How To Clean Copper Jewelry: A Complete Guide

Written by Shalini Roy

Copper jewelry has been worn for centuries and is still a great choice not only because of its warm color but also the anecdotal evidence of how this metal can ease inflammation and pain. However, it can blacken or oxide over time due to air and humidity, dust, human touch, and certain chemicals. A buildup of dirt and grime can tarnish your jewelry and make it look dull if left unattended. To prevent this, it is important to store your copper jewelry safely and take good care.

Check out our article for quick solutions about cleaning your copper jewelry easily with household products.

How To Clean Copper Jewelry At Home

1. Baking Soda And Lemon Juice

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.

Method

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

Method

  •  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 in 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.

3. Lemon Juice And Salt

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.

Method

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

Method

  •  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

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

Method

  •  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 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 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

Dos

  •  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.

Don’ts

  •  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 Jewellery

  •  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 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.

Summing It Up

Copper jewelry is a long-lasting and durable piece of art, but it needs to be looked after. Hence, it is essential you clean and care for your copper ornaments regularly. Copper jewelry forms an oxidized layer if not treated properly. This can lead to tarnishing, discoloration, corrosion, and loss of shine. Thus, it is best to be proactive about cleaning your copper jewelry before these problems occur.

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