How Do You Keep Copper From Turning Green?

Views: 15009 | Last Update: 2009-03-27
Copper turns green when it oxidizes, but a simple vinegar and salt solution can help dissolve away unsightly discoloration on the surface of the copper. Allow copper items to soak in salt and vinegar with information from a professional house cleaner in... View Video Transcript

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Rachel Yatuzis

Video Transcript

Hi I'm Rachel Yatuzis and I am going to show you how to keep copper from turning green. Copper you know you can have lots of different things that are copper. There is old copper pennies for your coin collectors or there is copper bakeware like this. Copper does turn green because of oxygen. It is the process of oxidation that causes copper to turn green and one of the first things you want to do when you have copper is think about where you are storing it. If you are storing it in direct sunlight the direct sunlight is going to cause it to oxidize a lot quicker and also just exposure to the air is going to cause it to oxidize so if you have an old antique war piece or something you really want to keep in immaculate condition you may want to think about having it shrink wrapped or encased so that oxygen doesn't get to it. Make sure that it is in an airtight container and that will keep it from oxidizing. If it does oxidize or if it does turn green it is pretty easy to clean and really cheap. What you want to do is just have vinegar and salt. If you have pennies you want to fill a jar up with vinegar and add some salt to it. This is bakeware so I just put some salt in the bottom of it and now I'm going to dump some vinegar in there on top of the salt. The vinegar and salt will have this really cool reaction if you just let the copper sit like that with the vinegar and salt. Any trace of rust or discoloration will disappear before your eyes. You may need to let it sit for a half an hour. I would say nine times out of ten you are going to see it change right in front of your eyes. So that's the easy way to get rid of the discoloration and make sure again like I said keep it out of sunlight, try to have it in an airtight container and copper touching other metals and making contact with other metals while you are storing it is another thing that can cause oxidation on the greening effect that happens on copper so try not to store it near any other metals. I am Rachel Yatuzis and that is how you keep copper from turning green.