How to Remove Verdigris

Written by quinten plummer
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The corrosive turquoise coloured substance known as verdigris can slowly dissolve copper and bronze items. The fact that verdigris is present means that some corrosion has already begun. If you have valuable items (such as cookware or antique jewellery) that are infected by verdigris, learn how to end the corrosion and remove the verdigris.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Lemons, halved
  • Salt
  • White vinegar
  • Toothpick or cotton swab
  • Toothbrush
  • Polish
  • Polishing cloth
  • Small container

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    Pots and Pans

  1. 1

    Pour about three teaspoons of salt onto your work surface. Dip a lemon half into the salt, being sure that the salt covers the exposed pulp of the lemon.

  2. 2

    Use the salt on the lemon to scrub cookware. The salt acts as a light abrasive and solvent while the lemon provides the acid necessary to remove the verdigris. Repeat the process with lemons and salt until all of the verdigris is gone.

  3. 3

    Rinse the cookware with warm water and dry immediately. Then use the cloth to apply the polish.

    Jewellery and Other Small Items

  1. 1

    Fill a container with enough vinegar to completely submerge the jewellery. Then place the piece into the container.

  2. 2

    Allow the jewellery to sit for approximately 20 minutes, then remove the piece from the mixture. Use a cotton swab or a toothpick to remove loose pieces of verdigris form the jewellery. If there is still more verdigris that won't easily come off, return the jewellery to the mixture.

  3. 3

    Rinse the jewellery with warm water and then dry it. After the piece is dry, apply the polish with the cloth.

Tips and warnings

  • Ketchup is another common household item that can be used. Because ketchup is used for its vinegar base, it is always better to use vinegar over ketchup.
  • Verdigris can be passed from one item to another, so remember to separate infected objects from other vulnerable items.

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