You may notice that your copper jewelry and your skin may turn green after several hours of wearing copper jewelry. This discoloration is caused by oxidation and occurs when the copper reacts with air, sweat, and body oils. In fact, this is one way to confirm that copper jewelry is made from pure copper. To clean the green discoloration from your skin, wash your skin with soap and water.
Fortunately, it is easy to clean copper jewelry with an acidic solution, such as lemon juice, vinegar, or ketchup. Below are several methods on how to clean copper jewelry and restore the gorgeous brilliant shine of copper.
Lemon Juice. Place the jewelry in a small bowl and squeeze enough lemon juice to cover the copper jewelry. Sprinkle salt on the piece and leave it for about 20 minutes for the dirt to breakdown. Use your fingers or a soft cloth to rub the salt into the piece. You may use a soft brush to reach the crevices and edges of the jewelry. Rinse with water and dry the piece with a soft cloth.
Vinegar. Fill a plastic or glass bowl with white vinegar and cover the piece of copper jewelry. Do not use a metal bowl. Sprinkle table salt on the jewelry and let it sit for a few minutes. Rub in the salt with your fingers, a cloth, or a toothbrush. Let sit for 5-10 minutes and rinse with water and pat dry with a soft cloth.
Ketchup. Spread ketchup on the copper jewelry with your fingers, a cloth, or a toothbrush. Let sit for 5-10 minutes. Rinse with water and pat dry with a soft cloth.
Do NOT use a commercial copper cleaner to clean your copper jewelry. The chemical is too harsh for jewelry and damage your jewelry.
How to prevent copper jewelry from oxidizing?
There are several methods of treating copper jewelry to prevent it from turning green and turning your skin green.
Coat the side of the copper jewelry that touches your skin with clear nail polish.
Renaissance Wax is an ideal product to protect your copper jewelry from oxidization and will maintain the beautiful high polish of copper.