How to clean copper kettles

Updated February 21, 2017

Copper is a popular metal for kettles due to its natural, polished beauty and heat distribution. Even though kettles rarely come in contact with food or other items that would soil them, dust and water vapour can collect on the kettle, dulling the shine and making it look dirty. Cleaning copper kettles is simple but requires extra steps if the kettle has lost its sheen or is beginning to tarnish.

Place the copper kettle in your kitchen sink. Run warm water over a clean kitchen sponge and add a few drops of dish soap to the sponge.

Lather this over the kettle, scrubbing it gently to remove dust and oils from the kettle’s surface. If the kettle has a removable lid, remove the lid and scrub the inside of the kettle as well. If the kettle does not have a lid, stick a bottle brush through the spout to clean the interior.

Rinse the kettle well with warm water. Dry it thoroughly with a soft towel.

Use a commercial copper polish, or create your own, to remove tarnish and bring back the kettle's shine, if necessary. To make your own at home, use the formula suggested by Michigan State University Extension: In a bowl, mix equal parts vinegar, salt and white flour. Mix this with a spoon to form a paste. For a regular-sized kettle, you’ll probably only need 1 tbsp of each.

Place 1 tsp of commercial polish or the homemade polish on a soft cloth. Gently rub this over the copper kettle’s exterior to polish it. Rinse off the polish and then dry the kettle well with a towel.

Warning warns that you should not put copper cookware in a dishwasher.

Things You'll Need

  • Soft sponge
  • Dish soap
  • Bottle brush
  • Soft cloths
  • Copper polish
  • Bowl
  • Vinegar
  • Salt
  • Flour
  • Spoon
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