How to Clean Copper Jewelry Using Household Products

Clean copper jewelry has a great shiny appearance that makes it attractive on all jewelry types. Regular cleaning can help you maintain your jewelry’s lustrous appearance all year.

6 Ways I Clean My Copper Jewelry at Home

Vanessa Hoyt
Image credit: @Vanessa Hoyt

Several easy methods exist for cleaning your copper jewelry at home.

1. Polishing Cloth

A polishing cloth is the easiest means of cleaning copper jewelry. It’s the most low-budget means of cleaning, too, as it only costs a few dollars to get a pack of polishing cloth. You can also use your polishing cloth to clean jewelry made of other metals.

Polishing Cloth

Rubbing your copper jewelry from end to end with a polishing cloth will remove all early traces of tarnish. Regular polishing of copper jewelry would prevent tougher battles with tarnish later.

2. Salt and Water

Heated salt and water solution is a fantastic method of cleaning copper jewelry. Properly mix some water with salt and heat it for a few minutes, then soak your jewelry in it.

Bring the jewelry out when the water is cool enough and scrub it with a soft-bristled toothbrush. Rinse the jewelry with running water and dry it with a microfiber cloth.

3. Salt and Lemon

Cut and squeeze lemon juice into a bowl and add one or two teaspoons of salt. Ensure that the quantity of lemon juice is enough to submerge the jewelry and that the salt is properly mixed.

Place the copper jewelry into the solution and leave for around five minutes. The jewelry should be clean when you bring it out, but you can remove any tough stains with a soft-bristled toothbrush. Rinse the jewelry and dry it with a microfiber cloth.

4. Lemon and Baking Soda

Baking soda works well as a jewelry cleaner because it absorbs dirt and removes tarnish. Mixing baking soda with lemon will create a very concentrated cleaning solution. It works great for tarnishing jewelry and heavily tarnished ones.

Baking Soda

Squeeze lemon juice into a bowl and dilute it a bit with water. Add a tablespoon of baking soda to the solution and stir properly.

Soak your copper jewelry in the solution for a few hours and use a soft-bristled toothbrush to remove any lingering stains. Rinse with clean, running water and dry with a microfiber cloth.

5. Ketchup 

Ketchup is a surprisingly great copper cleaning agent. Rub the paste generously over the entire piece of jewelry and let it sit for 15 minutes. Use a toothbrush to scrub until it’s properly clean. Rinse the paste off your jewelry with running water, then dry with a microfiber cloth.

6. Vinegar

Vinegar is a non-toxic cleaning agent for cleaning copper jewelry and removing tarnishes. You can effectively use vinegar to clean lightly stained/tarnished copper jewelry and heavily tarnished ones. 

For a light cleaning, pour salt and white vinegar on your copper jewelry and rub it with your fingers. The tarnish and stains should easily come off, after which you’ll rinse and clean it with a microfiber cloth. This method can also be used to clean gold jewelry.

You can clean heavier stains by boiling a mixture of salt and vinegar and placing your jewelry in it. The dirt and tarnish should come off the jewelry when the water cools. You can remove any leftover dirt or tarnish with a toothbrush; rinse and dry the jewelry. Apart from being used to clean jewelry, vinegar can also be used to determine gold authenticity.

Alternative: Industrial Copper Cleaner

An industrial copper cleaner is the best solution for heavily tarnished copper jewelry. These cleaners can do a better job than other homemade cleaning methods. Professional jewelers use them to revitalize heavily tarnished jewelry.

Dip a microfiber cloth in the cleaning solution and gently rub the jewelry. Rinse the jewelry after cleaning it and dry it with a clean microfiber cloth.

How to Clean Lacquered Copper Jewelry

One of the ways to prevent the tarnishing of copper jewelry is to coat it with copper lacquer. Eventually, the lacquer coating would wear off, exposing the jewelry to tarnish-inducing elements. Lacquer causes copper jewelry to look dull, and you need to clean it regularly to restore its luster.

Using a polishing cloth to clean the jewelry regularly will prevent it from getting dull. However, you shouldn’t do this too often or forcefully, as it can cause the coating to wear off.

You can clean dirtier jewelry with a quick wash using dishwashing liquid and water. Dry the jewelry with a microfiber cloth and then polish it with a polishing cloth.