Cleaning Tinned Copper

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Joined Mar 3, 2002
Is there some way to make the tinned part of a copper pot LOOK clean? Mine looks a lot like a badly cared for carbon steel blade. I find Barkeeper's Friend cleans it up a bit but doesn't do the whole job.

In the days of aluminum pans, I found that boiling some citic acid got rid of the dark discoloration. But I'm afraid to try it with my tinned copper lest it do something weird (like the baking soda I tried on my Caphalon).

BTW: The Barkeepers does a fair job in getting rid of the worst part of the copper crud. Not bright and shiny like a good polishing, but makes polishing a lot easier if you care to do it. I don't try to keep a high shine and even like a moderate copper patina, but I don't like it to get really dark.
 
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Joined Jan 1, 2001
Wet the copper with water. Sprinkle generously with Kosher salt. Cut a lemon in half and scrub with the cut (juicey) side of the lemon. Within 30 seconds you will have a beautifully clean copper pot-bright and shiney.
 
4,450
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Joined Aug 4, 2000
Dehillerin, the French purveyor of Mauviel copper cookware, says in their catalog that the tin will turn gray with use. No problem; that's the way it is. DO NOT use abrasives on tin because it is a very soft metal and easily worn away.

To remove food that's stuck to the inside, just fill the vessel with warm water and allow to set for some time to loosen it.
 
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Joined Mar 13, 2001
Dark is good, Alexia. If you remove the tin, you will need to have you pans retinned $$$
 
489
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Joined Mar 3, 2002
Thanks for the help. I had hoped to make it a little more sightly as I sometimes serve from the pot at informal gathering. (One of the reasons I love LeCreuset.)

Foodnfoto, I do often use the salt and acid when I'm out to really shine up my copper. But since I discovered that Bartenders' does a fair very quick job, I sometimes use it as it's right to hand. Mostly, though I go with "patina."

Kimmie, you're so right! I've had to do some retinning from time to time. My next new copper pot will be ss, but I sometimes run into good thick copperware pieces at flea markets, etc . I once came upon a wonderful roaster shaped piece for only $40 that looked as if it had never been used.
 
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Joined Mar 13, 2001
Lucky you, Alexia! I'm green with envy!!!

I wouldn't like to tell you how much I paid for some of my heavy copperware! :rolleyes:
 
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Joined Mar 3, 2002
Kimmie, I do know. - My last copper purchase was a ss evasee from Bwy Panhandler (a great pan).

The pieces I'd still like in copper are middle sized pans (the big ones are too heavy for me). I've been eying the Dehilleran website. Even with the devalued dollar, tax, and shipping, they're still way cheaper than here.

I justify my kitchen vices: good equipment is cheaper in the long run (if only I didn't buy more, anyway), my grandchildren will probably use them someday, and besides I have no other costly vices.
 
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Joined Aug 4, 2000
Alexia:

Request a catalog from Dehillerin. It's more complete than their website and includes cleaning instructions.
 
489
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Joined Mar 3, 2002
Thanks for the suggestion. I've been there, so I know they have way more than what's posted on the website.
 
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Joined Mar 13, 2001
Alexia,

My last «effort» was a turbotière from Havard. Fortunately, it was discounted as the shop I bought it from was just about to file bankruptcy.
 
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Joined Oct 2, 2015
The tanished tin may be 'cleaned' by placing aluminum foil in the pot - with water and 1/2 cup sodium carbonate (washing soda) and simmering for 3 hours . The aluminum foil may need to be weighted down and extend up the sides. Sodium bicarbonate is not quite strong enough to prevent pacification of the aluminum foil. Try the sodium carbonate. This is really an electrolytic process, similar to the way silver tarnish is sometimes removed.
 
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