Copper cookware has a long association with world-class cooking (think Julia Child). And as copper experiences a renaissance in design right now, people are snapping up copper pots and pans to bring warmth and a gorgeous sheen to the kitchen. But while copper, which is considered a soft metal, is prized for its ability to conduct heat, it requires a little more TLC than other materials, so it’s important to learn how to clean copper. “Depending on the lining of one’s copper cookware, it’s possible to make mistakes when cleaning,” says Mac Kohler, of Brooklyn Copper Cookware. But when your pots are well cared for, they pay off in decades of use and beauty in the kitchen.
How to Clean Copper
Start with soap and water.
Copper pots are generally lined with stainless steel or tin. Either way, use a soft sponge to wash them with a gentle dish soap and warm water.
Keep it gleaming by polishing it.
Left alone, copper naturally tarnishes over time. To polish it, regularly apply a specialty copper cleaner or a homemade mixture of lemon juice and baking soda, vinegar and salt, or lemon and salt.