How to Clean Copper Jewelry

How to Clean Copper Jewelry? Have you got a new copper jewelry item and are unsure how to clean it? Copper jewelry is truly stunning, and if you don’t know proper cleaning methods, you may likely end up ruining it. If you have some copper jewelry, but you’re wondering how to clean copper jewelry, you are in luck because we’ll be sharing all you need to know to keep your copper looking in top shape.

Copper jewelry is not only durable but is also super easy to maintain. Several methods will ensure your copper items keep shining, just like the very first day you bought them, and the best part is you may even have all the cleaning products right in your kitchen pantry.

If you are dealing with highly tarnished jewelry, do not panic; we’ve also got you covered. Now that cleaning your copper jewelry is quite simple, it is time to learn the actual process. Take note and make sure you follow all the steps to how to clean copper jewelry.

Brief History of Copper

In its naturally occurring state, copper was probably the first metal to be used by humans. Neolithic people used copper as a substitute for stone by 8000 B.C. It was first cast by the Egyptians around 4000 B.C. and was alloyed with tin to produce Bronze around 3500 B.C.

Copper was associated with the goddess Aphrodite/Venus in mythology and alchemy, owing to its lustrous beauty and its ancient use in producing mirrors. Copper takes its name from the Latin Cyprium, meaning “metal of Cyprus,” shortened to cyprium and later corrupted to cuprum.

How to Clean Copper Jewelry

Check out these additional methods to clean copper sinks

Method 1: Lemon Juice + Salt

  1. Pour some lemon juice onto copper jewelry.
  2. Sprinkle table salt onto the surface of the copper jewelry
  3. Using a soft cloth, rub the item to remove tarnish
  4. You can also sprinkle salt onto the cut half of the lemon and then rub the copper with the salted lemon wedge
  5. Rinse with clean water and set aside to dry completely

Method 2: Jewelry Polishing Cloth

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

Method 3: Commercial Cleaner

Commercial copper cleaners are recommended for highly tarnished copper jewelry items. You can find commercial copper cleaners at most hardware stores. Make sure you wear rubber gloves and work in a well-ventilated area when using a commercial cleaner.
Make sure you read the label instructions and rub the jewelry item on a soft cloth until the copper jewelry item shines again.

Recommended Products

Wright’s Brass and Copper Polish

The finest ingredients keep brass, bronze & copper beautiful for many years to come. This anti-tarnish formula leaves behind a protective coating that delays tarnish from reforming.

It takes just seconds to polish effortlessly, rinse & dry for a brilliant, mirror-like shine. It helps return your brass pieces to their original beauty by erasing the discoloration.

how to clean copper jewelry: Wright's Brass and Copper PolishPin


  • Long-Lasting Shine
  • Easy to use

Rolite Brass and Copper Polish

Rolite Brass and Copper Polish cleans, polishes, and protects while leaving behind a brilliant shine on brass and copper in just one quick and easy step that takes only minutes.

This gentle yet effective formula removes scratches and polishes metal surfaces while leaving a protective coating freeing metal from rust, tarnishes, and water stains.

how to clean copper jewelry: Rolite Brass and Copper PolishPin


  • Acid-free
  • Silicone-free
  • Odor-free
  • Non-toxic and eco-friendly

Twinkle Brass & Copper Cleaning Kit

Easily and quickly dissolves tarnish and cooked on stains: no scrubbing, no mess, and waste. Anti-tarnish ingredient keeps copper brighter longer.

Use Twinkle Copper and Brass cleaner for easy, effective cleaning. Use on: Copper pots, copper or brass jewelry, candlesticks, brass fireplaces, and hand or foot bar reels.

To use Twinkle Copper and Brass Cleaner: rinse the item in hot water, apply the cleaner with applicator sponge or cloth, and rinse promptly with hot water. Wipe dry with a clean cloth.

how to clean copper jewelry: Twinkle Brass & Copper Cleaning KitPin


  • No scrubbing

Method 4: Soapy water

2 cups warm water
2 tbsp dish soap

  1. Add the soap and water to a small glass bowl, whipping the contents until they get nice and foamy.
  2. Have a second bowl on hand to rinse off the jewelry.
  3. Submerge your copper pieces in soapy water for approximately ten minutes.
  4. Rinse in the clean water and dry.

