How Do You Clean Severely Tarnished Copper?


Quick Answer

To clean severely tarnished copper, apply a hot solution of distilled white vinegar, water and salt over the surface, allow the solution to cool, and wipe the surface with a soft cloth. If the tarnish persists, rub the surface with baking soda, then wash it with castile soap.

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Full Answer

  1. Prepare the solution

    Mix 1 cup distilled white vinegar, 3 cups water and 1 tablespoon of salt. Boil the mixture.

  2. Apply the solution

    Soak a cotton cloth with the solution and use the soaked cloth to apply the hot solution over the entire surface of the tarnished copper until the surface is saturated with the solution. Allow the solution to cool, and wipe it off with a soft cloth. Repeat the process as needed until the tarnish disappears.

  3. Apply baking soda to the stubborn tarnish

    Sprinkle baking soda on a soft cloth, and rub the cloth over the copper surface to loosen the tarnish. Alternatively, apply the baking soda onto a lemon wedge, and repeatedly rub away the tarnish with the wedge until the metal is free of tarnish. Once clean, use a soft cloth to wash the surface with castile soap, then rinse it with clean water. Finally, blot the metal dry with a clean towel.

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