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How To Make Natural, Home-made Copper and Brass Cleaners from your Pantry.

There are natural alternatives to buying expensive copper and brass polishes.

Instead of using commercial polishes, you can polish copper or brass using ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen.

Home-made Natural Copper and Brass Cleaning Recipes

Environmentally Friendly - No Harsh Chemicals - Save $ Too!

Once you have your copper clean, it will tarnish quickly unless protected. Seal and Protect your copper, brass and other metals with Everbrite Coating or ProtectaClear

There are many recipes for home-made copper cleaners. These can be not only less expensive than name brand cleaners but for those who do not want chemicals in their home, these can be a good alternative.

There are a lot of sites with recipes for metal cleaners on them but which ones work better? We have tested some of the home-made copper cleaning recipes and here are some results with pictures. There are lots of variations of vinegar and salt. The acid in the vinegar will clean copper, some have flour or other ingredients to make a paste to keep the acid on the copper. Ketchup and Lemon juice are also acids and will clean copper and brass.

The Testing

We divided a piece of copper into areas which would be tested.

Copper and Brass Top divided into sections for testing.

On each section, we applied a home-made copper cleaner made from ingredients found around the house. The bottom section was left bare for a comparison. The left side is a paste of Lemon Juice and Cream of Tarter. The Upper section is Vinegar, Salt and Flour. The Right Side is Catsup.

Many household items can be used to clean copper or brass.

We waited 30 minutes and rinsed off the cleaners. The little clean spot on the untreated area is a drop of lemon juice.

Copper top after cleaners sat on the metal for 30 minutes

We reapplied the cleaners, waited another 30 minutes to give them all a fair chance and here are the results after 60 minutes of sitting with the cleaners sitting on them.

We were amazed at the difference. These cleaners were just put on and rinsed off with no scrubbing.

This top area was salt, flour and vinegar.

Lemon & Cream of Tartar. Ketchup. Bare - No Cleaners

Copper top after cleaners sat on the metal for 60 minutes

Here are the recipes we used and some additional ones sent to us by customers as well.

Homemade, Natural Copper Cleaners

Acid will clean copper. Each recipe uses a different acid to clean the copper. After the copper is cleaned, neutralize the acid with baking soda and rinse with water. Hand drying is recommended to a void water marks.

  • 1 pint vinegar - 3 tablespoons salt - Fill a spray bottle with vinegar and add salt. Spray solution liberally on copper or brass. Let set for a while, then simply rub clean.
  • Sprinkle the surface with lemon juice, shake salt all over it, then rub with a soft sponge.
  • Lemon juice - Cream of tartar - Make a paste about the consistency of toothpaste. Rub onto brass or copper with a soft cloth. Rinse with water and dry.
  • Copper Pots. To remove tarnish from copper pots, rub with lemon halves dipped in salt
  • Vinegar and Salt. If copper is tarnished, boil article in a pot of water with 1 tablespoon salt and 1 cup white vinegar for several hours. Wash with soap in hot water. Rinse and dry.
  • Cleaner for Copper or Brass: Make a paste of vinegar (or lemon juice), salt and corn meal. The corn meal helps make it easier to spread on an item and the vinegar /lemon juice and salt do the work.
  • One secret is ketchup. Ketchup is great for cleaning copper, even spaghetti sauce will clean copper effectively.
  • To clean copper: Place item in a pan of tomato juice and wait until it shines. Or use a lemon wedge dipped in salt to gently scour the metal.
  • Mix one teaspoon salt, one tablespoon flour and enough vinegar to make a thick paste. Rub paste on surface and let dry completely. Rinse in warm soapy water, buff with clean soft cloth.


Made with organic ingredients. Paint it On - Let it Work - Wash off with Water. Environmentally Friendly - Will Not Harm Plants. Great for large copper areas like copper roofs, copper gutters or other difficult to clean copper. Check out the test with pictures

Now that your copper is clean, How do you keep it looking freshly clean and stop the tarnish?

EVERBRITE Coatings are natural looking, clear protective coatings which will seal and protect metal from tarnish, oxidation, corrosion, salt air and other damaging elements.

Everbrite Protective Coating is recommended for architectural metal, painted surfaces or exterior applications like copper weathervanes, lights, copper roofs, copper gutters, copper deck caps, etc.

ProtectaClear is recommended for metal that get s a lot of use or handling. Jewelry, railings, door hardware, bath hardware are good examples Copper Jewelry will need ProtectaClear because it is tougher and more durable. ProtectaClear will also keep skin from discoloring from copper jewelry.

Everbrite Coatings are not thick plastic coating which can detract from the beauty of the metal. Everbrite Coatings are very natural looking and will make the metal look like it is just polished or cleaned.

Everbrite Coatings are not a lacquer or eurathane and will not chip, peel, crack or yellow. Click Here for More Information

Everbrite Copper Cleaning Gel. Paint it On - Let it Work - Wash off with Water. Environmentally Friendly - Will Not Harm Plants. Great for large copper areas like copper roofs, copper gutters or other copper pieces that are difficult to clean. See it work with pictures.

Questions? We are happy to help.