How To Clean Copper Jewelry – 6 DIY Methods

Give your ornaments that shine and glitter again with do-it-yourself cleaning ideas.

Reviewed by Michelle Wagman, Fashion Stylist
Written by Shatabdi Bhattacharya
Edited by Asmita De
Fact-checked by Bhumika Daga  • 

Copper jewelry has been worn for centuries and is still a great choice because of its warm color and the anecdotal evidence of how this metal can ease inflammation and pain. However, it can blacken or oxidize over time due to humidity, dust, human touch, and certain chemicals. Have you noticed this, too, and wondered how to clean copper jewelry? A buildup of dirt and grime can tarnish your jewelry and make it look dull if left unattended. Therefore, it is important to store your copper accessories safely and take good care to prevent this.

Check out this article for quick tricks and techniques to clean your copper jewelry easily using home remedies made with household products.

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  • Storage: Always store copper jewelry in an airtight container or zip lock bag in a dry place. You can also add an anti-tarnishing paper or a silica gel packet to absorb moisture and slow down the tarnishing process.
  • Cleaning: Gently clean your copper jewelry and avoid using any harsh chemicals like bleach, ammonia, or abrasive cleaning solutions as it can tarnish them.
  • Styling: Try styling copper jewelry with flowy maxi dresses or wide leg pants to create an aesthetic boho look.
  • Occasion: Opt for copper jewelry like dainty earrings or pendant necklaces to stand out in formal occasions and add a touch of elegance to your cocktail dresses and gowns.

How To Clean Copper Jewelry At Home

Copper jewelry adds an intriguing pop of color to any outfit. However, it is prone to discoloration. Fashion Stylist, Michelle Wagman, adds, “Copper jewelry is made primarily from copper metal, known for its malleability, conductivity, and unique appearance. It may develop a natural patina over time, and regular cleaning is necessary to maintain its appearance.”
Luckily, you can use these home remedies to keep your copper jewelry shiny. Keep scrolling to check them out.

1. Baking Soda And Lemon Juice

Baking soda and lemon juice to clean copper Jewelry
Image: Shutterstock

Baking soda is an excellent non-abrasive cleaner for precious metals, such as copper and silver. It absorbs dirt and grime easily and removes tarnish from jewelry. Having said that, Sara, a YouTuber, demonstrated how to clean copper jewelry with simple home ingredients. She prepared a mixture of lemon juice and salt and immersed the jewelry in it. Discussing results, she says, “As you can see, how in this short amount of time it has brightened up substantially. And this is super-quick, super-cheap, and very effective (i).”


  •  Mix water, a bit of lemon juice, and a tablespoon of baking soda in a bowl.
  •  Soak your copper jewelry in this solution for a few hours or overnight.
  •  Rinse the jewelry thoroughly with water the next day.
  •  Buff the jewelry with a soft toothbrush to remove stains or tarnish. You can also use a soft cloth to rub away any grime or dirt.

2. Vinegar

Vinegar to clean copper Jewelry
Image: Shutterstock

Vinegar is a natural and non-toxic cleaning agent for removing stains and tarnish from your copper jewelry.


  •  Pour some vinegar into a pan and place the jewelry.
  •  Once completely submerged, bring the vinegar up to a simmer on medium heat for five minutes.
  •  Turn off the heat and let the jewelry sit overnight.
  •  Place the jewelry in a bowl of warm water the next day.
  •  Use a toothbrush to scrub off any dirt gently.
  •  Rinse your jewelry thoroughly with cold water and pat dry with a soft cloth so that you do not leave behind any moisture.
protip_icon Quick Tip
Alternatively, you can add a tablespoon of salt to one cup of white vinegar for the best results. Salt reacts with vinegar, and the resulting mildly acidic mixture can effectively remove mineral deposits from jewelry.

3. Lemon Juice And Salt

Lemon Juice and salt to clean copper Jewelry
Image: Shutterstock

Lemon juice works like a natural abrasive without being too harsh on the metal. This method will help clean any dirt from your skin that accumulates on the metal surface.


  •  Mix one tablespoon of salt, one tablespoon of lemon juice, and water in a bowl.
  •  Dip your copper jewelry in this mixture and let it sit for about an hour.
  •  Use a toothbrush to scrub away dirt or sludge from the corners gently.
  •  Rinse the jewelry with warm water and pat dry with a soft cloth before storing it in a cool, dry place.

4. Saltwater

Salt and water to clean copper Jewelry
Image: Shutterstock

Salt is another fantastic cleaning agent that works like an abrasive. It helps remove tarnish and stains on various metals, especially on copper jewelry.


  •  Add some water and enough salt to a pan. Heat it on a low flame until the salt gets dissolved.
  •  Dip your jewelry into this solution and leave it for a few minutes before scrubbing away any sludge.
  •  Rinse your jewelry thoroughly with warm water.
  •  Use a lint-free or microfiber cloth to buff the jewelry and bring back its lost shine.

