How to Clean a Copper Sink – Complete Copper Sink Cleaning and Care

how to clean a hammered copper sink

A lot of people have copper sinks in their kitchens. Copper is a great material for sinks because it’s durable and easy to clean. The problem is that over time, they can become stained or tarnished. This blog post will teach you how to clean your copper sink so that it looks new again!

In my opinion, you have to know everything regarding copper. The second section of this article will help you understand the nature of copper. 

Copper is a material very different from the sinks used. It also has unique characteristics. Before moving to the minor aspects of copper sinks, let us share some important considerations about maintaining and cleaning a copper sink.

how to clean a copper kitchen sink
Tips to clean and maintain you precious copper sink

How to Clean a Copper Sink in 11 Easy Steps

It’s inevitable. Eventually, your copper kitchen sink will get stained and dirty. In fact, the first thing that most people think of when they hear “copper kitchen sink” is not how shiny it looks or how attractive it is but rather what to clean to make it shine again without damaging the sink itself. This article shows you the step-by-step for cleaning, polishing, and protecting your copper sink.

1) Get a bowl of hot water

Fill your kitchen sink with some hot water. The hotter the better (reaches about 120 degrees F). Add some dishwashing liquid detergent to keep suds from forming. Stir it up so that all pieces of debris are covered.

2) Get another bowl

Get a second bowl and fill it with warm water. Add some baking soda to this one. The baking soda is important for two reasons: 1) It keeps the bleach from eating through your copper sink and 2) prevents the copper from oxidizing (turning a darker color). Stir gently so that no suds build-up.

3) Apply the cleaning mixture to the sink

First, dip a washcloth in the hot water (soaked with detergent) and apply it along the rim of your copper sink. The purpose of this step is to loosen dirt and grime so that you can wipe it away later on using a wet sponge.

4) Apply the baking soda mixture to the sink

Next, dip a clean washcloth in the warm water (with baking soda) and apply along the rim again. Be sure to get all areas of your copper sink and keep it wet for several minutes. This step is done to remove any soap residue that may have been left behind after cleaning in step 3.

5) Wash it off

For the final step, wash the baking soda, hot water, and soap mixture down your kitchen sink drain by pouring in more hot water. Do not use a plunger or any other implement to help get this mixture down the drain – just let gravity do its work. Once you’re sure all of the residues is gone, turn off the hot water at the sink and let it drain naturally.

6) Protect your copper sink

After you’ve washed all of the cleaning mixtures down your kitchen sink drain, turn on the hot water again and make sure that it’s nice and toasty warm. You want this next step to dry as quickly as possible without the copper oxidizing.

7) Apply your paste wax

Apply a liberal amount of paste (car) wax to your kitchen sink and allow it to sit for about 5 minutes. The purpose of this step is to create a clear, protective coat over the natural copper color of your sink. Paste waxes are available at most auto parts stores or online. There are some recommended waxes given below and available on Amazon and you may also purchase in market.

8) Wipe it down and polish the sink

After you’ve let the paste wax sit for 5 minutes, wipe off any excess that may have landed on the sides of your kitchen sink. Now take a microfiber cloth (available at most grocery stores – use their disposable paper towels) and begin polishing your copper sink. The microfiber cloth will get the job done with no effort at all.

9) Done!

Congratulations, you’ve just cleaned your copper sink and restored its shine! It’s important to clean off the paste wax now that it has dried because otherwise, it will create a gooey mess in the kitchen sink drain whenever water and soap are applied next.

10) Repeat every 6 months or so

Repeat the process in steps 1-9 every month for at least 2 weeks to get your copper sink clean and shine again. The copper sink will oxidize within 17 hours of applying the paste wax on it, so make sure you do this quickly! It’s not necessary to do the whole process every time you clean your kitchen sink, just do steps 1-6.

11) Keep it protected!

The bottom line is this: if you want to get any use out of your copper sink, at least once every month or so you should repeat steps 1-6 in order to maintain its shine. If you don’t, you’re just wasting your money. For those of you who have copper sinks in your home and don’t want to be bothered with cleaning them every month, the best thing to do is invest in a sink protector. A quality sink protector will keep your copper sink looking new even after years of use!

Some Basic Points to Remember!

After each use:

  • Wash with warm water and gentle dish soap.
  • Use a sponge or soft cloth to clean the area.
  • Avoid harsh chemicals and cleaners.
  • Never use steel wool, scouring pads or any other hard scrubbing pads.
  • To remove stubborn stains from your sink’s surface, use baking soda and warm water.
  • In order to prevent green spotting and mineral deposits, dry your sink after every use.
  • To prevent food particles (especially acidic foods) and avoid temporary discoloration or scratches to the sink’s surfaces, always remove them.
  • Moreover, to protect and shine the copper sink’s finish, apply a copper wax or protector once a month (or when water stops beading on it).

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Understanding Copper and Patina

Copper is known for its “living finish.” It means that the color of your copper sink will change as time passes. It doesn’t mean your copper sink is going to change from a coppery color to a purple, green or yellow. However, the copper tone in certain areas of your sink could shift to a darker tone. Don’t worry. It is perfectly normal. It’s what gives copper its rustic design qualities. This darker tone is known as patina.

Copper’s surface patina (and other metals such as bronze) acts as a natural protection mechanism. Copper’s natural protection mechanism is to create darker tones over shiny new coins. Therefore, the patina process will naturally occur with time.

