I am always asked when I show people anything made with copper "How do you clean copper?"
That often brings up another question. Do you like shiny copper or the natural/penny like look?
As most of you know, I don't make many copper pieces but recently made a fall/copper version of my gold filled Flower Garden bracelet.
I decided to let it "go natural" to see if I liked it. Here is the aged bracelet. Do you like it? Or do you prefer the shiny version?
Well to answer the "How do you clean copper?" question, I used the two methods I recommend and took pictures.
The first method I used is dunking in a mixture of salt, lemon juice and water. How much? A squirt of lemon juice and a heaping teaspoon of salt and about half a cup of water. All measurements are very approximate and can be varied. You just need a solution to swish the piece in it for a short time. Then, quickly, rinse in warm water and dry.
(Some recommend rinsing in a solution of baking soda to stop the chemical reaction).
The second cleaning method is to use ketchup. Rub the piece with enough ketchup to cover all the rings. Then thoroughly rinse with water. The left side is ketchup cleaned, the right lemon juice.
It is very hard to tell the difference but looking closely, I think, the ketchup side is a smidge shinier. I did not polish either side but it wouldn't take much to polish with a soft cloth to buff it up. That is, of course if you like the shiny version.
Here is the picture of things you can use to clean copper. Things that you have around the house. Let me know if you have tried these methods and if they worked or which method you prefer.
You can also keep your bracelet in a small plastic bag to prevent tarnishing as you would with your sterling silver pieces. Copper will tarnish, however. Remember it is the copper in sterling silver that makes silver tarnish too. With no copper in Argentium Sterling Silver the tarnish is much slower. (But that is another post!)
Until next time,