What Causes the Tarnishing of Copper?
Oxygen and Dust
Many factors contribute equally to the tarnishing of the copper vessels. Oxygen, for instance, adds to this significantly. Oxygen can cause the tarnishing overnight and also slowly over long periods. This is so because the ions in the copper vessels react with the ions in oxygen, causing various chemical reactions, resulting in tarnish.
Dust is another cause of this tarnishing. The dirt and dust contain debris from humans and pets, which, in turn, contains many different types of chemicals that can tarnish copper and cause breathing problems. So, it would help if you dusted the vessels regularly.
Human Touch, Heat, And Acidic Substances
As you might know, the human skin contains many various oils, which can, over time, cause the tarnishing of the copper vessels. So, even though you cannot stop touching these vessels, you can regularly clean these vessels.
Heat also fastens up the various chemical reactions that take place on the surface of the copper vessels. So, you are suggested to keep the vessel in cool and dry areas that do not cause these problems.
You should also beware of the various acidic substances. These substances react with the surface of the vessels and corrode as well as tarnish them. Other than this, these can also cause the food to be toxic as corrosion is highly soluble. For this reason, the copper vessels should not be used for cooking highly acidic substances like wine, vinegar, and milk, etc.
The Best Ways to Clean Copper Vessels at Home
Vinegar and Salt
As you might already know, vinegar is also a terrific metal-cleaning product. It is available in the house more or less all the time. And, its effectivity increases further when added to salt. For this particular method, you are to get some salt and add it to a bowl before pouring in some vinegar and mixing it well.
Now, apply it to the vessel's tarnished areas and rub it in using a soft cloth. Next, rinse it off with cold water and dry with a soft cloth. You can also add the salt, vinegar, and water into a pot before putting in the copper vessel. Now, bring the water to boil as this will effectively remove the tarnish.
Lemon and Salt
In available in every kitchen at all times, salt and lemon are also among the best copper cleaning household items. These are not only gentle but are also equally effective. Now, these two items can be used together in many different ways. For instance, you can make a thick paste of lemon and salt and apply it to the vessel's tarnished areas. Now, leave it there for about 45 minutes and scrub it periodically before washing the paste off at the end.
You can also simply mix the two ingredients a bit and apply them the same way. Other than that, you may also simply apply lemon alone and rub it against the vessels before rinsing it and drying it off.
Lemon Juice and Cream of Tartar
In case you are faced with stains that are extremely tough to remove and other methods haven't been effective, you may try using the cream of tartar and lemon juice. However, this can be a little abrasive and needs to be used carefully and gently.
For this, you are to simply add some lemon juice to the cream of tartar and mix well to form a thin yet dense paste. Now, spread it on to the copper vessel and let it sit for about five minutes. Lastly, wash it thoroughly with soap and water before letting it dry for some time. You can buy cream of tartar from Amazon for Rs. 150 for the 100 g pack.
A Mild Detergent
In case you did not like any of the above ways, this is sure to make you happy. So, for this, take several drops of your detergent and put in on plain steel wool. Use this wool to scrub the copper vessel before adding a few drops of water and scrubbing again till the vessel is shiny. Next, rinse the soap off of the vessel with cool water and dry it with a soft cloth in order to remove any residue.
If the vessel is really greasy, simply use hot water with the detergent on the wool. In case the stains are too hard to remove, you can simply use steel wool in place of the steel wool to dry it off as well.
White Vinegar and Salt
Another gentle yet efficient way to clean copper vessels would be to use white vinegar with salt. For this, you are to mix about one and a half teaspoons of salt with about one cup of vinegar before putting it in either a spray bottle or using a soft cloth to apply it.
Once you have applied it to all of the tarnished areas, let it sit for about half an hour. Next, rinse it off with lukewarm water and dry it. Repeat if needed or use a brush to remove any other stains.
Copper Cleaners Available Online
Copper And Brass Cleaner
Besides being one of the cheapest products available, the Copper And Brass Cleaner is also one of the best ones. This is effective in cleaning both brass and copper vessels, and this will do it fast. Furthermore, it does not contain any abrasive materials and is very soft.
For this particular product, you are to simply pour some of it on a proper scrub and rub it against the tarnished vessel's surface. Once done, rinse it off and dry it with a soft cloth. You can get this product online from Amazon for Rs. 140.
Rolimoli Brass All Metal Surface Polish Cleaner Dara Allied Shiner Kitchen Cleaner
This is another excellent copper cleaner that, even though costs a bit more than the first one, is also abrasive and can also be used on plastic and fiberglass.
Furthermore, this is good for brass, silver sterling, copper, aluminum, stainless steel, and even gold. It is also acceptable for alloys and chrome and leaves sealant on the surface. Lastly, you can use it by rubbing on the surface with a cloth or using it with buffers and polishers. You can get this amazing product from Flipkart for only Rs. 399.
You Can Definitely Consider Replacing Your Plastic Bottle with a copper One!
Drinking water from copper vessels and jugs is believed to have many benefits such as a better digestive system, faster healing of wounds, protection from infections, to name a few. Hence, it is definitely recommended to replace your plastic water bottle with a copper one. You'll also be doing a favour to the environment as well by using metallic water bottles instead of plastic ones.