Copper naturally oxidizes, and some find the look appealing while others would prefer copper keep its shiny finish. In order to stop copper corrosion you need to stop the air from coming into contact with the copper. Here are some ways to protect your copper.
By using some kind of grease, such as a layer of Vaseline, over the copper you can prevent copper corrosion. This isn’t suitable for all objects made of copper, but where you have copper pipes in the basement, for example, it can prove to be an excellent solution. You do need to make sure that you cover all the pipe in the grease so you have an airtight coating over the metal for this to work.
Employing a paint sealer to keep air off the copper is another good way to stop copper corrosion. This is a solution that will work with copper objects, although in this case it will be for display objects rather than anything to be handled regularly.
With most copper objects, regular cleaning using a salt or vinegar and baking soda paste is the answer. This will prevent any type of corrosion happening to the copper as well as keeping the metal shiny. Clean monthly to achieve the best results. This takes time, but if done thoroughly copper corrosion will never be a problem.
Prevent Copper Corrosion FAQ
What can I put on copper to keep it from corroding?
Various types of sealant can be used on copper to prevent corrosion and tarnishing. Standard urethane paint sealant can be used, but there are also specialized products and coatings that are designed for copper.
Metal lacquers of all types can be used to put a protective coating on copper pieces.
How do you make copper last longer?
Good maintenance will keep copper shiny and in good condition for many years. Do not use scrubbed tools or abrasive cleaners on copper.
Mild liquid soap and warm water can be used to clean copper most of the time. If you have stains, a mixture of vinegar and salt (three parts vinegar, two parts salt) can be applied directly to the stains and gently scrubbed.
Once copper has been cleaned, apply a thin coat of mineral oil to it to keep the copper shiny and lustrous. Store copper pieces in a cool, dry place.
Is there a way to prevent copper from turning green?
Metal lacquer and wax coating can be applied to copper to prevent the natural tarnishing that tends to turn copper green over time, as observed on the famed Statue of Liberty in New York.
Does vinegar restore copper?
Vinegar is a natural acid that works very well to clean copper. When paired with salt or baking soda, vinegar makes a fine paste that is highly effective at removing dirt and stains from copper.
Lemon juice, ketchup, and other common household items that are high in acidic content can also be used to clean copper.
What does baking soda do to copper?
Baking soda is naturally abrasive and can be used to scrub copper, but it is not so abrasive that it damages the metal.