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topic 10938

Restore Copper Table with Engraved Map


Hi, I have an old table that appears to have a copper top, with a very detailed old map of the world pressed into it. The table is very worn and has several marks and stains on it. Is there anyway I can get it back to its original look?

Sheree B. [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Hobart, Tasmania, Australia


There is a product called Zap [linked by editor to product info at Amazon] that will restore old stained and tarnished metal to its original luster. I'm not sure where you get it (I ordered mine off TV), but if you do a web search, I'm sure you'll find it.

Jared Wilbur
- Wakefield, Rhode Island

July 2011

Hi, Sheree. There are a hundred or more copper polishes ranging from the very mildest like Brasso [linked by editor to product info at Amazon] (which will give the warmest glow but does maddeningly little), through significantly stronger ones like Revere copper cleaner [linked by editor to product info at Amazon] which contain a mild acid and will work much faster but perhaps not give quite as warm a glow, to really aggressive ones like vinegar + salt + flower, which will probably get out even pretty bad stains, but will leave your table looking raw and orange, requiring several treatments with one of the commercial polishes.

If you decide on vinegar & salt & flour, remember that while it's mild to people, it's truly aggressive to copper (see letter 55968) and there is a chance of it removing the etched map, so test carefully. Good luck.


Ted Mooney,
Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Pine Beach, New Jersey

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