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The Best Way To Clean Copper Hardware
Copper is easily susceptible to rust and tarnishes from exposure to oxygen, dirt, finger oil, moisture, and grease that can blacken its reddish-orange surface. Monthly cleanings using eco-friendly natural cleaners are recommended to restore your copper item to its original appearance and luster.
Using acid to clean your copper ignites a chemical reaction that dissolves any copper oxide on surfaces. Try sprinkling salt on half of a lemon and rub it on the item, or mix lemon juice, salt, and non-iodized cornstarch or baking soda to form a cleaning paste and apply with a soft sponge.
Acidic tomato paste, ketchup, or spaghetti sauce can also clean copper without scratching its surface, but it can sometimes leave a salmon tinge on your hardware. You can simply dip the dirty item into a pan that’s full of your tomato product, or try using Worcestershire or soy sauce for the same effect.
You can also boil your copper item in water with white vinegar and a tablespoon of salt or create a cleaning solution with one tablespoon of ammonia and a pint of water — finish with a thin layer of wax or oil to protect your item's patina. Never put copper in a dishwasher or soak it in water overnight, and don't let it air dry.