5. Tomato Ketchup

Tomato ketchup to clean copper Jewelry
Image: Shutterstock

You might be surprised, but ketchup is an excellent choice for cleaning your copper jewelry without any damage.


  •  Squeeze some ketchup on your copper jewelry until it is completely covered.
  •  Rub the jewelry with your fingers, a hard cloth, or a brush until the tarnish disappears.
  •  Rinse it in a bowl of warm water.
  •  Wipe the jewelry thoroughly and let it air dry before storing.

6. Jewelry Polishing Cloth

One of the easiest ways to clean your copper jewelry is by using a polishing cloth. It helps remove tarnish and restores the item’s radiance. The cloth gets rid of any dirt or tarnish that has built up over time. However, read the instructions on how to use it properly. Before putting on your copper jewelry, wipe it with a clean cloth for the best results.

Always clean your copper jewelry at home with a non-abrasive cleaner and soft cloth. Harsh and abrasive cleaners may scratch the metal surface and cause permanent damage. Scroll down to our next section to know more about what to do and avoid while cleaning your copper jewelry.

Dos And Don’ts Of Cleaning Your Precious Copper Jewelry


  •  If you wear your jewelry pieces frequently, wipe them with plain water now and then to avoid any tarnish or buildup of dirt. This will also help prevent the metal from darkening or getting discolored.
  •  Use a soft cotton cloth and some crushed walnut shells to clean your copper jewelry.
  •  Always wipe off any excess dirt or grime from the jewelry before cleaning. Remember, copper is a delicate metal and should not be treated roughly. Apply gentle pressure if you want to keep it in good condition.
  •  Use a clean toothbrush and gently brush it over the stained or tarnished areas. This is a great way to remove dirt without scratching the metal surface.

protip_icon Quick Tip
It is recommended to coat copper jewelry with transparent nail polish to ensure it doesn’t cause any chemical reaction (and turn your skin green as a consequence).

  •  Do not leave your copper jewelry sitting in water for too long as it can damage the metal and cause the design to wear away.
  •  Do not scrub the jewelry with a scouring pad or harsh abrasives.
  •  Do not use chemical cleaners that contain chlorine, acid, ammonia, or lead as they can corrode or damage the metal.
  •  Do not return copper jewelry to store packaging. If it is not exposed to air, moisture can cause color change within a short time.

The best method to keep your copper jewelry beautiful and shiny is to clean it occasionally with lukewarm, soapy water. Then, dry and polish your jewelry with a soft cloth and store it in a zip-lock plastic bag or jewelry case with anti-tarnish paper. Scroll down for more such tips to care for your copper pieces.

How To Care For Your Copper Jewelry

  •  Avoid wearing copper jewelry in water to prevent dust, tarnish, sludge, and bacteria buildup. If the metal gets wet, pat dry it with a soft cloth and keep it away from moisture.
  •  Store your copper jewelry in a cool and dry place to prolong its lifespan.
  •  Apart from cleaning your jewelry with the above methods, you must also invest in a polishing cloth. This will help maintain the shine and integrity of your copper jewelry.

Infographic: 5 DIY Methods To Clean Copper Jewelry

Copper tends to tarnish over time as it comes in contact with air or moisture. Thus, copper jewelry tends to change color over time and needs to be cleaned periodically even if you store it in a cool, dry place. In the following infographic, we have listed a few simple kitchen ingredients that can help you do that. Check it out to learn more!

5 diy methods to clean copper jewelry (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

Save the high-quality PDF version on your device now.

Download Infographic in PDF version Download Infographic
Download Infographic in PDF version

Copper jewelry is eye-catching, long-lasting, and linked to various health advantages. It is a distinctive and accessible option for accessorizing. However, on the negative side, it oxidizes quickly and tends to tarnish. If left neglected, dirt and dust can discolor your jewelry, making it appear rusty and old. The change in appearance affects the reddish-brown metal’s shine and charm, rendering the jewelry unusable. Therefore, it is essential to ensure proper maintenance for your copper jewelry to keep it in pristine condition and avoid the aforementioned issues. Follow the steps outlined in the article to clean your copper jewelry with common home items quickly.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you clean copper with toothpaste?

Yes. Remove any debris from your jewelry by submerging it in water, then gently brush it with a toothbrush and a little toothpaste to restore its shine.

Does Coke clean copper?

Yes. Soaking your copper jewelry in a container with coke for about an hour can help clean it.

Does rubbing alcohol clean copper?

Yes. Rub your jewelry with rubbing alcohol and a soft cloth to clean it.

Key Takeaways

  • Copper jewelry has been adorned since ancient times because of its ornamental and healing properties.
  • It is important to take proper care of your copper jewelry to prevent it from loss of shine and luster.
  • Using naturally found or home-based ingredients rather than chemical detergents and scrubs would help keep your copper ornaments looking as good as new.

Learn how to clean your copper jewelry quickly and cheaply! Check this video to get sparkling results with easy-to-follow steps. No need to spend a fortune!

Personal Experience: Source

i. How to clean copper jewelry – cheap & fast

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