Several of the copper pieces of jewelry that I make have been hammered, then covered with Liver of Sulfur to blacken it, and then is sanded gently so that the recesses remain black, but the surface is a bit shinier and more vibrant. This technique makes beautiful jewelry but presents a bit of a conundrum to some of my customers when they go to clean their pieces.
There is plenty of information out there on how to clean copper and many techniques involve using a salt and acid based cleaner. This is fine for regular copper, but for copper that has LOS or an intentional patina applied to it, this will take all of the character out of your piece. What I advise is to clean it with soap and water, dry it and then gently brush it with 0000 steel wool. This will get rid of the surface patina and any dirt or oils but will leave the recessed patina in tact. Be sure to rub the steel wool in the same direction because it may leave a bit of a scratch pattern. You may need to wash it again gently or rub it with a silver cloth.
Please share other techniques for cleaning patinaed copper in the comments! We’d love to get some additional ideas.test Filed under Tips & Tutorials | Tags: cleaning copper, copper earrings, hammered copper care, liver of sulfur, patinaed copper | Comment (0)