It is important to take special care of copper jewelry. The warm rustic finish of copper can become tarnished or develop a patina if the material is exposed to various chemicals and moisture. Copper is also a soft metal, and can bend easily. Be sure to handle your copper jewelry carefully, and to care for it properly, in order to maintain its beauty.
Step 1 – Cleaning Your Copper Jewelry Regularly
Polish your copper jewelry on a regular basis. Use your polishing cloth to gently rub away any residue, and to polish the finish of your jewelry. Be careful not to apply too much pressure. This could cause the copper to bend.
Step 2 – Mixing and Applying Your Copper Cleaner
Create your own copper cleaner that can be applied to your jewelry to remove resiude. Boil 2 cups of water in a pot. Add 1 tablespoon of salt and 1 cup of vinegar to the boiling water. Carefully dip your copper jewelry in the solution. This will quickly remove any residue. Rinse the jewelry in cool clear water. Allow it to sit on a soft clean cloth to dry completely. You can also create a lemon and salt paste, to remove any difficult areas. Mix equal parts of lemon juice and vinegar. Apply a small amount to a clean cloth. Use the cloth to rub the residue off of the jewelry. If necessary, add flour to the mixture. This will make the paste thicker. Allow the thick paste to sit on the dirty area for about 10 minutes, before rubbing it off. Rinse in cool clear water. Set the jewelry on a soft cloth, and allow it enough time to dry completely.
Step 3 – Removing Tarnish from Your Jewelry
Put on your cleaning gloves before you begin, to protect your skin. Apply a small amount of tarnish remover onto a polishing cloth. Use a tarnish remover that is designed specially for copper. Read the instructions provided by the manufacturer of the tarnish remover before you begin. Gently rub the remover into the jewelry. Be sure to work the solution into the finest parts of the copper piece. Continue rubbing the copper until all of the tarnish has been removed. If necessary, use the tip of a cotton swab to polish the finer parts. Buff the copper, and then rinse the piece with cool, clear water. Place the jewelry on to a clean, soft cloth and allow it enough time to dry completely.
Step 4 – Storing Your Copper Jewelry
Be sure to store your copper jewelry in a dry storage container. The storage area should also be cool. Excess heat will cause the copper to change color, and develop a green patina finish. If possible, wrap the copper pieces on an tarnish resistant cloth. Place the wrapped jewelry in a resealable plastic bag.
Step 5 – Protecting Your Copper Jewelry
Be sure to remove any copper jewelry before you wash your hands, do any cleaning or go swimming. The moisture will cause the copper to tarnish. Remove the copper pieces before you apply any hand cream, lotions or perfume. The chemicals in these products can damage the copper. Remove your jewelry before you go to bed, to prevent any accidental bending while you are sleeping.