Properties of Copper Cookware
Copper pots and pans are favored among chefs and home cooks alike as the material is a thermally efficient conductor. Copper pans are great for stir-fries and temperature sensitive food as the material is able to conduct heat evenly.
Many avid cooks are well-aware of the advantages of copper pot and cookware, which is why they go through great lengths to preserve the quality of their copper pots and copper pans. However, acidic substances may react badly with copper, and copper cookware must be polished to keep its good condition.
How to Clean Copper Bottom Pots: A Step-by-Step Guide
In this article, we'll show you how to properly clean copper pans, pots, and other cookware. Copper cookware must be washed by hand, as the dishwasher may cause damages to your copper items. Here's how to clean copper:
General Washing and Cleaning
What You'll Need
- Mild dish soap or Commercial copper cleaner
- Warm water
- Scrubbing brush or Sponge
- Dry cloth
Step 1: Mix Dish Soap and Water
Mix the dish detergent and warm water to create a mild soapy water solution. By diluting the detergent, you are creating a gentle solution that won't damage the material. If using a commercial copper cleaner, read and follow the manufacturer's instructions.
Step 2: Scrub the Copper Surface
Use a scrubbing tool, such as a toothbrush or dishwashing brush, or a soft sponge to clean the copper as you normally would. Clean copper pots or pans by firmly scrubbing the entire surface in a circular motion. Do not use abrasive sponges or steel wool as these may cause scratches on your copper item.
Step 3: Wipe Dry
Rinse and dry the copper thoroughly. Use a dish-drying towel to wipe the copper dry, and polish as needed. Copper is a soft metal, so avoid using too much pressure when washing or drying as the material may dent. Store the cookware in a dry location.
Boiling Off Stubborn Stains
What You'll Need
- Dish soap
- Baking soda
- Scrubbing tool
- Soft cloth
Step 1: Fill the Copper Pan or Pot with Water
Copper pots may sometimes have food gunk stuck on the bottom that are difficult to remove by general handwashing. To remove these stains, you will need to boil them off to soften the food particles. Fill the copper pot or pan with water until the stains are submerged.
Step 2: Add Dish Soap and Baking Soda
Add dish detergent and baking soda into the water. The soap will help lift the stains, while baking soda acts as a gentle abrasive that also softens and lifts stains. Both ingredients are basic mixtures, and they work well together in removing stubborn stains from copper.
Step 3: Boil, Then Let It Cool
Bring the mixture to a boil over the stove, then remove from the heat to let the cookware cool until it is warm to the touch. By boiling the mixture, you won't need to use harsh chemicals or elbow grease in removing stubborn spots.
Step 4: Wash and Dry
Wash the cookware as you normally would, then dry with a soft cloth. Store the copper cookware in a dry location, and polish as needed to maintain the quality of the copper. Make sure to store copper dry and cool to the touch.
Cleaning Badly Tarnished Copper
Clean Copper Naturally with Lemon Juice
Salt and lemon juice can be used to remove tarnish from copper surfaces. Cut a lemon in half, and use half as a scrubber. Add some fine table salt for an abrasive action, and sprinkle the table salt directly over the lemon half. Scrub the entire surface of the copper item until the stains are gone.
Remove Tarnish From Copper with Ketchup
Ketchup can be used to remove the stains left behind after copper tarnishes due to its acidic nature. Tomato paste is a similar alternative, but ketchup is more accessible. Smear ketchup over the entire surface and leave it for 10 to 15 minutes. Wipe the ketchup away to remove the tarnish spots. Wash and dry thoroughly afterwards.
Tips to Keep Your Copper Pots and Pans in Good Condition
- Polish copper frequently to prevent corrosion, and prevent future tarnishing. You can polish copper using a paste of vinegar and salt. Scrub the paste all over the clean copper surface until you notice a shine. Wash and dry thoroughly afterwards.
- Avoid soaking your copper pots. Soaking copper in a soapy water solution helps remove stains, but prolonged exposure to moisture can tarnish, corrode, and form rust spots on copper.
- Clean the copper sink using the same steps as the above methods. Doing so will keep your sink, as well as the cookware you wash over the sink, in good condition.
- Avoid using sharp metal tools on your copper pots and cookware as they may leave scratches on the surface. These scratches are where dirt will accumulate.
- Do not place your copper pots, including copper-bottom pans, in the dishwasher. Dishwashers use high pressure and heat to clean dishes, which may react badly with your copper bowl, pots, cookware, or other copper items. Unless the product is labeled dishwasher safe, avoid placing it in the dishwasher.
Cleaning Made Simple
Cleaning copper items can be tricky when you don't know how. Make kitchen cleaning and home maintenance simple with Luce Home cleaning services. Our experienced cleaning professionals will be able to bring the shine back into your kitchen, and leave you with sparkly clean surfaces that will refresh the look of your home!