Although copper utensils are nothing more than an aesthetic decorative item in modern households, the soft metal is still widely used across many rural and urban areas of India. It is believed that using copper utensils in routine life, including cooking, and storing water and food items, bring immense health benefits.
Some benefits of using copper utensils include:
- Copper helps in the formation of nerve coating (myelin). This prevents seizures from occurring and acts as a brain stimulant.
- The antioxidant and anti-carcinogenic agents in the copper metal help in slowing down the ageing process by preventing cell damage.
- Drinking water stored in a copper mug overnight helps to maintain the pH balance of the body, which also helps regulate body fat.
- Copper boosts the production of melanin in the body that prevents white patches (leucoderma/vitiligo), sunburns, premature greying of hair, and freckles amongst other things.
- Copper detoxifies the body and helps in the production of haemoglobin.
- Copper improves the secretion of bile and the peristaltic movements of the gut to aid digestion as well.
While the metal undoubtedly adds a gorgeous sheen to the kitchen along with bringing numerous health benefits, keeping its warm glow fresh could be tricky, at least for novices.
That being said, here is a comprehensive guide with five simple yet effective tricks on how to clean copper utensils.
How to clean copper vessels?
There is a reason why most people prefer natural cleaning methods over commercial copper cleaners as the latter often contains harsh chemicals. Not to mention, many homemade copper cleaners are less expensive than name-brand cleaners.
1. Soap and water treatment
All you need to clean your copper utensils is soap and water. Before polishing the pinkish-orange metal, give it a gentle wash with soap and warm water. Use a soft sponge to rub and eliminate the tarnishing layer. Usually, copper pots are lined with stainless steel or tin, and this initial cleaning is gentle enough for either type of lining.
2. Salt and vinegar
Just take 1 tablespoon of table salt and 1 cup of white vinegar in a bowl, and make a mixture. Now, rub the mixture onto the copper with a soft cloth and rinse.
Alternatively, you can also add 3 cups of water and the salt-vinegar mixture to a pot and immerse the tarnished copper in it. Boil the water with the utensil till the grime and tarnish come off. Let the copper cool. Next, wash it with soap and water and dry with a soft cloth.
This old-fashioned vinegar and salt technique also works well to restore badly tarnished copper cutlery.For the unversed, tarnish is a layer of corrosion that occurs on metals, including copper, silver, and brass. It’s a normal reaction that happens over time due to exposure to water and air.
3. Tomato ketchup
Yes! Tomato ketchup is not only for burgers, pizzas and sandwiches. This common kitchen condiment can help to restore your copper cookware and utensils' natural lustre. Just pour some ketchup on the tarnished copper, gently rub it all over, and rinse.
Acid and salt are the two ingredients that can dissolve copper oxide. As ketchup contains both, it acts as a great homemade recipe to clean copper vessels.
Next on the list of how to clean copper utensils is lemons! While cleaning copper pots and pans, and less fragile copper pieces, cut a lemon in half and sprinkle salt on the cut side. Rub the lemon gently on the copper item.
The citric acid present in the lemon helps to neutralise the base copper carbonate and dissolves the layer. You can also use tamarind instead of lemon as both ingredients boast of similar properties.
Alternatively, you can make a thin paste with 1/2 cup lemon juice, 1 tbsp table salt, and a little flour. Rub the mixture onto the copper item and rinse.
5. Baking soda
Mix baking soda with lemon juice to clean copper, or sprinkle baking soda onto a damp cloth and polish the utensil. The natural texture of baking soda does a good job of scrubbing away the tarnished layer.
Owing to its high conductivity, durability, and resistance to corrosion, copper has been cherished as a magnificent culinary metal. Also known as ‘the jewel of the kitchen’, copper is being used for kitchenware even more fervently now. So, if you have copper cutlery in your kitchen, take care of it properly to enjoy all the health advantages this soft metal has to offer.