remaining yogurt off and dry completely before using it to cook.

While you won't need to repeat this process every day or even every week, twice a year can help restore the warm, bold color of your copper cookware. If polishing and cleaning your copper pots and pans doesn't fit into your routine, it is safe to cook on tarnished copper. The layer of tarnish just means the surfaces have oxidized.

Why yogurt works well as a polish

Using yogurt to polish your copper may seem like an old wives' tale, but there is some science behind the magic. When you use plain yogurt on copper pans, the lactic acid in the yogurt helps remove the dull brown or green layer, known as the tarnish, from the copper. Copper becomes dull over time because the oxygen in the air interacts with the metal on the pans, forming copper oxide. The lactic acid in the yogurt breaks down this dull layer and makes it easier to wash away, revealing the shiny copper surface underneath. The creamy texture of yogurt also helps to scrub off the tarnish without hurting the copper.

Another great reason for utilizing plain yogurt to clean copper pans is due to its advantages, both environmentally and financially. Unlike commercial copper polishers that often contain harsh chemicals, yogurt is a natural, biodegradable substance, making it an eco-friendly option. It doesn't pose the same risks to the environment or the individual handling it as some more potent acids might. Financially, yogurt is a cost-effective alternative to purchasing specialized copper cleaning products. Instead of spending money on chemical-laden polishes, yogurt offers a cheaper solution, reducing expenses while providing an effective cleaning method for maintaining the shine of copper pans. Plus, you can pick up yogurt during your weekly shopping at the market. Thus, polishing your copper cookware with yogurt is an excellent option for the environment and your wallet.