Tips for Cleaning Your Copper Cookware

copper-cookware-set-3-pieceHow 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.

Mauviel Copper Cookware Set


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  1. Great information, Paula. Copper looks great when it is well looked after and all the water streaks are polished off after the pans have been washed.

    Copper cookware makes a nice display in the kitchen when hanging from pot racks rather than tossing it in the cupboard

  2. I love copper cookware but am yet to own a piece. I have always worried about the upkeep as I really don’t want to have to polish the pans every time I use them.

  3. You really don’t need to polish your copper cookware after each use. An occasional polish is fine. Some cooks love the patina that is caused on their copper cookware and never polish it. I guess it is just personal preference.

  4. Some great tips here.

  5. Does the home made version of the copper cleaner work as well as the store bought cleaner? After investing the money into the copper cookware I don’t want to save a few pennies and not be as happy with the cleaning results.

  6. there really is no comparison to copper for cooking. it truly is fun and rewarding to cook with copper cookware.

    i own a lot of pieces of copper cookware. i have maybe cleaned and polished them once. the patina that develops is beautiful and a ‘badge of honor’ to show others (when i have guests over…i love cooking in front of and for them) that my copper cookware is for go and not show.

    invest in a saute pan and a sauce pan. start with these two items and the addiction will begin!