Most copper, including copper jewelry is quick to become tarnished. However, it is not hard to get rid of the tarnish; you just need to know how to clean copper jewelry properly. Once you know how to clean copper jewelry, the piece of jewelry can be restored to its original, beautiful shine. With just some items that can be picked up from the local grocery store, copper jewelry can look as good as the day it was purchased. Do not think that once copper loses its bright shine it is gone for good. Instead learn how to clean copper jewelry using items that are most likely already in your home!Copper Tarnish
The most common type of corrosion individuals see on their copper jewelry is tarnish. Copper is highly susceptible to tarnish, more so than any other metal. The tarnish is due to oxidization and will cause the piece of copper jewelry to look either green or black, and it will transmit these colors to the skin. This is extremely easy to clean if the right items are available, including lemon juice, a jewelry cleaning cloth, and anti-tarnish paper.Lemon Juice and Salt
First, take a fresh lemon, cut it in half and squeeze out about one teaspoon of juice. It is better to use fresh lemon juice rather than bottled lemon juice as the acidity level will be higher. Add one cup of water and a teaspoon of salt to the freshly squeezed lemon juice. This creates a strong copper cleaning solution.
Place all copper items, i.e. your copper jewelry, into the cleaning solution and allow it to sit from anywhere between three and five minutes. This enables the acidic cleaning solution to soak right into the copper. After time is up, remove the copper jewelry and place it under running lukewarm water for up to 30 seconds, just to wash off the acidic solution. Then wipe down the copper jewelry with a soft cleaning cloth. Go in a circular motion and do not scrub too hard as it may cause scratching to occur to the piece of copper.
Do not be surprised to see any black or green tarnish streaks on the cleaning cloth. This means that the acidic solution has been effective in removing tarnish. Now, just the last few bits remain which are easily wiped off. Then hold the piece of copper jewelry to the light to see if there is luster. If tarnish is still spotted, rerun the piece of copper jewelry back under the lukewarm water and wipe it off again.Anti-Tarnish Paper
The last step is to place the copper piece in a ziplock bag with a strip of anti-tarnish paper. When sealing the bag, make sure all air is removed from the bag. The strip of anti-tarnish paper acts as a magnet and attracts any sulfides still on the metal that may cause corrosion. The bag is to remain sealed to ensure the copper pieces do not succumb to oxidization. Leave the copper jewelry in the bag for a few hours.
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