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How to Clean a Copper Sink: 3 Easy Methods

Copper sinks are a beautiful addition to almost any bathroom or kitchen. But caring for a copper sink is not like caring for stainless steel, composite, or enamel. You need to be careful not to damage the copper, which requires a bit of special care. Don’t worry, it’s nothing too difficult. We’re going to cover the dos and don’ts of cleaning a copper sink so you can keep yours looking exactly the way it did when you first had it installed.divider 4

What to Avoid

copper sink-pixabay
Credit: shonflare, Pixabay

There are some special considerations you need to be wary of when cleaning a copper sink. Some cleaning products aren’t appropriate for copper sinks, and we’re going to discuss them here, so you don’t accidentally damage your sink while trying to clean it. While we’re at it, we’re going to give a few tips to help keep your copper sink looking good over the long haul.


Harsh Cleaners

While most cleaning solutions won’t damage a stainless steel or composite sink, they can cause some serious harm to a copper sink. The chemicals in these cleaners can strip the patina from your sink and even cause it to start turning green in some cases. It’s best just to avoid harsh cleaners altogether.


Abrasive Scrubbing Pads

Remember that copper is a very soft metal, so it damages easily. If you use abrasive scrubbing pads like steel wool or a Brillo pad, you can scratch the copper and leave many visible marks.


Letting Acidic Foods or Toothpastes Sit

Acidic substances, such as leftover food or toothpaste, are harmful to copper and can cause discolorations. Don’t let these substances sit in your copper sink. When using items like these in your copper sink, leave the water running and be sure to rinse the sink well afterward.


Leaving Your Sink Wet

This is particularly important if you have hard water. Leftover water in your sink can leave behind hard water deposits that will be extremely visible on a copper sink. To prevent this, simply dry your sink out after every use so that water is never left to sit in the sink.


Leaving Pots and Pans in the Sink

Leaving pans and pots in your copper sink can damage it in several ways. First, those pieces of cookware are made of harder metal than copper and can easily damage the soft copper of your sink. Plus, there’s probably leftover food in those pots and pans, which can discolor the copper if they’re acidic.divider 6

3 Ways to Clean a Copper Sink

Depending on what your needs are, we are providing you with three methods for cleaning your copper sink and keeping it looking the same way it did when it was new.

Method 1: Dish Soap and a Soft Sponge

For regular, routine cleaning of a copper sink, all you need is a soft sponge or washcloth and dish soap with no bleach added. Add a few drops of the dish soap to your sponge or washcloth and gently but thoroughly wipe down the entire sink. Make sure that you rinse everything down well when you’re done and don’t leave any soap or water to sit in the sink.


Method 2: Removing Green Spots

When copper is exposed to moisture too long, it can form green spots that ruin the overall look of your once beautiful copper sink. Luckily, there’s a fairly easy fix for this common problem.

To get rid of those green spots, you’ll need baking soda and a sponge. Start by making a paste on the sponge out of the baking soda and a few drops of water. Use this paste to scrub the green spots with the sponge until the mineral deposit is removed.


Method 3: Keeping Your Sink Shiny

If you want your copper sink to have a bright and shiny look instead of developing an aged look like copper will do naturally, you’ll have to take a couple of extra steps.

Every four to six weeks you’re going to need to clean your sink with a special copper cleaner. These are special products that help prevent the natural copper patina from building, so don’t use them on any sink that you want to get that natural patina look.

After cleaning the sink with a copper cleaner, you’ll need to apply a protectant or wax to keep it shiny. Most people prefer to use a copper-specific product, but you can also use carnauba wax. You’ll be able to tell you need to repeat the process when water stops beading on the surface of the copper.

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Conclusion

Cleaning a copper sink isn’t complicated or difficult, but you do have to be aware of a few things. Make sure you don’t use any harsh cleaning chemicals or abrasive scrubbers on your sink if you want to avoid damage. Try not to leave your sink wet between uses and never leave leftover food unless you want the copper to become discolored. All you need for regular cleaning is dish soap and a soft sponge, but you can use a little baking soda to remove green stains caused by too much moisture.

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Featured image credit: TerraArtesana, Pixabay

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