Ultimate Guide in Cleaning Your Copper Products (Here's How to Do It!)


I have always been a big fan of copper mugs especially when I use them in enjoying my Moscow Mule. Even my family and friends are fond of using them as they retain the freshness of our drinks on a very hot summer day. However, I've noticed that the more I use my copper mug with different drinks, the shiny look it used to have is slowly fading away. I've found it very humiliating in serving them to the guest because the spots all over the surface of the mug are visible. Good thing I was able to pull off four effective ways of taking good care of my mugs. Now, they look very brand new as ever!

washing the copper mug


So, how did I clean my copper mugs to maintain their bright and glossy finish? The cleaning items we often use for DIY purposes like lemon, salt, vinegar, baking soda, and ketchup are the same cleaning ingredients you will need for your copper mugs. I've made the guide below to save you from any discomfort of keeping your copper mugs clean and long-lasting! 

Can I Use a Dishwasher to Clean Copper Mugs?

It is very tempting to just put your copper mugs in a dishwasher and let the dishwasher do its work. However, copper mugs are very delicate and with one wrong move, you can never bring them back to their original attributes. It's a huge mistake I have made and I hope it will never happen to you and your copper mugs. 

Cleaning copper mugs


All the features of a dishwasher can damage copper mugs. The soap or the detergent used and the drying process of a dishwasher will grate the lining of a copper mug. That's the reason why some copper mugs start to tarnish or erode. Although a good amount of copper is good, however, I know some of you preferred lined copper mugs for the reason that you want it to remain that way. 

Use Lemon and Salt

We all know that lemon and salt have always been the go-to ingredients when we want to clean something naturally or organically. They contain properties that remove a stain in some kitchen utensils, so they can also help you in removing the tarnish off your copper mugs. 

cleaning copper mugs with lemon

  1. Get 2 tablespoons of salt and place it inside a bowl. (You can decide to add another tablespoon of salt, depending on the number of copper mugs you are about to wash.)
  2. Prepare at least 3 lemons by cutting them into half. 
  3. The fleshy interior of the lemon that you cut must be soaked with salt. You can do this by dipping the lemon into the bowl. 
  4. Rub the lemon together with the salt directly into your copper mugs. Do it gently.
  5. In case, your copper mug is full of tarnish, you can focus on that area. Rub it and add more salt to the lemon if possible. 
  6. You can choose to let the lemon and salt sit for a few minutes before rinsing them with warm water. 
  7. Once you are satisfied with the result, dry the copper mugs with the use of a microfiber towel to ensure no smudges are left behind.

Use Vinegar and Baking Soda

Just like what I've mentioned above, all the cleaning ingredients we need to clean copper mugs can always be found in your kitchen! I've also included in my cleaning solutions the use of baking soda and vinegar. Baking soda has cleaning and deodorizing properties that will blend perfectly together with the acidic level of vinegar. The steps are as simple as the process of salt and lemon. 

Cleaning Copper mugs with vinegar and baking soda


  1. Get 3 tablespoons of baking soda and one tablespoon of vinegar.
  2. Mix them in a bowl until it becomes a paste-like detergent.
  3. You can use either your hands, a sponge, or a microfiber cloth to put down the paste on the copper mugs. 
  4. Let it sit for 5 minutes or more depending on the amount of stain you want to remove.
  5. Rinse the copper mugs with warm water afterward to see the successful result. 
  6. Don't forget to use microfiber clothing to dry them off.

Use Ketchup

You may find it absurd but ketchup helps me in maintaining the gloss of my copper mugs. Who would have thought that the people's all-time favorite sauce is the answer to keep our copper mugs clean and bright? No one. Not until I get to see the result myself! Don't forget that vinegar and citric acid are the components of ketchup, making them substantial to cleaning different things including copper mugs! So, here's how I do it:

Cleaning Copper with ketchup
  1. You can apply the ketchup directly to the copper mugs with the use of cloth or even your bare hands. (Note! I don't recommend you to use a brush as it may be harsh enough for the copper mugs' linings.)
  2. Let it sit for 10 minutes or more, depending on the amount of tarnish you want to remove.
  3. You can also put the ketchup on a cloth and use it to rub the part where tarnish is visible.
  4. Rinse the copper mugs with water and dry them properly using a microfiber cloth. 

Use Salt and Vinegar

To give an additional option in cleaning your copper mugs, I also recommend the use of salt and vinegar. Salt has water-absorbing qualities and vinegar is very acidic which removes tarnish or rust when combined. 

cleaning copper with salt and vinegar


  1. Get ½ cup of salt and ½ cup of vinegar. (You can choose to change the measurement of the ingredients according to the number of copper mugs you will clean.)
  2. Mix salt and vinegar in a bowl and wait until it turns into a thick paste.
  3. You can use a cloth or your bare hands in rubbing the paste on every surface of the copper mug.
  4. If you are satisfied with the result, rinse the copper mugs with warm water.
  5. Dry them off using a microfiber cloth.

What Are the Things to Avoid In Cleaning Your Copper Mugs?

  • If you prefer to hand wash the copper mugs, make sure that you only use mild detergent soap. The harsh ones will wear down the linings of the copper mugs.
  • Use a soft brush instead of a normal brush which you often use in cleaning other materials.
  • Dry the copper mugs completely. Water residue will only tarnish them.


Copper mugs need extra care the same as other important materials that we have at home. Most especially that they are vulnerable to rust and scratch. You just need to know the right ways to clean them and you will forever enjoy the benefits they can offer to you and your guests. It can not be denied that the best way to sip Moscow Mule is through the use of copper mugs. So, make sure you apply these techniques for the best results! If you can make them clean and shiny, the more you will enjoy the shocking health benefits of using copper mugs!

Moreover, if you are the type of person that doesn't like high maintenance items, you can always buy copper mugs that don't easily tarnish on Amazon!