How To Clean Your Tarnished Copper Mugs

Copper mugs with lime
Copper mugs with lime - Fudio / Getty Images

If you're stocking an at-home bar, you'll need a selection of spirits and mixers. Along with the drinks, you'll need a nice set of glassware to serve up your various cocktail creations in. No bar is complete without a set of copper mugs (even if you don't want to use them for Moscow Mules). These mugs don't just look stunning with their shiny copper exteriors — they're designed to keep cold drinks colder and hot drinks hotter for an extended period. Copper mugs are great heat conductors and can disperse heat evenly, ensuring that your hands won't warm up your drink like they can when holding a glass cup.

While there are many great benefits to copper mugs, one major issue is that the mugs will eventually tarnish due to oxygen exposure, not to mention dirt, grease, grime, heat, and oils. When copper tarnishes, it develops what's called a patina, and this can leave your bright and shiny mug looking dull. Fortunately, you don't need to leave your mugs untouched on the shelf to prevent them from getting ruined. It's relatively simple to clean tarnished copper mugs with a paste made from baking soda and vinegar.

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Keep Your Copper Mugs Nice And Shiny

Copper mug with autumnal beverage
Copper mug with autumnal beverage - Mindstyle/Getty Images

Whether you're purchasing a used copper mug that's already tarnished or yours has simply suffered neglect, you can create a paste with three parts baking soda and one part vinegar to remove the patina. Start by rubbing the mixture all over the mug. After it sits for a few minutes, just gently scrub the mug with a sponge until the tarnish is removed. You can also try slicing lemons, dipping them in salt, and using the coarse lemon slices to rub off the tarnish. If it's still not coming off, try making a lemon-and-salt paste and let it sit on the mug. Whatever you do, though, don't put your copper mugs in the dishwasher.

Ideally, you'll want to preserve your mug so that it doesn't get to the point of developing a patina. Humidity and moisture are enemies of copper mugs, so do your best to minimize those effects wherever your mugs are stored. It's important to keep them in a cool, dry place — some people even store them in plastic bags. You can help keep your mugs dry by placing baking soda or silica packets inside of them. You'll also want to make sure you completely dry your mugs with a soft cloth after each use. For best results, dry once after washing, then dry again with another soft dish towel.

Read the original article on Mashed.