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How To Clean Copper Jewelry (Top 6 Methods + Additional Tips & Tricks!)

How To Clean Copper Jewelry (Top 6 Methods + Additional Tips & Tricks!)

Copper jewelry is truly stunning. There are a lot of reasons why people tend to prefer copper jewelry over jewelry items made of other metals. Not only are there health benefits to wearing copper jewelry, but copper is also a very durable form of metal, making it ideal for jewelry designers to shape jewelry. If you have some copper jewelry but you’re wondering how to clean copper jewelry, we have a lot of great tips & tricks to keep your jewelry shining! Check out these benefits to copper jewelry:

#1 Health Benefits.

For people with a copper deficiency, it is believed that copper jewelry can help them receive enough copper, which is used in bone, nervous system, joint and circulatory system health. When too much Vitamin C or Zinc is ingested, this can block copper absorption, which can lead to arthritis and circulatory issues. Though copper oral supplements are available, a lot of people tend to wear copper jewelry to allow just a small amount of the copper to be absorbed through the skin. When you wear copper jewelry, this is a good way for your body to take in the proper amount, rather than ingesting too much accidentally via oral supplements. When the copper jewelry item is in direct contact with the skin, micro-nutrients of copper enter the bloodstream in small doses without overwhelming the body.

#2 Durability.

As a metal, copper is extremely durable. This is why copper is commonly used in products that need to last a long time, such as wire, tube fittings and water pipes. Also, copper is commonly used as a base metal for jewelry in which another metal is plated on top. This way, the jewelry item appears like another metal, but has a strong copper metal base. (Check out our post on gold plated jewelry for more information!) If properly cared for, copper jewelry will last a lifetime.

#3 Spiritual Benefits.

It is believed that copper can also have spiritual and holistic benefits. While silver is the metal of the spirit and gold is the metal of the mind, copper is the metal of the body. Viewed in this way, copper jewelry has been used as a grounding and protective source.

If you have a gorgeous copper bracelet, necklace or pair of earrings and are looking for how to clean copper bracelet or jewelry, don’t worry — we’ve got you covered! For more information and how to clean other kinds of jewelry, check out our Complete Guide: How To Clean Jewelry.   



How To Clean Copper Jewelry At Home

You Will Need:

 how to clean copper jewelry


  1. Place copper jewelry items in container
  2. Cover items with a layer of ketchup
  3. Add a splash of water to make the ketchup easier to settle over items
  4. Let jewelry items sit for about 10-20 minutes (for extra dirty jewelry, leave in for 30 minutes)
  5. After 20 minutes, wash off jewelry items in kitchen sink under warm water
  6. If there is still some discoloration, use the ultra fine steel wool to scrub it off
  7. Dry items thoroughly



Methods For Cleaning Copper Jewelry

You may be wondering, How do I clean copper jewelry? Thankfully, there are a variety of methods for how to clean copper jewelry at home so you can be sure your copper jewelry will look clean and shiny once again. Whether you’re interested in how to clean copper jewelry with ketchup, how to clean copper jewelry with baking soda, or the absolute best way to clean copper jewelry, we’ve got you covered. Though copper jewelry requires a regular cleaning to keep it shining, it is super easy to restore your copper pieces to keep them looking good as new! Keep reading to discover all the best methods for keeping your copper jewelry in tip-top shape. Also, keep in mind that some of these methods are not recommended for copper jewelry pieces that have gemstones.


#1 Ketchup


You might be surprised to know that ketchup works like a charm to clean your copper items! This is because of the vinegar present in ketchup. If you’re looking for how to clean copper jewelry with ketchup, check out these simple and easy steps!

