Care of Copper Cookware
Drake Meinke of the Copper Arts Museum says that there are as many ways to clean copper as there are uses—many people share with him their own methods.
An inexpensive and readily available supermarket polish called Brasso is what the Museum uses to clean its copper. Another popular brand is Tarnex. Other creams, pastes and lotions, some imported, are available at specialty shops like Sur La Table and hardware stores.
For deep stains and cooked-on food particles, a fine-gauge steel wool is recommended. The steel wool will create a brushed or satin patina that is actually easier to maintain.
Certain acids can be used to clean and brighten copper: lemon juice, vinegar, milk, even ketchup. After applying and cleaning with an acid, always neutralize the effect with a rinse of bicarbonate of soda mixed in water.