How to Clean Burns on Copper Pots

Mary Ylisela

Copper cookware adds to the beauty of your kitchen and helps food cook evenly on the stove top. When copper pots develop burn stains, which frequently happens on the bottom of the cookware, they detracts from the appearance and can build up on the surface.

Scrub burns off copper pots to keep them shiny and clean.

Regular cleaning and maintenance makes removing burns a simpler process, rather than having to scrub off built-up stains. While there are specific products on the market for cleaning copper surfaces, home remedies successfully remove burn stains from copper pots.

    Lemon is a natural and safe cleaner for copperware.
  1. Sprinkle kosher salt over the inside of a lemon half until it's completely covered with salt. Rub the salted lemon half on the burned copper pot to loosen and remove burn stains. The combination of acid from the lemon and natural abrasiveness from the salt helps to loosen burn stains.

  2. Discard the lemon half and scrub the burned areas of your copper pot with a dish scrubber. Work the salt and lemon solution into the stains with the brush. Rinse to wash away the lemon scrub and burn stains.

  3. Set the pot in the kitchen sink and fill the sink with enough white vinegar to cover any remaining burn stains. Allow the pot to soak in the vinegar for 10 minutes. Scrub with the dish scrubber and rinse with water before drying the copper pot with a clean kitchen towel.

  4. Remove any remaining stains and shine the copper surface by covering it with a thin layer of ketchup. Allow the ketchup to remain on the copper surface for up to 30 minutes to remove burn stains as well as tarnish. Wash the pot off with a couple drops of dish-washing detergent before rinsing with water and drying with the towel.


Sprinkle baking soda onto a clean, damp sponge. Scrub burn stains on copperware with the mild abrasive to remove. Place pots with burned-food stains in the freezer. Once the food has frozen, it becomes easier to remove from the pan. Wash cookware while it's still warm, before food and grease stains have time to harden or set.


Avoid overheating copper pots to prevent burning the bottom.