by Amy Gordon
(last updated December 15, 2014)
Copper is a beautiful metal. It may not be as shiny as precious metals such as gold, but if it is used well and placed in the right settings, it can make a wonderful decoration. Just like all the other similar precious metals, it also will tarnish over time. Polishing copper can be a chore, especially when the polish that you purchase fails to make the shine in your copper come out. It is even more frustrating to feel like you have to go to the store you purchase another expensive polish, just to come to the same result.
There is a more natural way to bring the shine out of you copper. It is a simple way, although it may seem a little counterintuitive. The trick is using tomato ketchup. Tomato is a naturally acidic fruit, and the acid will clean your brass quite well. So even though you have to use a thick, red, opaque paste on your brass, it will work better than your transparent copper cleaner. It is both cheaper and more effective than any store bought method out there.
To use tomato ketchup to make your copper clean, simply mix ketchup and water in equal parts in a small bowl. Stir up this fifty-fifty mixture as well as you can, so it becomes a little more liquid than full paste. Take a cloth and dip it into the mixture. Apply the mixture on the cloth to whatever part of the copper you want to make shine, though it is probably easier just to cover the whole object so the shine is uniform. You may let the mixture set for a few minutes. Take either another soft, clean cloth, or at least the clean side of the cloth you are using, and wipe off the ketchup and water mixture. The copper underneath will come out looking better than ever.
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