Cleaning Copper Jewelry

Written by Jill Culley (last updated May 24, 2021)

Copper is a beautiful metal that I've found everywhere in the house like stove hoods, splash boards and wall decorations. I also have my grandmother's copper costume jewelry and I absolutely love it. The only problem I discovered with it is that it tends to tarnish. I was shocked to discover that the jewelry had turned a lime green color in certain spots. After a quick search on the internet, I learned that copper oxidizes, or tarnishes, when it is exposed to air. It's a natural process and one that obviously can't be avoided but there are ways to keep your copper jewelry tarnish free. It's important to be gentle when cleaning the copper jewelry because it can be damaged by harsh chemicals and then your jewelry will be tarnished as well as ruined. Listed below are some easy cleaning solutions to help clean your jewelry.

  • Salt, Vinegar and Flour Paste. Add a teaspoon of household salt in one cup of white vinegar. Add the flour until a thick paste is made. Rub the paste all over the copper jewelry and let it sit for about 15 to 20 minutes. Rinse the piece in warm water and polish it with a soft clean towel.
  • Vinegar and Salt. Boil a pot of water and the copper piece with 1 tablespoon of salt and 1 cup of white wine vinegar. Let it boil until you see that the tarnish has been removed. This can take up to several hours. Once it is clean, make sure you run the pot under very cool water and let it sit until completely cool. Then buff with a clean dry towel.
  • Lemon and Salt or Baking Soda. Add all three ingredients in equal parts until you make a paste. Rub the paste over the copper piece gently until the tarnish is removed. Rinse in warm water. Polish and buff the piece so that all of the paste has been removed and the piece shines.

Making sure that your copper jewelry stays shiny and untarnished is something you will always need to do simply because air causes the jewelry to tarnish. However, it is a simple thing to clean with common household substances. Once your jewelry has been cleaned and buffed, it will stay cleaner longer if it is stored in a jewelry box or a felt jewelry bag.

Author Bio

Jill Culley


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