There are a lot of copper products in the market and in your home. These products tend to discolor since copper is quite reactive with oxygen. Discoloration usually affects the warm, gold brownish color of copper. To preserve the original look of products made with copper, one has to inhibit the oxidation process. This article provides a couple of guidelines for handling copper staining at home.
Home remedies to remove the discoloration for small items
Start by placing some water in a stove. Add a cup of vinegar and one table teaspoon of salt. Submerge your item into the solution and leave it to boil for a couple of hours. Top up the water when needed. The vinegar and salt mixture forms an acid that removes the tarnish. Allow the item to cool off before washing it with soapy water and drying it with a soft cloth.
Home remedies for objects that are too big to boil
For larger items such as sink and tubs, you need to make a cleaning paste since they are too big to boil. Start by washing them with soapy water, rinse them, and dry them using a soft cloth. Take a small bowl and mix equal parts of vinegar, salt, flour, and enough water that can make a paste. If the tarnish is severe, use equal parts of tomato sauce, lemon juice, and salt to make it effective. Rinse the surface with warm water and dry it with a soft cloth.
Use commercial products to remove copper discoloration
Commercial tarnish-removal products are readily available in home maintenance stores and supermarkets. If you prefer using them, read the instructions provided to ensure that they are suitable enough for your product. Use a soft cloth to apply enough layer of the cream on the tarnished item. Leave the surface to sit for a while before buffing it with a clean and dry cloth.
Ways To Prevent Copper Discoloration
The process used to prevent future tarnish depends on whether it is an outdoor or an indoor item. For indoor items, you can coat the product using carnauba wax or beeswax. Dip a soft cloth in the wax and apply the wax on the surface.
For outdoor equipment, linseed oil can be quite useful compared with the wax. Use the oil to polish the surface until it shines. Alternatively, you can use a lacquer finish, which is equally effective. Apply the first coat using a soft paintbrush and allow it to dry. Wait for a while and apply the second coat and leave it to dry.
Note that aluminum products tarnish even after clear powder coating. Products that have undergone through the coating process usually have darkened spots. One can experience this while using either the homemade paste or the commercial one. To avoid this, use double zincate and copper plate alkaline buff. Clean the product with a solvent thoroughly before you bake it using powder coat. The product should dry with air as fast as possible to avoid losing the brightness.