Clean Tarnished Copper With Just A Dollop Of Yogurt

There is something effortlessly classy about copper cookware, but keeping it in good shape is certainly not effortless. From the smallest saucepan to the largest traditional cataplana pot, every piece of copper cooking equipment must be maintained with care. While this does require a little elbow grease, it doesn't mean you have to spend a lot of money on cleaning supplies. Chances are, the one ingredient you need to make your copper shine is already in your kitchen: yogurt.

Whether your copper is a brand-new tool to be cleaned for its first use, or a family heirloom you want to restore to its original glow, a dollop of good old-fashioned plain yogurt will get the job done. Simply apply a thin layer of yogurt all over your copper cookware, and leave it to set for half an hour. After the time has passed, use a soft cloth to wipe it away and reveal the shiny surface beneath!

The lactic acid in yogurt targets the copper oxide

Copper tarnishes due to exposure to moisture, air, and contaminants, such as the oils on your skin. Luckily, the lactic acid in yogurt cleans away the copper oxide that forms on certain types of cookware, which causes them to appear darker and dull.

The frequency with which you clean your copper cookware depends on several factors, including whether the material is lacquered or natural. If your copper develops a darker hue over time, it likely does not have a protective finish, or the treatment that keeps it glossy may have worn off. This also varies based on how often you use your cookware and where it is stored, but ultimately, it comes down to a matter of personal preference. If you want your pots and pans to shine, you'll probably need to use a spoonful of yogurt to clean them approximately every three months or so.

Make sure to use plain yogurt for the best results

While yogurt is not the only food product that can be used to clean copper kitchen tools — in a pinch, you can use ketchup to clean your copper pots, and worcestershire sauce does a stunning job, too — it does have a unique advantage that might remind you of a high school science class. When yogurt has finished cleaning the copper, it turns green. To observe this color change — and to avoid damaging your cookware — be sure to use plain yogurt, rather than one with added flavors or dyes.

Yogurt is not only easy to find and affordable, but it's also a good choice for its low environmental impact. This natural product doesn't introduce harsh cleaning chemicals into the water system, and a little goes a long way. Just a few teaspoons of yogurt can clean a lot of copper, allowing you to enjoy eating the rest!