As you wear your copper bracelet, it will lose its luster over time and may become tarnished. How you should clean your copper jewelry depends on whether it has been lacquered or not.
Let’s take a look at the most important tips you should keep in mind when caring for your copper bracelet.
Cleaning a Lacquered Copper Bracelet
If your copper bracelet is lacquered, it will not tarnish as easily as non-lacquered copper jewelry does.
Instead, it will get dull and become less shiny.
You can use a polishing cloth to shine a lacquered copper bracelet.
If the bracelet is very dirty, you can wash it with warm water with some dishwashing liquid or soap added in.
Rub gently with a cloth or an old toothbrush. Rinse the bracelet well and dry it gently with a soft cloth.
Cleaning a Non-Lacquered Copper Bracelet
In general, non-lacquered copper jewelry can be cleaned well with mildly acidic substances such as lemon juice or vinegar.
Important: Avoid applying lemon juice, vinegar, or any other cleaning substances to gemstones in your bracelet, as they may get damaged.
Be especially careful with pearls. Don’t soak such jewelry in the cleaning liquid, unless you are certain that it is safe to use with the stones you have.
If you think your stones could be easily damaged, clean the bracelet by just rubbing it with the cleaning solution, and work carefully around the stones.
Note: If your copper bracelet is antique, removing the tarnish from it may make it less valuable in the eyes of potential buyers, if you ever plan on selling it.
Cleaning Copper with Lemon and Lemon Juice
Lemon: Take a lemon and cut it in half. You can also add some salt to the lemon’s cut side. Rub the copper bracelet with the lemon. Rinse the jewelry with water and dry it with a soft cloth.
Lemon juice: Instead of using a lemon, you can pour some lemon juice in a cup or a bowl and add some salt to the liquid. Dip your bracelet in the juice and leave it there for 5-10 minutes. You can also scrub the piece gently with a cloth or toothbrush. Rinse the bracelet with water and dry it with a soft cloth.
Cleaning paste: Add equal parts lemon juice and baking soda to make a cleaning paste. Use the paste to clean the bracelet by rubbing it gently with your fingers, a cloth, or an old toothbrush. After the bracelet is satisfactorily clean, rinse it and dry it with a soft cloth.
Note: It is recommended that you use a ceramic or glass container to soak your copper bracelet. Metal containers are not recommended.
Cleaning Copper with Vinegar
Soak the bracelet in some vinegar for 5-10 minutes. Rub it clean if needed. Rinse thoroughly with water. Then dry it with a cloth.
Alternatively, you can make a paste from the vinegar by adding some flour and salt to it (e.g., 1 part vinegar, 1 part flour, and 1 part salt). Rub the bracelet clean with the paste and rinse thoroughly with water.
Cleaning Copper with Worcestershire Sauce
You can also use Worcestershire sauce to clean your copper bracelet. Rub some sauce onto the piece and clean it with a cloth or a soft toothbrush.
Then wash the sauce off with water and dry the bracelet with a soft cloth.
Cleaning Copper with Ketchup
Put some ketchup on your copper bracelet and clean it by rubbing with a soft cloth or toothbrush. Then rinse the piece with water and dry it.
Instead of ketchup, you can also use tomato sauce.
Using Copper Cleaner
If your copper bracelet has heavy tarnish, you can use commercial cleaner prepared specifically for copper jewelry.
Drop some cleanser on a soft cloth and rub the piece until the tarnish goes away. Rinse with water.
Note: Avoid applying commercial cleaner on any gemstones or pearls your bracelet may have, as some cleaning brands may damage them.
Polishing Copper Bracelets
After you have cleaned your copper bracelet, you can polish it with a jewelry polishing cloth.
It’s best to use a polishing cloth specifically made for copper. Other types of polishing cloths, for example those made for gold, may be less effective.
Storing Your Copper Bracelet
Store your copper bracelet away from humidity, which can cause the piece to tarnish. Put your copper bracelet in an airtight jewelry box, if you have one.
Alternatively, you can put the bracelet in a well-sealed plastic bag. You can also use anti-tarnish paper.
Don’t forget to dry your cleaned copper bracelet well before storing it.
Wearing Your Copper Bracelet
Keep in mind that natural oils from your skin can alter the color of your copper bracelet in the areas where it touches your skin. If you are concerned about that, you can apply some colorless nail polish in these areas periodically (as the polish will wear off with time).
Remember to keep your nail polish away from gemstones, though.
You can also wipe off your copper bracelet after you take it off – doing so will keep it shiny longer.
Do not wear your copper jewelry in the swimming pool or in the tub, as the water there may contain chemicals that could damage your bracelet’s surface.
Remove your copper bracelet when doing the dishes or when doing other work around the house, as you may damage your jewelry.