How To Clean Copper For Plating

Copper plating is different from pure copper, therefore learning how to clean copper for plating is a very different process. Copper plating is not really copper. It is actually iron that is coated with a copper sulfate chemical solution. Once the copper plating process is finished, the copper must be cleaned properly or it will tarnish. After a while, copper reacts with the air. This reaction leads to the build-up of patina. If rain is thrown into the equation, the patina will become green. This will be very unattractive. Pure copper is able to maintain its appearance for decades. If you want to ensure your copper plating stays lovely, follow these simple steps.

In order to clean copper for plating, you will need:

  • Copper plated pieces
  • Warm water
  • Soap
  • Soft dry cloth
  • Metal polishing products (optional)
  1.  Begin by dusting your copper plated pieces off with the soft, dry cloth. Once all the dust and dirt is removed, you can gently cleanse the pieces.
  2.  Add the soap to the warm water. Mix until suds form. Dip the copper plating into the warm water mixture.
  3.  Rinse the copper under clean water. Dry it off using the cloth.
  4.  If you really want your copper plating to sparkle, use a polish. Brasso and Wright's Copper Cream are great products for copper. Apply the product to another soft cloth. Rub all over the copper. The polish will loosen the dirt and debris. Allow the product to dry. After a few minutes, you a dry cloth to buff and polish the copper plated piece.

If you find yourself without any cleaning products, raid the pantry! Use a common condiment to clean your copper. Ketchup is a wonderful and tasty alternative to soap and water. Smear the ketchup over your copper plating. Allow to sit for a bit. Since you've already got the ketchup out, snack on some fries or a hot dog while you wait. After about five or ten minutes, rinse the ketchup off the piece.  

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