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How to Remove Copper Foil Oxidation

Jay Kurz

Copper foil, like all other copper parts and pieces, tarnish and oxidize over time. When copper becomes oxidized, it turns green and loses its natural shine. Although oxidation doesn't stop, it can be taken care of when it gets bad. There are many store-bought cleaners that can take care of oxidation, but you can remove it for less money using common household ingredients.

Restoring the shine to copper
  1. Fill a bowl with white vinegar and add three tablespoons of table salt. Slowly add flour to the mixture, stirring it in with a paint stir as you go until it thickens into a paste.

  2. Apply the mixture to the affected areas of the copper foil using a rag. Let the mixture sit on the oxidation site for 30 minutes.

  3. Scrub the affected areas of foil in circular motions using a soft-bristled toothbrush until you reveal the copper's original shine. If the foil is thin, rub slowly and carefully to avoid tearing it.

  4. Rinse the vinegar mixture off the copper with clean water. Thoroughly dry the copper with a towel. Any water spots left on the copper causes it to oxidize again in those areas.