The Easiest Way to Clean Copper With Just One Simple Ingredient 

How-to-clean-copper-easily at cupcakesandcrinoline.comCopper is beautiful when it’s bright and shiny with that glorious pinkish tinge but when it’s dirty and dull it is not such a pretty sight.

How to clean copper - old copper boiler before cleaning

I have a copper wash tub that was my Grandma’s.  It was used to do laundry for her 8 children.  {I am so thankful to have a Maytag!} The tub has been soldered with metal added that was not copper and it has dings, scratches, and dents all over it.  It’s my idea of beautiful!  I have had that washtub for longer than I can remember and I have tried, on several occasions, to clean it and shine it but I always got discouraged.  My arm would get tired from all the rubbing and buffing and I never quite finished the job.  Then I saw this tip to use ketchup…yep, ketchup to clean copper.  I thought what the heck, I’ll give it a try.  It was Christmastime (do you see how long it takes me to actually do some of my posts!) and I wanted to use the copper tub to hold one of my Christmas trees but there was no way I was going to use it in its then-current state.  I brought it from my sunroom into my laundry room and started slathering it with ketchup.

How-to-clean-copper from cupcakesandcrinoline.comSupplies:

1 or more bottles of ketchup

Sponge-type scrubber for any grooves or areas that are a little stubborn to clean


1.  Slather a thick coating all over your copper surface.

2.  Let the ketchup stay on the copper for several hours but don’t let it dry.


3.  While still wet rinse the copper and wipe dry!  You may need to reapply a second coat of ketchup to some of the areas and use a scrubber to get the tough portions clean.

Antique-copper-wash-tub from

That’s it! Doesn’t it look so much better after?  Not perfect but I still love it!


And here it was as part of my Christmas decor.

hugs, mb new logo March 2016
How-to clean copper without scrubbing. Get the details at