How to Clean Copper Jewelry?

Do you have copper jewelry, and are you looking for the easiest way to clean it? If you, you definitely want your jewelry to be eye-catching.

Copper jewelry is very popular because of its shiny appearance. All of us love sparkling jewelry; the more it shines, the more find appealing. It is also comfortable to wear and fits with any outfit easily.

However, the copper in your jewelry gets dull and blackened over time.

That’s why you must be aware of ways to clean your copper jewelry and find out what method works best for you.

Methods of Cleaning Copper Jewelry

Some copper jewelry has a thin lacquer layer, while some others don’t. How you should clean the copper jewelry will vary accordingly. Here you will find the ways of cleaning for both types.

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Last update on 2023-09-09

Cleaning a Lacquered Copper Jewelry:

If your jewelry has a lacquer layer, it will blacken slowly. It will become less shiny with time. To prevent the dullness of your jewelry, you can do the following:

a. Use a Polishing Cloth:

You can simply use a Polishing Cloth to restore the shine. Rub the copper part with it. However, refrain from doing this too often, as you might end up removing the lacquer layer. It will be safe to just do it once every two months. Try to use the copper polishing cloth as the other ones might not be very useful.

b. Use Soapy Water:

Sometimes, the jewelry gets too dirty for the polishing cloth to clean up. You can then use warm water with some soap, or Liquid Jewelry Cleaner added to it. Then go for a gentle rubbing with a cloth/ brush. Don’t forget to dry it after cleaning.

Best Way to Clean a Non-Lacquered Copper Jewelry:

If your copper jewelry doesn’t have a lacquer layer, it will oxidize and blacken quickly. Mild acidic substances like lemon juice or vinegar can be a good cleaner. Using these, you can easily clean your jewelry at home. Here are some options to make your jewelry shiny again.

a. Using Lemon Juice:

Lemon juice can be used in three different ways. You can add either salt or baking soda or simply use the lemon juice itself.

Lemon Juice and Salt:

Wet the copper with lemon juice and spread some salt on it. Now rub the surface with a soft cloth. If you don’t want to use a fabric or don’t have one nearby, just sprinkle the salt on a lemon piece and rub the copper with it.

The tarnish will go away within a few minutes. Then rinse and dry properly.

Lemon Juice and Baking Soda:

You need to make a lemon juice and baking soda paste, taking an equal amount of both. Apply it on the copper surface and rub it with your fingers or a soft cloth.

Use a soft toothbrush if the piece is very dirty or contains some crevices. Now rinse and dry it.

Lemon Juice Dip:

Cut the lemon into some pieces and squeeze the juice into a cup. Avoid metal container while doing this. You can always use glass, ceramic, or plastic cups.

Now add some salt to the juice and put your copper in the dip. Leave it for a few minutes. You can use a soft cloth or toothbrush to rub if necessary. Finally, rinse it well with water and dry well. 

Don’t use this method if your jewelry contains gemstones or pearls.

b. Using Vinegar:

Take some amount of Vinegar into a cup. Then put your copper earring or bracelet in it. Rub if needed. Finally, rinse and dry.

Vinegar and Salt:

This mixture can be used in two ways. You can pour Vinegar and salt on the copper surface and rub it.

You can also put some vinegar and salt into a cup, add some water if needed. Then put your copper jewelry in the liquid. Boil until the copper looks clean. Cool it and wash with soapy water and dry. The latter method takes some time but will give you a deeper cleaning.

Vinegar, Salt and, Flour:

Take one tablespoon salt, one cup of Vinegar and, some flour in a bowl. Now make a paste and apply it to the copper surface. Rub and leave the copper for some time. The tarnish will gradually go away. Then rinse it and dry it.

Using Ketchup:

Take some regular ketchup and rub the copper surface with it. The Vinegar in the ketchup will work like magic to remove the tarnish. You should rinse well as the ketchup is a bit sticky.

Try Jewelry Polish:

Usually, a polishing cloth is used for lacquered pieces. You can also use it for your non-lacquered jewelry to give it an immediate shine. You should go for a quick polish before and after using and after cleaning your jewelry.

Using Commercial Copper Cleaner:

The above home-made options will work just fine for your jewelry. Only if your piece is highly tarnished you can go with a commercial grade Jewelry Cleaner Machine. Rub the jewelry with a soft cloth and rinse well. Keep in mind to use a customized one for copper. Other cleaners may be too harsh for it.

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Last update on 2023-09-19


Be extra cautious if your jewelry has one of the following issues:

  • If you are using a gemstone bracelet, don’t apply lemon juice or vinegar to it. Avoid gemstone areas while cleaning. The same goes for the other type of stones. Clean around the stones. Don’t apply the cleaning substance onto them if you are not certain about its safety.
  • Be careful about pearled jewelry. Also, avoid soaking such jewelry into the cleaning liquid.
  • If you are using antique jewelry, it may lose value without the tarnish. So, don’t try to follow the above methods. We suggest you consult a jewelry expert.

If you want to store your jewelry without being tarnished for a longer time, the following section is meant for you.

How to Preserve Copper Jewelry:

Humidity in the air, oils from your skin and, several other factors can accelerate the tarnishing process. Follow our tips to prevent it.

  • Store your copper ornament in an airtight box or in a sealed plastic bag to keep it away from humidity. You can use some anti-tarnish paper to wrap it while storing. Also, check before putting it in your jewelry box. You should not leave it wet.
  • Natural oil and sweat from your skin are harmful to the jewelry. To prevent it, wipe it dry every time you wear it.
  • Take off your copper bracelet while doing dishes or taking a bath.
  • You can seal your copper with a polish or wax to protect the tarnishing. You can easily find a commercial sealer for this. Besides, nail polish or car wax can also be used for this purpose. However, avoid the stone part while doing so.


We hope you understand how to clean copper jewelry. Clean your jewelry properly for avoid health issue too.

You may notice some green stains on your skin, especially when wearing your jewelry for an extended period. It happens when the copper part comes in contact with your skin oil/ sweat.

You shouldn’t be worried as it causes no harm to your skin except the stains, which will go away after taking a bath. However, if you still want to avoid this, just apply some water colored nail polish on the copper parts.

Elsa Leena

Elsa is the Editor at JewelryCleaningMachine.Com. She is a jewelry cleaning expert and owner of a local jewelry store. She now enjoys publishing the guides to help readers.

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