How to Look After Your Copper Cookware
Copper is great for cooking, beautiful to look at, and a real pain to keep clean. Here are some tips on cleaning your copper cookware so that it keeps is lustrous look throughout a lifetime of use.
1. Remove Lacquer Before Using Copper Cookware
In order to protect it from tarnish, most copper cookware is shipped with a layer of lacquer over it. This lacquer can melt if used while cooking, which can damage your stove and cause horrible stains on your cookware. Remove the lacquer by boiling the cookware in a mixture of 1 cup of baking soda for every 2 gallons of water.
2. Abrasive Washing Damages the Lining of Your Cookware
Copper reacts with many foods, which alters the taste and can cause toxic metals to leech into your body. In order to prevent this reaction, most copper is lined with stainless steel, tin, or silver. Be sure never to use abrasive cleaners or metal implements on this lining.
3. Never Machine Wash Copper
Cleaning copper in the dishwasher will cause it to degrade very quickly. Instead, rinse it in warm water along with mild dish soap. Use a soft cloth or gentle nylon scrubbing sponge to remove stuck-on foods.
4. Dry Immediately After Washing
Water droplets from washing can cause unsightly streaks and stains on your cookware. Dry your pots and pans thoroughly with a soft cloth after washing.
5. Use Home-Made Copper Cleaner
Store-bought copper cleaner can be expensive and inconvenient, but you can bring out the same bright shine by rubbing your copper cookware with lemons cut in half and sprinkled with salt, or by mixing equal parts salt, vinegar, and flour.