I admit that I might have a slight copper obsession.
What is not to love? Copper has the most beautiful patina- and it adds a rich, warm old world feeling to the kitchen- and when it is polished it glows. But how do you clean copper and brass and get that bright shiny beautiful look?
I have been polishing my copper this week. It is a bit of a BIG job because I do have a chunk of a collection. Not sure you have noticed those copper pots and pans behind the range. Or the ones on the shelf on the island. Or the copper mixer on the counter. Not sure exactly when I first fell in love with copper-but once I was bitten by the bug- I have been adding copper to my collection. From vintage pans, bowls, utensils and more. I even added a fish poacher that I found at HomeGoods. And we don’t eat fish- I just figured it looked like it would make a good pan for cooking veggies just as well.
And a question I am often asked is How do you keep your copper clean and looking so pretty all the time….and the answer might surprise you.
How do you clean Copper?
I have used CopperBrill before- and it does a wonderful job in no time. But if you don’t have any on hand- an answer to keeping that copper polished and pretty is probably already right inside your kitchen cupboard.
Use ketchup as a polish for copper
Ketchup is acidic and as such- will take that tarnish right off. It also works on polishing silver and brass.
I grabbed the ketchup and starting putting on the copper pots and my husband looked at me like I was crazy. But hey- being home now is a perfect time to polish allll.those. copper pieces.
Simply squirt ketchup onto your copper and rub it around a bit with your hands to cover the whole area and let it sit for about 15 minutes.
Start rubbing that ketchup in with your sponge and rinse and repeat. Ketchup doesn’t clean the whole thing by itself but it does shine the copper up and you will see a bright new finish come through.
For stubborn pots- you might have to repeat a few times- but remember to let it sit for a bit before rubbing- it really does help. You may also need a toothbrush or scrub brush for stubborn areas -especially for the hammered copper which has a lot of ‘dent’s’ that like to keep that tarnish. When it is polished up- rinse well and dry.
To note: the first time I did this, the copper looked so bright just after that I thought I ruined it. Just dry it off with a towel and let it sit for just a bit. The copper will tone down. And some well known sources say to use salt with the ketchup as well- I have not tried that but know that some folks swear by it. I personally feel like that might do some damage so have left it alone.
So there you have it. A simple & inexpensive way to keep that copper pretty. This also works on brass and silver- as you can see the brass fish is all bright and shiny as well. I can’t take credit for making up this tip – I learned it years ago from Martha Stewart and on several others. I think it has been used for many many years!
Happy Wednesday all!