Copper is a beautiful metal with a rich history, often used in distinctive jewelry items and accessories.
In fact, copper bracelets are often worn by chronic pain sufferers for the therapeutic and relieving benefits reported by many.
Over time, copper can develop a dark tarnish or patina, that may be lovely, but that may conceal the lustrous shine and color of this metal.
How to Polish Copper Jewelry?
The best way to clean copper jewelry and restore its natural luster is with lemon juice and a bit of table salt. One way to rub away tarnish is to cut a lemon in half, liberally sprinkle the cut sides with salt, and rub the lemon halves on the copper surface. Rinse well and dry by buffing with a soft cloth or chamois. Be careful, however- this method is not advised for pieces with gems or stones, as the acidity may cause irreparable damage.
Got tarnish on your copper jewelry? Keep reading to find out the best ways to clean and polish them!
Interesting Features of Copper Jewelry
There are some fascinating facts regarding copper jewelry that make it a compelling purchase and a necessary fashion staple.
For example, did you know that copper magnetic bracelets can help reduce pain- such as arthritis or carpal tunnel- when worn?
There are also reports of copper possessing powerful healing properties and energy, which is why it has been worn by people globally for generations.
The main issue that arises with copper is the tarnish and discoloration that can take place rather quickly.
Copper undergoes a chemical reaction when exposed to the air, and over time, this causes the copper surface to darken and develop a patina that may be off-putting.
Furthermore, wearing or exposing your copper jewelry to water- like during showering or washing- can cause it to tarnish fast.
Be very careful to remove copper items before swimming as exposure to chlorine will turn the copper black, usually permanently.
Tips for Cleaning and Polishing Copper Jewelry
Ready to clean and polish your copper pieces? Here are some tips and tricks regarding cleaning and polishing that may help you restore the luster of your copper with ease!
- Water is not the best way to clean copper. Water can darken the copper color, which is why you should never wear it when you go swimming or during a shower.
- The key to cleaning copper is acid, so choose either vinegar or lemon for your cleaning solution. You can also use table salt as a bit of a scouring agent to remove stubborn spots of tarnish or patina.
- Dilute vinegar before soaking copper jewelry in it to remove tarnish. Do not soak copper items with gems or stones in vinegar- the acidity can permanently damage these features.
- Consider cutting the lemon in half and using the cut-end as a cleaning scour pad to rub the copper and remove the tarnish.
- Rinse thoroughly with water, and then quickly use a soft cloth or chamois to fully dry the copper item. Buff the surface vigorously with a soft buffing cloth that is intended for use with metal jewelry. These are widely found at jewelers and discount stores in every community- keep one on-hand or in your jewelry box for maintaining your copper pieces.
Any jewelry expert will advise you to thoroughly clean your jewelry items before storing them- including polishing.
After you have cleaned the items, it is recommended that you limit the exposure to air by packing it with anti-tarnish paper in an airtight jewelry case or box until you want to wear it again.
If you don’t have a dedicated jewelry storage vessel, consider using a food storage container with a tight-fitting lid to keep oxidation at-bay.
Frequently Asked Questions About How to Polish Copper Jewelry
How do you clean copper jewelry?
You can easily clean copper jewelry by soaking it in diluted vinegar, as long as it does not contain gemstones of any kind. You can also remove tarnish with lemon juice and salt. Always rinse well with water and dry with a soft buffing cloth.
What cleans copper jewelry best?
Lemon juice or vinegar works well in cleaning copper due to their acidity. This acidity helps remove the patina and restore the lustrous copper color underneath.
How do you clean copper jewelry?
There are numerous ways to clean copper jewelry, including using a bit of dish soap and warm water. You can use something acidic, like lemon juice, vinegar, or even ketchup, and saturate or soak the copper to remove tarnish. Salt also helps rub away the stubborn patina to restore the copper color.
How do you polish sterling silver jewelry?
The best way to polish sterling silver is to first clean it well with dish detergent and water. Use a soft cloth, chamois, or microfiber towel to dip and rub the jewelry. Dry with a buffing cloth.
Is vinegar good for cleaning jewelry?
Vinegar is acidic and works well at cleaning certain kinds of metal jewelry, like copper. It does not agree with gemstones, however, and may permanently damage them.
If you have copper jewelry, use these tips to clean, polish, and restore the natural luster and unique color of your items.
Copper has been proudly worn for centuries- take care of your favorite copper items by cleaning and removing tarnish periodically.
Keep your items in an airtight container between uses to prevent exposure to air and oxidation, which can lead to discoloration and a dark patina on your jewelry.