How to Polish Copper

  • Marla Garfield

What to Use

Wright's Copper Cream ($5, jawright.com, 800-837-8140 for store locations) or Goddard's Brass & Copper Polish ($5.55, goddards.com).

What to Know

Some sources say to clean copper with lemon and salt, but it's best to stay away from these materials. The acidity of the lemon and the abrasiveness of the salt can ruin copper's finish. Use a commercial copper polish instead.

Useful Tips

Tarnish is difficult to remove when it has settled in hard-to-reach spots, such as the seam where a handle attaches to a pot. Paste polishes are likely to cake in those areas. To clean, use a Q-tip or a horse-hair brush. To remove caked-on paste, use rubbing alcohol.