How to Clean Copper Jewelry

Tree Bark Textured Copper Bracelets

Best Ways of Cleaning Copper Jewelry

How to clean copper jewelry; one of the most troublesome problems is how to clean silver jewelry and copper handmade jewelry. Choosing the incorrect method of cleaning or using harsh chemicals can damage and even ruin your most treasured piece of unique handcrafted jewelry. Here are some ideas to keep your handmade copper jewelry looking new.

Handmade Copper Southwest Native Bracelet
Handmade Copper Jewelry, Southwest Native Bracelet

All silver and copper jewelry will tarnish with time due to exposure to air and humidity. Sulfides in the air cause silver and copper to tarnish. The best way to polish silver jewelry is to use a jewelry polishing cloth. You should never use a commercial silver dipping solution. The chemicals in these solutions can do more harm than good to the jewelry. This also goes for copper jewelry. Using a jewelry polishing cloth on copper jewelry will bring back the shine if tarnishing occurs.

Nature Jewelry Maple Leaf Earrings
Handmade Copper Jewelry, Maple Leaves Earrings

Polishing cloths cost only a few dollars and can be purchased at most stores that sell fine jewelry, and are also available at many drug stores. A  jewelry polishing cloth can last for many years so it is a good investment.

Canadian Wildlife Loon Earrings
Loon Earrings Handmade From Copper

Another great way of cleaning copper jewelry uses a solution of lemon or lime juice with a dash of salt. This solution is easy, readily available, and will restore the shine to copper jewelry. Rinse the piece off well after dipping and dry before storing it. Grapefruit juice and vinegar will also work, although lemon juice tends to get the best results. Use the jewelry polishing cloth to add extra luster and keep the piece shiny between cleanings.

Native SW American Bracelet
Copper Jewelry, Colorful SW Native American Bracelet

Handmade jewelry handcrafted from metal can also be cleaned using this method. If your handcrafted jewelry, silver jewelry or copper jewelry contains stones take special care to make sure the acidic lemon juice does not come into contact with the stones.

Native Colorful Southwest Native Bracelets
Copper Bracelets, Handmade SW Native Bracelets

Storing your silver and copper jewelry in plastic re-closeable bags when not being worn will help to keep the jewelry clean and shining. Continuous exposure to air and moisture is what causes the oxidation or tarnish. You might also like to coat your copper jewelry with clear acrylic lacquer to protect it from discoloration.

Colorful Flowers and Hummingbird Rings
Copper Handcrafted Jewelry, Hummingbird Rings

Copper jewelry can be quick to tarnish, but the good news is that it is easy to clean and restore to its original shine. The best ways of clean copper jewelry can be done with some common household items and a little bit of elbow grease, your silver, copper, and handcrafted jewelry can be as lovely as it was the day you purchased it or made it. So do not throw out that tarnished piece of jewelry, make it look like new again!

Cut Out Gold Copper Elephant Necklaces
Copper Elephant Necklaces Cut Out with Gold Plating

Copper jewelry we make does not require polishing as they would not be tarnished as long as you take of them by keeping them away from detergents, hair sprays, and other chemicals. The reason our jewelry does not tarnish not only because of the three-four layers of acrylic finish on them, but it is also because we pay special attention not to touch them with bare hands and expose them to dampness and moisture before we apply the finishes.

If copper is not treated right after polishing and they already started to tarnish even though we might not see this right away, you can spray them with lacquer finishes and it would not help. In a few weeks, you will start seeing the tarnish even your fingerprints under the thick layer of finish that you sprayed to protect the copper from changing color.

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