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Polishing Copper

Martha Stewart Living, April 2006

This treatment for cleaning copper amazes everyone who tries it. A pleasing bonus: It's chemical-free. All you need are a lemon and coarse salt. Sprinkle the cut side of a lemon half with the salt, then rub it over the copper, which will soon gleam.

 

Comments (16)

  • marree 15 May, 2013

    Yes I have done this and it is amazing how the copper comes clean.

  • rennypel 9 Mar, 2009

    well used system in the middle east for ages.great

  • Dhivya 6 Mar, 2009

    In southern part of India, we use tamarind soaked in water and the natural coconut fibre to scrub it. We don't use salt for this cleaning.

  • mickyghersi 6 Mar, 2009

    in italy we are cleaning copper with a different mix, which is also chemical-free. we mix some vinegar with 'powder' salt, not coarse salt to prevent scratching. you can put salt directly on the object to clean then add the amount of vinegar to make the salt dissolve (a couple of spoons) and rub on it.

  • IUmom 5 Mar, 2009

    I've always made a paste. Store it in a small margarine tub. Take 1/4 cup flour; add a tablespoon or so of salt and enough vinegar to make a paste. Put some on your dishtowel or plastic scrubber and rub in circles on copper bottoms of pots. Cleans quickly and beautifully with no dripping.

  • IUmom 5 Mar, 2009

    I've always made a paste. Store it in a small margarine tub. Take 1/4 cup flour; add a tablespoon or so of salt and enough vinegar to make a paste. Put some on your dishtowel or plastic scrubber and rub in circles on copper bottoms of pots. Cleans quickly and beautifully with no dripping.

  • milliema5 5 Mar, 2009

    I've never heard of this, but am glad to learn of it. I just have one question - does the salt scratch the copper?

  • giagirl 5 Mar, 2009

    Lemon and salt are all I have ever used for copper.
    For my porcelin sink, I use lemon and vinegar and baking soda.

  • auntmoni 5 Mar, 2009

    Wow i just ran to the kithen to try the lemon and salt fantasic!!! i have a copper cuff wide one w/native marking on it. Been looking for something thanks. the bottle of cleaning stuff did very little.

  • Sidi 5 Mar, 2009

    Want to try the ketchup method---I assune you just put it on a cloth and go to
    work---------

  • AkitaGuySF 5 Mar, 2009

    Interesting that no one has mentioned catsup/ketchup as another green alternative. That's what I've used in the past and it works due to the vinegar it contains. Plus it's not quite as runny and lemon juice or vinegar.

  • kikis 5 Mar, 2009

    Yes vinegar cleaning lasts longer, I've done this for such a long time, lemon will stain quicker.

  • timkat05 5 Mar, 2009

    isn't the "salt" part of this formula too abrasive for the copper? Don't you have to be careful to keep the salt from "pitting" your stainless portion of the copper bottom pans?

  • JudyPatoodie 5 Mar, 2009

    When I was a preteen, one of my chores was to clean the copper bottoms of my Mom's Revere Ware. We lived in Southern California and had a lemon tree in the backyard. Mom had me rub the pans with the cut lemon, sprinkle on regular table salt, then rub with the lemon until they gleemed. I loved doing this and do it today to my own copper. It's cheap if you own a lemon tree. It truly works!

  • catri77 13 Jan, 2008

    Wow! I just used Rosannabelle's suggestion on my copper counter top and am amazed. I poured the salt on first, and then poured on the white vinegar, and saw immediate results. A little rub with a sponge did the trick for the tough spots. Easy, inexpensive, and quick.

  • Rosannabelle 9 Jan, 2008

    White vinegar and salt works well too. My mother cleaned all our copper bottom pots that way and after a lifetime of use they still look "new". I found the vinegar seems to work faster than the lemon with less rubbing.