How to clean and take care of Copper Utensils?
Copper is known for its malleability, ductility, strength and conductivity and resistance to wear and tear. Copper forms a green glaze which grants it strength against corrosion. Copper is commonly used as a coating for steel vessels to enhance heat conduction, for decorative pieces, plumbing pipes, electrical wiring, and many uses in appliances.
Copper is among the costliest materials used in cookware. It is known for its superior and even heat conductivity, making the metal ideal for frying and sautéing apart from several other cooking methods.
Copper has a property to react with everything that it is exposed to. Copper utensils must never be used to cook, store food with pH of 6.0 or below as copper reacts with the food to form toxic compounds making it dangerous for consumption.
To increase the safety of copper utensils, they are coated with tin, stainless steel or silver to avoid direct contact with food. Copper vessels have to be polished frequently to maintain its bright gloss.
Ways to clean tarnished copper:
It is necessary to clean copper Utensils and pans after every use, to prevent them from tarnishing although this does not affect their conductivity a lot. The use of abrasive cleaner or steel wool to clean copper bottoms must be avoided. The conventional method was to use ample quantities of vinegar and coarse salt, and rub this mixture over the copper cookware thereby cleaning it gently. In case of heavily oxidization, it is advisable to use a commercial cleanser to get back the bright shine.
Using lemon and salt: To remove tarnish from copper dishes, rub with lemon halves dipped in salt.
Using Vinegar and Salt: If copper is tarnished, boil copper utensil in a pot of water with 1 tablespoon salt and 1 cup white vinegar for several hours. Wash with soap in hot water. Rinse and dry.
Using Salt, Vinegar, and Flour: Dissolve 1 teaspoon salt in 1 cup white vinegar. Add enough flour to make a paste. Apply the paste to copper utensil and let sit for 15 minutes to 1 hour. Rinse with clean warm water, and polish dry.
Using Lemon and Salt or Baking Soda: Make a paste of lemon juice and salt, and rub with a soft cloth, rinse with water, and dry. Or use a slice of lemon sprinkled with baking soda. Rub copper with the lemon slice and rinse with water and dry.
Using Lemon Juice and Cream of Tartar: Make a paste of lemon juice and cream of tartar. Apply, leave on for 5 minutes, and then wash in warm water. Dry with a soft cloth.
For safeguarding copper against "Bronze Disease", use hot vinegar and salt, or lemon juice and salt, copper cleaner, or buttermilk to remove these patches of corrosion. After treating, wash promptly with soap and water, rinse and dry.