My very own mother taught me today’s cleaning hack – how to clean copper pots with vinegar and salt.
It’s amazing how you can clean copper cookware with a dry cloth, table salt, and a cup of vinegar. Forget about commercial copper cleaners, and do this! A little elbow grease is all that you need to make that tarnished copper look new again!
Check out the simple cleaning tips below on the best way to clean the surface of the copper pot!
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My mother always kept a water bottle of white vinegar next to the sink so she could easily clean her copper pots quickly and easily after each use.
Unfortunately, I once accidentally took a swig from that water bottle full of vinegar, thinking it was just water, and was seriously surprised and disgusted! Bleh!
How glad I am that vinegar is a natural product as well as a strong cleaning agent. It works great to clean copper pots and make them shine like new but won’t cause you any harm, other than to your sense of smell. Bonus: vinegar and salt are cheap.
How to Clean Copper Pots with Vinegar
Materials Needed to Clean Copper Pots
To clean copper-bottomed pots and get them shining like new again grab the following:
- White Vinegar
- Scour Pad
- Dirty Copper Pots
Instructions for Cleaning Copper Pots with Vinegar
Here’s my Youtube video I put together showing you how, otherwise follow the instructions below:
Time needed: 10 minutes.
How to Clean Copper with Vinegar and Salt
- Sprinkle salt onto the bottom of your pans.
- Pour or spray your white vinegar on the salt.
- It will change color! It’s working!
- Take your scour pad and rub that vinegar around and into that salt.
- Add more vinegar and salt as needed and continue to scrub. And that’s it! Your pots will be shiny and brighter than ever before!
It really works!
Seriously! It’s that easy!
Apparently, you can also clean copper pots with ketchup (since it has vinegar in it)! Check out my tutorial with ketchup! Another great product that works to clean copper pots is Bar Keepers Friend. That stuff is great!Now go clean those copper pots!
Will this work on other copper kitchenware?
I would assume that the copper exterior of any copper cookware can be cleaned with this vinegar and salt mixture. The great thing is that you can always try it and see what happens. The worst thing is that it won't work. The best is that you'll have a clean pot and get rid of those copper tarnishes!
Does this vinegar-salt solution get rid of stuck-on food?
The chemical reaction of the salt and vinegar is not meant to clean the bottom of the pot to remove food but instead to make the surface of the metal shine. This isn't a way to clean the pot after cooking but is a great way to remove any black spots and clean the tarnish that is on the bottom of the pan. It will help restore it back to its original color due to the combination of salt and vinegar.
What is the easiest way to apply the vinegar?
You can add some to a spray bottle and spray it onto the bottom of the pan, or put some in a small bowl and dip a clean rag or steel wool into it. Since you do need a little bit of elbow grease, steel wool is going to be your best bet to clean the tarnish off the soft metal.
Once you start cleaning, the natural process of the vinegar and salt will get rid of that stubborn tarnish easily! You can then just use a microfiber cloth and some hot water to wipe it clean, and you're good to go.
You can easily make this a part of your regular cleaning process as well so that the copper surface of the pot stays nice and new looking. Even if your copper pans are old, this combination with a circulation motion of cleaning from you works!
The final step? Take a picture after you're done (and one before!) to show the difference!
For more great cleaning tips, be sure to follow my Cleaning board on Pinterest!
For more tips on how to clean just about everything, check out these other popular kitchen cleaning tutorials!
- How to clean dishwasher with a steam cleaner
- How to clean oven with baking soda
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- How to clean and deodorize garbage disposal
- How to remove fridge odor and smells
- How to clean stove drip pans
- How to clean globe faucet handles
- How to clean copper pot with ketchup
- How to remove scratches from dinnerware
- How to clean a Le Creuset dutch oven
- How to clean stainless steel pans
WOW! This is great. While I don’t have this type of pans, my parents do and they look horrible! I need to use this trick.
Wow, that’s pretty amazing! I love how it looks so pretty and shiny! I have heard of cleaning with vinegar and baking soda but now vinegar and salt! Cool. Thanks for linking up to Making Your Home Sing Monday!
Darlene Dean says
the copper on pans I always use ketchup. minimal scrubbing. leave it on and wipe off. if it all didn’t come off then do a second try.
I use lemons, salt and a soft cloth.
Katelyn Fagan says
Must be the acidity that does the trick! Thanks for sharing!
Nina Lewis says
I just saw this idea on Pinterest! I can’t wait to use your idea. (It’s fun to see that you graduated at BYU! I work there. I manage two computer labs for the McKay School of Education…)
Katelyn Fagan says
Great to hear from a fellow BYU person. 🙂 And I will be demoing this tonight for our Relief Society meeting.
Super jazzed about getting that knwo-how.
Madison Brown says
THANK YOU!!! I have antique revere ware that I’ve collected from thrift stores and they need a good cleaning. This is perfect! Thank you so much!
Katelyn Fagan says
You are welcome!! I hope it works awesome for you!
Revere ware can be cleaned using ketchup or tomato sauce, too.
Julia G. says
Just a little warning, be careful with this. I tried this last night on a tiny copper dipped revere ware pot and with very gentle scrubbing it started to take the copper right off and show through to the silver part of the pot. Maybe only use on thick copper coatings!
Tried this it works. But I have copper bottoms that have baked on gunk. Can I get it off without ruining the pan?
Wow, I just tried the vinegar & salt on the copper bottoms of 2 pans that belonged to my mom….they are well over 40 years old. They look like new! I try a lot of these cleaning “hacks” only to be disappointed, but this one works in minutes! Thanks for the tip!
Katelyn Fagan says
Yeah!! So great to hear!
Carolyn Klein says
Does salt & vinegar clean brass? If not,what works to really get a shine. Brasso does not work any more & neìther do lemons or catsup.