To restore copper objects to their original beauty, there are simple solutions that give excellent results without the need for commercial chemicals. This also applies to cleaning and polishing copper musical instruments, which are so precious and require care. Zoom on the best tips for making a jam basin, copper pans, kettle and other tuba shine.
Bringing a heavily soiled copper object back to life
To restore the shine to an old copper object that has weathered and then on which dirt has accumulated over the years, there is no need to invest in a chemical product, sometimes toxic, to give them a facelift. The following solution should get rid of the grime. Please note, however, that it should not be used only on copper and not on an alloy. Moreover, it is prudent to do a little test on an inconspicuous place of the object in question in order to check that it resists well to this muscular cleaning session. We can act in two ways.
With spirit vinegar
- Pass a soft cloth well soaked in alcohol vinegar over the entire copper object in order to strip it, emphasizing the stains.
- Rinse the object very abundantly with clean water then dry it with a clean cloth. Its rinsing is essential to avoid oxidation.
With a homemade paste to clean copper
- Mix water, fine salt and flour in equal parts then place this descaling cream on the copper object and finally let it dry.
- Then rub vigorously insisting on residual stains.
- Rinse the object thoroughly under hot water,
- Wash with black soap then rinse again,
- Dry thoroughly with a dry and very soft microfiber type cloth, and rub to shine.
It is possible to prepare another paste by replacing the water with white vinegar.
With lemon and baking soda
Just squeeze a lemon and mix the juice obtained with 2 large spoons of baking soda. The resulting mixture is applied with a brush to the copper. Wait 5 minutes before rinsing with clear water then wiping.
Blanc de Meudon to clean a copper alloy
Care must be taken with the alloy as it does not react like copper. It is recommended to use the Meudon white. It is a natural product based on chalk extracted from the eponymous quarries which are located about fifteen kilometers from Paris. It does not alter the alloy. It is not necessary to rinse but to wipe the object well after having rubbed it.
Make copper shine naturally
Here are two simple tricks that restore all the shine you want to copper.
- Place the object in full sun, for example in the immediate vicinity of the window and leave it there all day, turning it from time to time so that all sides benefit from this exposure. Polish with a cloth before putting the part back in place.
- Crumple several sheets of paper journal in order to form a ball with which there is only to vigorously rub the copper.
Without any particular product, copper can be made to shine for a long time, if care is taken afterwards to dust it frequently.
Clean a copper musical instrument
Washing with just lukewarm soapy water (black soap) should be done every 4 to 6 weeks if the instrument is used often or at least every year if it is never used. It must then be rinsed well, avoiding hot water which alters the varnish. Then dry thoroughly with a soft, lint-free cloth.
Be careful, however, because each wind instrument requires a very specific cleaning mode. It is therefore strongly recommended to consult a specialist before cleaning the piston, mouthpiece, slides, bell and others. A musical instrument is very precious. Better to know at your fingertips how to proceed and the products to use.