How to Clean Copper-Bottom Pans

Updated March 23, 2017

Copper-bottom pans need frequent cleaning, due to tarnishing and scorching, to keep them looking their best, and unless you are a copper item owner who likes to see a deep brown patina on their copperware; then regular cleaning is the only alternative. If you have found that cleaning your copper-bottom pans is a chore you have been putting off; try these effective and simple methods of removing stains with products you may already have stocked in your pantry.

Squirt ketchup liberally all over the copper-bottom pan and allow it to work for approximately an hour. Acid in the tomatoes eats away at the stains, revealing the shine underneath. As you rinse the pan off under warm water; rub with a green scrubber to remove any stubborn stains. Dry with a soft cloth and display.

Rub a mixture of salt, baking soda and vinegar all over the bottom of your pan and leave on for an hour. The corrosive action of the salt, combined with the cleansing action of the baking soda as well as the vinegar work together to lift the stains. Take a scrubber and rub gently as you rinse the solution off under warm running water.

Smear mustard mixed with white vinegar over the pan and leave for two hours. The penetrating action of the mustard combined with the cleaning power of the vinegar effectively clean the grime. Rinse under warm water and buff with a soft cloth.

Soak pan in a solution of a quart of vinegar and four tablespoons of salt in a five-gallon bucket. Top up with warm water. The corrosive action of the salt along with the stain-lifting qualities of the vinegar lift the grime. Ensure the pan is submerged in the mixture. After two hours of soaking; the pan will come out shiny.

Soak the copper-bottom pan in full-strength vinegar overnight or until shiny. Neat vinegar works hard to lift grime and scorch stains satisfactorily. Rinse well under running water and buff with a soft cloth.

Soak copper pan-bottoms overnight in cola. They will be bright and shiny in the morning and ready to display. The acid in the cola eats away at the stain, leaving just the copper shine.

Scrub stubborn black stains with scouring powder and a green scrubber until shiny.


To avoid serious cleaning sessions; clean your copper-bottom pan after each use.

Things You'll Need

  • Green scrubber
  • Ketchup
  • Mustard
  • Salt
  • Baking soda
  • Scouring powder
  • Cola
  • Vinegar
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About the Author

Victoria Ries is a freelance writer whose work has been published in various print magazines, including "Guideposts," "BackHome," New Homesteading" and "Mother Earth News." Ries enjoys working on diverse topics such as travel, animal rescue, health and home business. Ries is currently working on her B.A. in psychology.