How to Protect Copper Sink From Water Spots & Tarnish

Carole Ellis

Copper sinks make great accent pieces for bathrooms, but they are prone to water spots and tarnish if they are not cared for appropriately. To some degree, you can fend off these problems by rinsing and drying the sink after use and avoiding leaving acidic residue--such as leftover fruit--in the sink.

Keep your sink shining like a new penny with some simple protective measures.

However, the best way to keep your sink shining and spotless is to take some preventative actions to protect your copper sink from water spots and tarnish.

  1. Wipe out the sink with tomato juice and hot water. Use a cleaning rag and firm pressure to scrub the sink with circular motions. The tomato juice will remove existing tarnish and water spots.

  2. Scrub the sink to a shine with a soapy steel wool pad. Use hot water, five drops of dish soap and your steel wool pad to scrub the sink until it is bright and shiny. This will help you remove any hard water spots or other buildup. Be sure that you do not use a pre-treated steel wool pad since the chemicals in these pads can damage the copper.

  3. Rinse out the sink. Use a clean rag to wash out the sink and make sure that there is no residue or water left on the surface of the sink.

  4. Apply the renaissance wax to the sink's surface. Use a clean, dry rag. Use circular motions to push the wax into the surface of the sink. Cover every part of the sink. If the sink has an ornate rim, make sure that you wax these copper parts as well or they will darken before the rest of the sink does.

  5. Buff the sink. Use a clean, dry rag to buff the wax to a brilliant finish. Once your sink is shining, it is ready for use and should be less susceptible to tarnish and water spots. Depending on how much use your sink gets, you may need to repeat the treatment in as little as a month or two or as long as six months to a year.

  6. Tip

    Avoid using copper cleaners on your sink since they often abrade or scratch the surface and can mar the finish.