What is the Patina?

The patina of copper is a natural process. Many factors can influence how copper sinks will patina. Many things can influence how fast the patina develops and other factors that can cause it not to. The patina of your copper sink will not be affected by any of these factors. Moreover, your copper’s health is not affected by the patina in your copper sink.

The patina of copper sinks is natural. They will last for many years, regardless of how long they have been kept in place. The patina strips will leave a coppery shine visible on your copper sink’s surface. You don’t have to worry about it! Over time, this bright and shiny spot will blend in with other earth tones, such as the ones in your kitchen or bathroom.

Below is a list that includes several items that can remove the patina from copper sinks:

  • Acidic foods include tomatoes, citrus, tomatoes, and ketchup.
  • Cosmetics (toothpaste, make-ups, shaving cream, etc.)
  • Abrasive chemicals (avoid bleaching, drain unclogging chemical, etc.).
  • Patina can be affected by oil on your fingers, especially the naked copper finish.

Do not worry if these items are accidentally thrown into your sink. Try to get rid of the items and all their residue as fast as you can. They can strip the patina from your hands if they are left on for a long time. That’s fine, and don’t panic. Just take a deep breath and then relax. Let the patina process closed. You’ll see the bright, shiny copper returning to the rich colors you saw in your copper sink for several weeks.

Some people like the mix of tones that patina creates, while others prefer a more consistent tone. Unfortunately, patina happens naturally, so we cannot control it. However, there are steps you can take that will help to maintain a consistent tone.

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Enduring the Patina

If you are a fan of the changing colors, your only responsibility is to clean your sink regularly. To clean your sink, use mild soap, warm liquid, and a soft, cloth-like sponge. Avoid using metal scrubbing tools, abrasive chemicals, and steel wool.

Most copper sink manufacturers offer a lifetime guarantee that will not compromise the sink’s copper structure and integrity. However, color and finish can fade, darken or lighten over time—Thats why so many copper sink users love this look. Copper sinks are like denim or leather. They get better with time.

Tips to Control Patina

There are some steps you could take to ensure a uniform tone for your copper sink. Although you may not completely control what happens to patina and copper sinks, it is possible to take steps that will help maintain a consistent tone.

  • Make sure to clean your copper sink regularly. Warm water and mild soap are recommended for cleaning sinks. Avoid using abrasive chemical cleaning products, metal scrubbing tools, or steel wool.
  • Next, you will need to put a layer of protection on your sink. You can get a Copper Protectant Wax from a local store or purchase it online.

It would be best if you clean your kitchen sink on an ongoing basis. Food and dirty dishes should not be left in the sink. Certain foods have ingredients that can damage the patina of copper sinks. In the kitchen, it’s essential not to leave citrus or acidic food in your sink. In addition, you’ll need to keep toothpaste and any cosmetics out of the bathroom.

Copper Sink Patina Repair – How to clean a copper sink

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How To Keep Your Copper Sink Looking Like New – Tips to Maintain Copper Sink

Regular cleaning and proper care will resolve most problems. However, in certain circumstances, you might need extra help.

  • Bright spots: If you notice a tiny bright spot in your sink caused by a lime leftover or a blob of ketchup, don’t worry. You will see the area turn darker over time. To make it fade faster, wash the area with warm water and mild soap. Finally, brush the area with a stiff bristle. It will help take off any darker patina and blend more easily with the rest.
  • Green spots: Some green spots can be caused by overexposing the sink to moisture. They are only a mineral buildup that can easily remove with a soft fabric or your fingernail. These spots are usually found around the drain, faucet, or any other place where water pools.

You can prevent water from pooling and sitting in these areas. It will not happen if it does. It’s easy to scrub it off with your fingernail. Some soaps can cause green spotting when left on the sink’s top for a long time.

  • Brown Film: This can be caused by water pooling or accumulation in some areas of the sink (similar to the phenomenon of green spotting). It is easy to remove any brown film from the sink with a cloth or with your fingernail.

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Final Words

That’s all! It’s not difficult to take care of your copper sink, but it is a tiresome task. Copper sinks have a protective coating called patina. This living finish is naturally found in copper and will continue to evolve. In addition, copper is a living metal, so discoloration is natural. However, there are ways to minimize discoloration and natural spots.

Copper sinks are attractive and durable, as well as antibacterial in nature. You can keep your sink looking beautiful day after day, regardless of whether you prefer a clean, polished appearance or a natural look.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

I hope you found this article helpful!

We believe that the kitchen is the heart of a home, and the sink is its centerpiece. At Best Kitchen Sinks, our team of editors and writers put their maximum efforts into consolidating buying guides and reviews that are informative, unbiased, and helpful for homeowners in choosing the best kitchen sinks and other related products for their lovely kitchen! Alex Roy is the founder of best kitchen sinks. Being an expert in kitchen renovations, he believes in designing kitchens with the perfect sinks and other appliances to make kitchen tasks easy and free of mess. Alex Roy knows first-hand the challenges homeowners and business owners face when buying the best sinks and appliances for their kitchens. Besides the honest reviews on top kitchens sinks and filters, you will also find much information regarding kitchen sinks. From installation and plumbing to cleaning the kitchen sinks and troubleshooting any sink problem, our detailed and step-by-step guides will help you maintain your kitchen sink in the perfect shape at a minimal cost.

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