Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Tuesday--Copper Cleaning Tip

Here are a few tips I've found for cleaning copper. Of course, if you have an antique piece and it is just for show be very careful. In that case, I would not recommend using the one that requires the use of steel wool, or at least try it in an inconspicuous place first.

Cleaning Copper:
  • Polish with Bar Keepers Friend and fine steel wool. Use plenty of elbow grease. Keep the kettles extra bright by washing well with soap and water after polishing.
  • Dip half a lemon in kosher salt and rub well. Then polish with a soft cloth and beeswax for a deep, lasting copper shine.
  • Table salt and vinegar remove oxidation from copper.
  • Salt, Vinegar, and Flour. Dissolve 1 teaspoon salt in 1 cup white vinegar. Add enough flour to make a paste. Apply the paste to copper and let sit for 15 minutes to 1 hour. Rinse with clean warm water, and polish dry.
  • Lemon and Salt or Baking Soda. Make a paste of lemon juice and salt, and rub with a soft cloth, rinse with water, and dry. Or use a slice of lemon sprinkled with baking soda. Rub copper with the lemon slice and rinse with water and dry. Vinegar and Salt. Pour vinegar over the surface Sprinkle salt over the acid and rub in the mixture. Rinse with warm water and polish dry.
  • Lemon Juice and Cream of Tartar. Make a paste of lemon juice and cream of tartar. Apply, leave on for 5 minutes, and then wash in warm water. Dry with a soft cloth.

Another tip I found was to polish copper, rub an ample amount of catsup on the copper and let it stand for 5 minutes. Rinse off the catsup with hot water and dry to find an incredible shine.

However, only use that on the bottom of copper pans or outside of tea kettles because I also came across the following information.

Copper Utensils with copper interiors should never be used for acidic foods, with pH of 6.0 or below, since toxic compounds can form if food is cooked, stored or served from such containers. Even if copper pans are lined with tin, they should not be used for acidic foods such as fruits, fruit juices, salad dressings, tomatoes, vinegar containing foods, etc. Copper bowls may be used for beating egg whites, or copper kettles for cooking high sugar foods like fudge, for these foods are alkaline. Utensils with copper on the bottom or outside, and stainless steel, aluminum, or a porcelain enamel interior finish are safe to use and conduct heat well.

Avoid high heat which discolors copper bottoms.

It is just amazing the amount of information you can find, about a single subject, on the Internet. Sometimes I it's a bit hard to find an answer for my question. However I often find if I change one word or drop a word from my query that I will find answers somewhat relevant to my search and, in fact, it often leads me to another link that will have my answer.

Happy Tuesday!

Jill Marie

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