How to Remove Tarnish from Copper Jewelry

What You'll Need
Fresh lemon or lime juice
2 shallow bowls
Baking soda
Cold water
Wooden spatula
Cream of tartar
Soft cloth
Jewelry polishing cloth
Airtight bags

Copper jewelry is one of the most attractive choices you can make. It has a beautiful shine which attracts looks wherever you go. However, it also requires some maintenance to keep it beautiful. With time, your jewelry may get tarnished. This takes the natural shine away from it which reduces its aesthetic appeal. It helps if you know how to remove tarnish from your jewelry as shown in the guide below.

Step 1 – Prepare Bowls

Take the tarnished jewelry and place it in a bowl. Take another bowl. Place some cold water and 1 tablespoon of baking soda inside. Stir the ingredients with a wooden spatula.

Step 2 – Immerse Jewelry in Lemon Juice

Pour about 1 cup of lemon juice into the bowl that contains the jewelry. Be sure all the jewelry is submerged in the juice. Sprinkle about ¼ teaspoon of salt over the juice. Mix the solution to distribute the salt evenly and clear the tarnish. Stir for about 30 seconds or until you notice the tarnish has cleared. White vinegar can also be used as a substitute for lemon juice.

Step 3 – Rinse the Jewelry

Do not allow the jewelry to remain for too long in the lemon juice. A prolonged stay will pit the copper. Lift the jewelry from the bowl and rinse it thoroughly under a cold water tap. Turn on the water to allow a generous flow out of the tap. Allow the water to run over the jewelry for about 3 minutes to flush out the lemon juice. Turn the jewelry slowly as you rinse it to ensure that all areas are well flushed by water.

Step 4 – Use Baking Soda

Dip the jewelry into the baking soda solution. Allow it to remain in the bowl for about a minute. This helps to neutralize any traces of the lemon juice. Remove the jewelry and run plenty of cold water over it once more. Be sure to flush away all the baking soda.

Step 5 – For Stubborn Tarnish

Place a small amount of cream of tartar, salt and lemon juice in a bowl. Mix the ingredients to form a thick paste. Wear gloves and rub a small amount of the paste over the tarnished areas. Once it clears, rinse thoroughly to clear the mixture. You can then immerse the jewelry in a baking soda solution as shown in Step 4 and rinse.

Step 6 – Finishing

Take your well rinsed copper jewelry and dry it with a soft cloth. Use a jewelry polishing cloth to buff the jewelry. Work patiently and turn each piece slowly as you buff to produce an attractive luster.

Step 7 – Protective Measures

It helps if you take measures to prevent tarnish from your jewelry. Obtain airtight bags from a grocery store and place your copper pieces inside when not in use. This reduces exposure to the elements and tarnish will not develop as frequently. Keep your copper pieces away from water. Wipe water immediately should it make contact with your jewelry.