Tarnishing signals the beginning of the end for copper and steel. Everything on this earth gets old, from copper to human beings. Once the tarnishing process begins, the metal begins to deteriorate until it’s dead. So what are the telltale signs that your kitchen cutlery is beginning to tarnish?
Answer: You’ll see brown/purple/red spots begin forming on the surface. Copper can also tarnish but is more resilient than steel.
The Cause of Tarnishing
The scientific cause of tarnishing is two-fold:
- Chronic exposure to oxygen
- Chronic exposure to water and heat
Since it is very difficult to prevent oxygen or liquid from making contact with your possessions, your copper mugs will tarnish in spite of your best efforts. You could keep them in a sealed glass case and never use them for drinks. However, life should be enjoyed and your mugs should be used when having a good time with family and friends rather than sit on display gathering dust but serving no function.
How to Prevent Tarnishing
Follow these two simple steps to care for your copper mugs and minimize tarnishing:
- Clean your copper mugs with warm water and lemon juice. Lemon juice is less likely to damage the surface than harsh chemicals
- Dry the copper mugs immediately after washing them and keep them stored in a cool dry place
Just remember that regular dusting with a soft cloth or cleaning with warm water will maintain the shine of your copper mugs.
As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, so you should work hard to keep tarnishing at bay by developing some simple cleaning habits.
If you’ve noticed tarnish already starting to form on your copper mugs, here are a few steps you can take to stop the tarnishing in its tracks and halt the downward spiral.
What you’ll need:
- 3 cups of lemon juice
- 1 cup of salt
- 1 cup of white vinegar
- A soft sponge and gloves
- Mix the lemon juice and salt together in a bowl.
- Dip the sponge into the mixture and scrub the tarnished area.
- If you see no change, add white vinegar to the mixture and repeat.
- Keep repeating the steps until the tarnished area is clear or greatly reduced.
Getting Serious: Chemical Cleaners
You don’t have to go out and buy anything expensive to protect and clean your copper pots, but it’s worth investing in a cleaner that seals your cups against over-exposure to water and oxygen. If you are going buy a special copper cleaner, look for one that is designed for kitchens and does not contain harsh chemicals.
How To Keep Copper Mugs From Tarnishing
Copper Mugs are for life, not just for Christmas. Copper Mugs are meant to be investment pieces and they’ll last for life if you look after them the right way. Tarnishing is a nuisance, but it’s not time to throw your favorite copper mugs in the trash just yet. You can get rid of the tarnishing and breathe life back into them with some common household ingredients and some effort.