Cookware Cleaning: Copper Cookware
No one likes to wash pots and pans. Here's how to handle cleaning copper cookware efficiently and quickly.
Salt. A salted half lemon. Worcestershire sauce. Tomato sauce. Ketchup. Vinegar. Vinegar and Salt. Vinegar and salt and flour. Cream of tartar and water. Yogurt. Boiling milk. Each of these are among the score or more of methods recommended to remove tarnish from copper—not counting commercial copper polishes. Do any of them work?
Enterprising and interesting as they are, these home remedies were not as effective as the traditional commercial polishes we tried, which not only removed tarnish but added shine. Among the home remedies, only the ketchup could be said to effectively remove tarnish, but it didn't add shine. When you're desperate to clean up a tarnished copper pan and have no commercial polish on hand, ketchup does a decent job.
In our search for the ultimate cleaning materials and methods, we continually ran into a couple of stern warnings. In particular, never mix bleach and ammonia. When combined the two create chloramine gasses that are highly irritating to the lungs and can cause coughing and choking. In general, never mix commercially prepared cleansers, which may contain ammonia, bleach, or other chemicals that will be hazardous if combined.