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topic 2609

Copper/brass tarnish removal and protective coating


I hope you can help me or direct me to a source.

I'm trying to find a dipping solution that will remove tarnish from copper and brass, and will prevent the tarnish from building up again.

The pieces needing to be tarnish free can not be lacquered or painted, is there another solution? Waxing is not as durable as I'd like. Will benzotriazole do this? and how is it applied? Thanks Thelma

Thelma R. Coles


Yes, benzotriazole will help delay tarnishing, and is applied by dipping. I am not so sure that it will remove the tarnish unless it is light though.

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


We specialize in triazole protective coatings for copper in the printed circuit industry and have some of the longest lasting treatments made. That said, be aware that benzotriazole and its analogs will not form a tough film that will resist handling for indefinite periods of time. Its best used as temporary protection or as the base for a tough protective coating such as an acrylic. The toughest by far would be a chromate coating which is also heat resistant. Good luck.

James Taylor
- Orange, California


Tarnish on Copper Lamps made from sheets appears as small spots after a period of time (30-45 days) even though they are packed in airtight plastic bags on completion of polishing.

Is there a way to prevent this from happening.

Lacquering or any other coating is not possible as it is supposed to form a patina naturally after removal from the packaging.

Ramu Subbiah
exports - Chennai,Tamil Nadu, India


I have a perhaps turn of the century to pre-WW2 copper colander that I was able to clean well with an acid-based solution (I'm guessing phosphoric)it has another metallic based coating on the inside (tin?) can I keep the shine on this without a chemical treatment that will affect the food we drain off in the colander?

Douglas Parker
- Spring, Texas


I am designing end tables for a project, the legs are to be made from copper tubing. Is there any possible way to prevent the copper from tarnishing? Any help is greatly appreciated.

Thomas R. White
Student - Amelia, Ohio, USA


I have recently installed copper coping around the perimeter of my roof. I'd like to preserve the clean and shiny look of the copper. Is there a clear product that provides such protection?


Doug Lampe
hobbyist - Ypsilanti, Michigan

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