Some people absolutely adore their copper pans, and wouldn’t do without them! Others are scared to use theirs, as they’re worried about how they’ll keep them in good condition.
Well, the great news is that cleaning your copper pans needn’t be too hard – read on to find out how!
Copper Cleaning Products
The absolute best thing you can do for your copper is to clean it with the correct cleaning product. There are actually many great products that are specially designed for cleaning copper cookware. And, the great thing is that they’re easy to use.
Depending on exactly how your copper cookware is made, you might need to try different cleaning formulas. Some copper pans are lined, meaning that there’s another layer of metal sitting over the copper.
Others will have you cooking directly onto the copper itself. As different metals of course can have different properties, it’s important that you choose the correct cleaning product for your pan.
Scrub Scrub Scrub? Stop!
Normally when cleaning something tough, the natural inclination is to keep scrubbing harder and harder until the stain or mess goes away.
While it’s easy to think that the key to cleaning a copper pan is to scrub as hard as you can, you can actually damage your pan by doing this!
Remember that a lot of copper pans aren’t completely made out of copper. Instead, the actual cooking surface can often be lined with another metal – tin can be very common. So, if you scrub really hard – especially if you’re using something abrasive to help – you can actually do a lot more harm than good.
For the most part, the only things you should use on your copper cookware to clean it are products specially formulated for it. Home remedies can work, but you of course have to make sure that you’re not using anything that can damage the pan.
When it comes to store-bought cleaners, you of course have to be very careful. Many of them will work really well with copper, but an equal number are inappropriate for use on copper.
Cleaning products with really harsh abrasives can be a bad idea for your copper cookware for a number of reasons. First of all, they can damage the finish!
Some copper pans are lovingly made with beautiful smooth finishes. Incorrect use of abrasives can ruin the shine on these finishes and can make a perfectly fine copper pan appear dull and lifeless. Also – as previously mentioned – many copper pans aren’t solid copper but are actually lined with another metal, such as tin.
Incorrect use of abrasives can wear this thinner, softer metal away, leaving pitting and unsightly marks – and a much worse looking and performing pan overall.
Don’t Leave Copper Wet
Unfortunately, this is a lesson that many people have to learn the hard way! Copper is usually pretty tough and resistant – but when things start to go wrong with it, they go really wrong!
If you notice your pan is turning green, then sadly it might be done for. This greenish-blue discoloration can be removed, but if you don’t fix the cause of it, then it’s going to come back with a vengeance.
Leaving copper pots and pans damp, or exposed to moist air can result in this distinctive coloration occurring. Not only is it a chemical that you certainly don’t want in your food, but it’s also unsightly and messy looking too!
Verdigris looks great on some things, like statues – but when it comes to cooking, you don’t want any verdigris at all.
And, it’s not just a surface-level problem on your pots and pans. It can easily put holes in them, and degrade them to the point where they’re completely useless.
The best thing to do is to make sure you thoroughly dry your copper pans after cleaning and make sure they’re stored dry in a dry cupboard.
Likewise, when it comes to cleaning pots and pans, the best thing you can do is to make your life easier in the first place! Pots and pans can last a lifetime if they’re well cared for, cleaned, and stored well – and, of course, if you’re lucky!
The best thing you can do to give your cookware the best chance of long service life is to keep them in the best condition. This means that you’ll have to clean them thoroughly after every use – although, of course, remember not to scrub them so hard that you damage them!
Don’t leave food or liquids to sit on your copper pans, as that’s exactly the sort of thing that gives stains time to form. They’re far harder to remove than they are to stop happening in the first place!
So, clean your pots and pans well after every use, and make sure to dry them thoroughly! Don’t let them boil dry or burn, and make sure not to use harsh cleaners on them. Of course, accidents happen – so don’t feel too bad if they do, because after all, these are just tools!
Keeping your cookware well cleaned and stored goes a long way to making cooking easier too! Good copper cookware can easily last decades if well looked after!