Worcestershire Sauce Is Stunningly Good At Cleaning Copper

So you're looking to clean some copper jewelry that's looking a little dull, or maybe a copper goblet, or even some copper cookware. Chances are, you'll turn to your cabinet in search of a cleaning agent made with ingredients you can't recognize or pronounce. If you find nothing useful, you'll likely make a trip to the store.

However, it turns out you can actually look to your condiment shelf instead, with no special purchases required. A video from TikTok user @sidneyraz — who also goes by Sidney — suggests that Worcestershire sauce can be used to clean copper. In the video, Sidney uses a dash of the sauce on a dry cloth to polish a dull copper kettle, achieving quite a shiny finish.

Of course, TikTok shouldn't be considered an absolute authority on cleaning products. Nevertheless, it seems @sidneyraz is onto something: Some companies in the jewelry industry also recommend using Worcestershire sauce for cleaning copper. The recommended methods vary; some suggest applying the sauce directly to the copper, letting it sit for a moment, and then wiping it off with a cloth. It might also be a good idea to clean the copper with detergent and warm water afterward.

Why Worcestershire sauce works

There's some solid science behind why Worcestershire sauce works for cleaning copper. As copper oxidizes, it loses its shine and can turn a dull brown color, similar to an old penny, or acquire a pale green patina, like the green color of the Statue of Liberty, which is made of copper. When cleaning copper, the goal is to remove this oxidation.


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♬ original sound – sidneyraz

Acidic substances excel at dissolving oxidized copper. However, it's generally best to opt for weaker acids, as stronger ones, which you likely won't have at home, can damage or even dissolve the copper. When applied, these weaker acids help remove the oxidized layers and restore the copper to its original shiny state.

Unsurprisingly, Worcestershire sauce contains acids that make it an effective cleaning agent. The sauce contains vinegar and citric acid, both of which are suitable for cleaning copper. Some homemade cleaning recipes may also call for ingredients like orange juice or lemon, which contain citric acid as well.

Other acidic condiments can also clean copper

If substances like citric acid or vinegar are effective for cleaning copper, then it shouldn't be surprising that other common ingredients and condiments containing these acids can also do the job. Sauces like A1 steak sauce and Tabasco are effective, thanks to their vinegar content. In the case of A1 sauce, the acidic tomato also contributes to its cleaning power. Speaking of tomatoes, you can also clean your copper pans with ketchup, another acidic condiment.

If you're concerned about making your copper items smell like a steakhouse, you can opt for more neutral ingredients for cleaning. A mixture of lemon or vinegar and salt will also do the trick. Baking soda can be used on its own or combined with acids like lemon juice or vinegar. However, exercise caution when using kitchen ingredients, including Worcestershire sauce, to clean jewelry. If the jewelry contains gems, the acidic conditions could damage them. It's advisable to consult an expert before immersing a gemstone ring in ketchup.