  • Squeeze ketchup onto copper item until item is covered
  • Rub copper item with fingers, a cloth, or a toothbrush until tarnish is gone
  • Rinse well
  • Set aside to dry completely

#2 Baking Soda + Lemon Juice

baking soda and lemon juice

  • In equal amounts, mix baking soda and lemon juice
  • Make a paste
  • Using fingertips or a clean, dry cloth, rub this mixture onto your copper jewelry
  • For jewelry with nooks and crannies, use a toothbrush
  • After a few minutes, rinse the paste from the jewelry item thoroughly
  • Set aside to dry completely

#3 Lemon Juice + Salt

lemon and salt

If you’ve been searching, how do you clean copper jewelry, and feel like you’re not getting anywhere, the lemon juice and salt method truly does wonders.  

  • Pour some lemon juice onto copper jewelry
  • Sprinkle table salt onto surface of copper jewelry
  • Using a soft cloth, rub the item to remove tarnish
  • You can also sprinkle salt onto the cut half of the lemon and then rub the copper with the salted lemon wedge
  • Rinse with clean water and set aside to dry completely
  • Note: if your copper jewelry item has gemstones, soaking it in acidic lemon juice can potentially damage your gemstones. Skip this method.

#4 Vinegar + Salt


If you’re still not sure the best way for cleaning copper jewelry, try using this vinegar and salt method!

  • Pour vinegar into a glass or plastic bowl so that your copper jewelry is submerged
  • Add some salt for a deeper clean
  • Let soak for 15 - 20 minutes
  • Rinse off all the vinegar
  • Dry it with a soft cloth
  • Note: if your copper jewelry item has gemstones, soaking it in acidic vinegar can potentially damage your gemstones. Skip this method.

#5 Jewelry Polishing Cloth

jewelry polishing cloth

This method mainly works on copper jewelry items that have been sealed. This is because jewelry items that are sealed don’t tarnish as much; therefore, buffing with a polishing cloth can help to remove any dullness and make the copper jewelry item gleam with brilliance again.

You can also help to minimize tarnishing by giving your copper jewelry items a quick wipe down with a jewelry polishing cloth before and after you wear it.


#6 Commercial Copper Cleaner

commercial copper cleaner


For highly tarnished copper jewelry items, a commercial clean is recommended. In general, follow the rules on the commercial cleaner and rub the jewelry item with the product on a soft cloth until the copper jewelry item shines again. Keep in mind that some commercial cleaners might be too harsh for your copper jewelry. The commercial cleaners that are too harsh for your copper jewelry will end up scratching your jewelry piece, rather than polishing it. Therefore, it is recommended that you buy a commercial cleaner that is dedicated to copper specifically, such as the one seen above.

How To Remove Copper Stains

If you’ve ever worn copper jewelry, you’re probably aware that copper can leave green stains on your skin. Why is this? Well, copper turns your skin green because of the chemical reaction that occurs when the copper metal comes into contact with skin and sweat. This creates what is called copper chelates. Though pure copper cannot be absorbed by the skin, copper chelates can be. Thus, the body absorbs as much as it needs (if it is copper deficient) and the excess copper chelates that aren’t absorbed turns your skin green.

Keep in mind that the green staining on your skin from your copper jewelry is not permanent and can be easily washed away with soap and water! Also, to prevent the green staining from happening, you can add some clear nail polish to the part of your skin where the copper jewelry will be placed. If copper jewelry is lacquered, then your skin will not be stained since the copper must be in direct contact with your skin.

How To Store Copper Jewelry

how to store copper jewelry

Now that you’ve cleaned your copper jewelry, you’re probably wondering how to store copper jewelry so that you can minimize the amount of tarnish occurs. To prevent your copper jewelry from tarnishing, follow these simple tips and guidelines:

  • Before you store your copper, make sure that it is completely dry.

  • Exposure to air and moisture causes copper jewelry to tarnish.

  • Always store copper in a cool, dry place.

  • Place copper in airtight plastic bag with anti-tarnish strips. This will reduce the copper item’s interaction with the air, diminishing the rate of tarnish.

  • Avoid wearing copper jewelry when in swimming pools or using harsh chemicals like household detergents.

  • Wipe your copper jewelry before and after you put it on to remove any body oils or excess moisture.

  • April 18, 2019
  • Customer Support
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