Ever wonder how to clean copper pans?
I have one copper pan that I use all the time, and it certainly looks like it. It is very discolored, especially on the bottom, and I thought I could never get it back to its original coppery shine. I tried using an abrasive cleaner with added bleach (Soft Scrub), which works great on my stainless steel sink, but it didn’t touch the discoloration on the pan. I was also afraid the Soft Scrub would scratch up the pan, by the way, but it didn’t. So, how to clean copper pans, you ask?
I’m embarrassed to show this pan, but here it is:
You can see the slightly lighter copper-colored line around the rim. That is all that got clean when I scrubbed using the abrasive cleaner. That was a real fail!
So, here is my trick to clean copper pans.
*This post includes some affiliate links for your convenience. Click here to see my full disclosure policy.
I used ketchup!
I poured a thick layer of ketchup all over the copper part of the pan and let it sit for about 30 minutes. I rinsed it off to check the progress. The discoloration was GONE, except for that really blackened part in the middle. So I poured some more ketchup just on that area and let it sit another half hour, and that did the trick.
That’s all I did! Honest!
I washed off the ketchup with my regular Dawn dish washing soap and water and that was it. So, if your pots and pans aren’t as bad as mine was, 30 minutes should be enough time for the ketchup to work its magic!
No scrubbing, no fuss.
And as you can see in the picture, it turned out beautifully!
The secret to clean copper pans is the vinegar, acids and salt in the ketchup.
We are science nerds at my house, so we love to find out the reasoning behind our discoveries. From this fun website on how to clean pennies, we also discovered that hot sauce works just as well. (It’s because it also contains vinegar and salt!) So now you also know how to clean your pennies, should you need them for a project or science experiment! 😉
We don’t use hot sauce (because, yes, we ARE wimps), but with 3 kids we do use LOTS of ketchup, so there is always a plentiful supply. It is less expensive than store-bought copper cleaner and safer to use. And heck, there aren’t many other kitchen cleaners you use that you can also eat on your hot dogs! 🙂
So, if you are looking for how to clean copper pans, grab that bottle of ketchup out of the fridge and get pouring!
Looking for other ways to deep clean your kitchen? Try these: 10 ways to REALLY get your kitchen clean!
What are some of your favorite cleaning tips?
Ready to get organized?
Get your FREE copy of professional organizer Pam Hoepner's Top 20 Organizing Tips, full of easy, inexpensive ways to organize your entire home!
Bonus: You'll also receive our weekly newsletter full of even more easy, frugal organizing, cooking & DIY ideas!