How to stop copper tarnish

Written by melynda sorrels
  • Share
  • Tweet
  • Share
  • Pin
  • Email
How to stop copper tarnish
Tarnish can make copper look old. (Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images)

Clean, polished copper gleams, but it only takes a little tarnish to mar that shine, and it can leave copper looking dull and lifeless. More than that, tarnish -- the result of a corrosion process similar to that which causes rust -- can eventually damage copper if it isn't taken care of. Luckily, you can remove tarnish from copper, and applying a coat of lacquer can go a long way in preventing tarnish to begin with.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Other People Are Reading

Things you need

  • Dish soap
  • Clean cloth or sponge
  • Soft, dry towel
  • Table salt
  • White vinegar
  • Lacquer

Show MoreHide

Instructions

  1. 1

    Wash the copper piece with warm, soapy water using a mild dish soap and a soft cloth or sponge. Opt for dish soaps that are bleach- and fragrance free. Rinse the piece off well to eliminate any residual soap that may have left behind a film.

  2. 2

    Dry the piece off thoroughly with a soft, clean, dry towel.

  3. 3

    Address areas of tarnish with a paste comprising equal parts table salt and white vinegar. Rub this gently onto the tarnished areas to remove the tarnish, and rinse the area well. Dry the area with a soft, dry towel.

  4. 4

    Apply a coat of lacquer to the piece per the manufacturer's instructions for the specific type of lacquer you're using. Work in a well-ventilated area, or outside if the weather permits.

  5. 5

    Allow the lacquer to dry completely in a cool, dry place.

Tips and warnings

  • Lacquered copper pieces should be washed with warm, soapy water and dried immediately to avoid cracking it.

Don't Miss

Filter:
  • All types
  • Articles
  • Slideshows
  • Videos
Sort:
  • Most relevant
  • Most popular
  • Most recent

No articles available

No slideshows available

No videos available

By using the eHow.co.uk site, you consent to the use of cookies. For more information, please see our Cookie policy.