This is a souvenir copper plate that my father bought back in 1975 when we last went on vacation to Bosnia and Hercegovina. I plucked it out of his shed and thought I’d give my wife’s recipe a go that she uses to clean the kitchen sink, to unblock pipes, to clean the oven. Kettle, you name it, comes up new like again.
I mixed some amount of vinegar and bicarbonate soda in a tray and popped the souvenir in the tray and watched in amazement the sizzling effect going on. I let it sit there in a couple of minutes and with a toothbrush I scrubbed the plate. Presto! I couldn’t believe how easily the tarnish scraped or brushed off. So I put it back in the tray and left it there for an hour to see what effect it would do to the metal. To my surprise, no damage. I scrubbed away with the brush and then switched to a 0000 steel wool to make it even brighter. The results are below.
All the gunk and tarnish just fell off with ease. I put a gentle coat of shellac with hardener in it to keep it shiny from now on.
Household vinegar and bicarbonate soda give it a try. I’d say it would be just as good for rust as well.