Common Questions Regarding How to Clean Copper Jewelry

How do you remove tarnish from copper jewelry?

Pour white vinegar and salt over the copper bracelet and rub in to remove all tarnish. Rinse off and polish with a soft, dry cloth.
Alternatively, you can place one tablespoon salt and one cup of white vinegar into a pot. Fill with water. Place copper bracelet in a pot and bring to boil until all tarnish comes off. Once cool, wash with soap and water and dry.

How do you keep copper jewelry shiny?

The best method to keep your copper jewelry nice and shiny is to store it in a re-sealable plastic bag or jewelry case with anti-tarnish paper. Make sure your jewelry is clean and moisture-free before storing it.

How do you maintain copper jewelry?

Keep your copper jewelry clean by occasionally washing it with lukewarm, soapy water. Then, dry and polish with a soft cloth. You can also use a soft cloth to polish your jewelry using a polish gently.

Which household product can be used to clean copper?

You can clean your copper except for gemstones or pearl set jewelry, using the following acid-based household products:

  • Vinegar – (White, Apple Cider, Wine, Balsamic) Place the item in a glass or plastic container (not metal). Pour enough vinegar until it completely covers the piece. Let stand for about 10-15 minutes. Rinse and dry.
  • Lemon or Lime Juice.
  • Worcestershire Sauce or Ketchup. Apply it with a toothbrush or soft cloth, then rinse thoroughly. Avoid getting ketchup on gemstones that should not be used with chemical cleaners.

How do you clean copper jewelry with baking soda?

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

Does copper offer any 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, leading to arthritis and circulatory issues.
Though copper oral supplements are available, many people tend to wear copper jewelry to allow just a tiny amount of the copper to be absorbed through the skin.

How durable is copper?

As a metal, copper is highly durable. 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. If properly cared for, copper jewelry will last a lifetime.

How to store copper?

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

Why does copper leave your skin green?

Copper turns your skin green because of the chemical reaction when the copper metal contact skin and sweat. This creates what is called copper chelates. Though the skin cannot absorb pure copper, 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 turn your skin green. The green stains can be easily washed away with soap and water.

How to avoid copper jewelry leaving stains on your skin?

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 often should you clean copper jewelry?

The frequency with which you clean your copper items depends mainly on how often you use them and when. Jewelry you wear every day demands a more regular cleaning, generally once a week.

Additional Tips on How to Clean Copper Jewelry

  • Do not expose copper jewelry (especially patinated copper jewelry) to water or any solvent.
  • Remove all jewelry before showering or bathing.
  • Do not wear jewelry while swimming (chlorine and salt will permanently damage copper and/or patina).
  • The best way to bring back luster to any piece of jewelry is to use a jewelry polishing cloth that can be easily purchased at most jewelry stores, online, and many drugstores.
  • If your copper jewelry item has gemstones, soaking it in acidic lemon juice can potentially damage your gemstones.
  • Before you store your copper, make sure that it is scorched. Exposure to air and moisture causes copper jewelry to tarnish. Always store copper in a cool, dry place.
  • Wipe your copper jewelry before and after putting it on to remove any body oils or excess moisture.
  • Remember that some commercial cleaners might be too harsh for your copper jewelry. Commercial cleaners that are too harsh for your copper jewelry will end up scratching your jewelry piece rather than polishing it.
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I'm Claire Williams, the founder of and resident cleaning enthusiast. I’ve spent years researching the best ways to clean all types of items, from jewelry to air conditioners, and now I want to share my knowledge with you!
Photo of author
I'm Claire Williams, the founder of and resident cleaning enthusiast. I’ve spent years researching the best ways to clean all types of items, from jewelry to air conditioners, and now I want to share my knowledge with you!