Copper sinks add a warm, beautiful, timelessness to any space. These sinks feature a living finish that ebbs and flows over time, causing rich, deep color changes. Although these sinks are surprisingly durable and last for decades, they are somewhat finicky.
Using the wrong products to clean the sink can damage your copper sink’s natural patina, potentially even causing the surface to tarnish. Cleaning these sinks isn’t difficult, but it does require using the right products. That said, hammered copper sinks can be tougher to maintain, as the added texture can allow the buildup of gunk and grime.
If you have a hammered copper sink (or any copper sink) in dire need of cleaning, here’s how to do it.
In This Article
How Do You Clean A Hammered Copper Sink?
Cleaning and maintaining a hammered copper sink is essential for its overall appearance and longevity. You could damage the sink’s surface without proper care, leading to unattractive marks scarring the surface.
So, to prevent unwanted marks and damage, here’s how you should clean your hammered copper sink.
Copper sinks are low maintenance in that you don’t need fancy chemicals to clean them. Instead, mild dish detergent and a soft cloth or sponge will do the trick. If at all possible, you should try to clean your sink after each use, as this helps prevent gunk buildup.
Or, if that isn’t feasible, clean the sink at the end of each day. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Mild dish detergent
- Soft cloth or sponge
- Warm water
- Soft, dry cloth
Start by diluting a small amount of dish detergent in warm water. Or, apply a small amount of dish detergent to a sponge, then saturate the sponge with warm water. Wipe down the surface of the sink with a cloth or sponge, ensuring you remove any residual gunk or grime.
After you wipe down the entire surface, rinse the sink with warm water to remove any suds. Dry the sink with a clean, soft cloth. Allowing water to dry on the surface will affect the overall appearance of the sink. It may leave behind mineral deposits and water spots, so remember to dry the sink after you finish cleaning.
Removing Stains And Heavy Grime
Occasionally, life may get in the way, and you might not be able to clean the sink as frequently as necessary. When the sink doesn’t get cleaned often enough, it might lead to a buildup of grime or staining. These stains can be harder to eliminate, so regular detergent and warm water might not work.
If that’s the case, here’s what you’ll need:
- Baking soda
- Soft, old toothbrush
- Soft cloths
- Soft sponge (optional)
There are two ways to tackle caked-on grime: vinegar or baking soda. To use the vinegar method, start by mixing equal parts of water and vinegar. Generally, half a cup of each is plenty.
Dip a soft cloth or sponge into the solution, then gently scrub the mixture into the stains or built-up grime. Once you finish scrubbing the stain, rinse away the residue with warm, clean water. Avoid letting the solution sit, as it can damage the sink’s finish if left for too long.
Alternatively, you can use baking soda to tackle tough stains and grime. Mix a small amount of baking soda with a few drops of water to create a paste. Dip an old, soft-bristled toothbrush into the mixture, then apply it to the stain.
If necessary, gently scrub the paste into the offending stain. Once you’re done, rinse the paste residue away with clean, warm water, then dry the sink with a soft cloth.
How Do You Restore A Hammered Copper Sink?
Patina is a naturally occurring process that is common with copper products, including copper sinks. If you prefer the bright, shiny surface of copper, you can take steps to prevent or control the patina.
Clean The Sink Regularly
One of the key steps in preventing patina development is maintaining a clean sink. Avoid using harsh, abrasive chemicals or scrubbers, like steel wool and scrubbing pads. Instead, use a soft sponge saturated with mild dish soap and warm water.
Wipe down the sink entirely after each use. While this might seem excessive, it’s an excellent way to prevent water spots, mineral buildup, and grime. After you wipe the sink with the sudsy solution, rinse the surface with clean water.
Dry the surface with a clean, soft cloth.
Apply A Protection Coat
After you clean your sink, apply a protective coating to the surface. Various brands offer copper protectants that help prevent water spots and protect the surface of the copper. Choose a coating that works well for your sink, then apply it according to the manufacturer’s directions.
How To Remove Green Spots
Copper can turn green if it’s overexposed to moisture. These spots generally appear around the base of the faucet, drain, and other areas where water commonly pools. If you have a hammered copper sink, water might pool in the small grooves, leading to green spots at the bottom of the sink.
Luckily, the green spots are easy to get rid of – they’re just mineral build-up. Using your fingernail or a soft cloth, gently scrape the green coating from the sink’s surface.
How To Remove The Brown Filmy Coating
Sometimes, your copper sink might develop a brown filmy coating over its surface. This generally happens for the same reasons green spots appear – water pooling. You’ll often see the film in areas where water can collect or pool.
Like the green spots, getting rid of the filmy coating is easy. Simply use a soft cloth to wipe away the film. Or, use your fingernail to pick up the gunk, but be careful not to scrape too hard, as you could scratch the surface.
How To Restore The Patina On A Copper Sink
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The patina is a sought-after, aged, vintage appearance that eventually develops on the surface of copper. Over time, your copper sink will begin to develop this darker coloring unless you take steps to prevent it.
Oxidation is a natural process that takes time, but there are ways to accelerate the process. For example, let’s say you have a copper sink with a beautiful patina. However, you accidentally left dishes and food scraps (like ketchup or tomato sauce, which are acidic foods) in the sink, and now there’s a bright spot on the sink’s surface.
The area will darken over time, but right now, it sticks out like a sore thumb. If you want to disguise the light spot, you can use a stiff-bristled brush around the edges of the bright area. This will help lighten the edges of the spot where there is a clear, defined line between the patina and the bright spot.
Or, if the spot takes up a large portion of the sink, you could always try a method to accelerate the darkening process. We discuss some of these methods here.