Clean antique copper by using soft, lint-free cloths to rub the piece to be cleaned with water and mild soap. Some experts also recommend copper polishes, such as Red Bear or Copper Brite.
Mix a small amount of mild soap and water in a bucket, and just moisten the cloth with the solution. Wipe away dust and dirt with the cloth. When the piece has been wiped down, rinse it with clean water. Dry the piece right away, as water can leave spots.
The owner may also want to polish the copper piece. Copper Brite is especially good at removing burned spots, according to Martha Stewart's website. Another way to polish copper is to create a solution of lemon juice or white vinegar and some coarse salt. A soft brush is dipped in the solution and is used to polish the metal. Another chemical used to clean copper is the phosphoric acid found in fizzy drinks. Copper can also be cleaned with abrasive papers made of fine or very fine grades of silicone carbide.
An item of antique copper is more red than pink. A pink color means that the copper is new. After the copper is cleaned and polished, it is extremely bright but returns to its usual hue after a few days.