Copper and brass utensils are very common in an Indian household. On the one hand it is popularly believed that usage of copper/brass utensils is beneficial for health. On the other hand these utensils look very beautiful and antique.
But alas… beauty comes with a cost. The copper/brass utensils easily get tarnished. There a lot of natural ways to remove the tarnish from copper utensils. The market is also full of powders like Pitambari for cleaning these copper utensils.
In my house, copper utensils are used daily to perform pooja. As they come in contact with water on a daily basis, they tend to tarnish pretty fast. I have to the clean these copper vessels once every week to remove the tarnish.
I am a person who believes more in using natural things over chemicals. I have tried a few natural ways of cleaning the copper utensils. And trust me these are very easy and quick and they really work wonders.
I have tried using lime/lemon, vinegar, salt, tamarind etc etc. My experience tells me that a combination of salt and acid always works better as compared to only acid. I am no chemistry geek…. so I can’t tell you the chemical reason behind it. Although I am sure it has something to do copper oxide and how acid and salt stop its formation. ( I think I should stop flaunting my 10th grade chemistry knowledge 😉 ). I just found out using the trial and error method that Acid + Salt is the best combo.
So here are the two of my most used ans easy peasy methods:
1. Lemon + Salt : To 1 tsp of salt add 4 tsp of lemon juice and mix well. Apply this mixture of copper utensils with the help of a sponge/cloth. Leave for about 30 seconds to a minute. Rinse with water.
2. Vinegar + Salt : You can use any type of vinegar. To 1 tsp of salt add 4 tsp of vinegar and mix well. Apply this mixture of copper utensils with the help of a sponge/cloth. Leave for about 30 seconds to a minute. Rinse with water.
(After cleaning )
Note : The black patch on the back side (in the after picture) is just the shadow… my photography negligence.
The whole process takes just about 5 minutes and my utensils come out clean and shiny. And the best part is, these ingredients are freely available in the house and hence so additional cost needs to be incurred.
So happy cleaning 🙂