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Need help cleaning ccopper pots & pans



Q. I have copper pans lined with stainless steel. They have lots of carbon and cooked on stuff on the copper. I've tried the following without success: vinegar/salt, lemon/salt, soaked 24 hour in copper cleaner, dishwasher (big mistake), Brasso [affil link], and ketchup. So now what?

They are really nice heavy skillets. I would like to get them back to display condition. What about putting them in the oven and turn it on to self clean? I'm a chef and like to entertain in my home. I use the pots continuously.

Schella Baker
- Louisville, Mississippi


A. Your parenthetical remark about the dishwasher will probably prove applicable to the self-cleaning oven as well, Schella.

You seem to have two options left. Trying to polish them with a power buffer and polishing compound, or taking them to a plating shop who will clean them in powerful boiling hot solutions and then 'brite dip' them in nitric acid or other industrial process and/or do a professional job on the buffing. Good luck.

Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey


A. See #28905 on this site. Don't use a sponge with any of the Oxalic Acid [affil link] products though, they dissolve rather quickly. If it is really burnt on food you are trying to remove, heating in the oven to perhaps 300 or 350 degrees and then pouring water on the areas will work wonders. Be sure to first remove any handles that won't withstand the temperature.

Tom Gallant
- Long Beach, California, USA


A. You can use 50 gm citric acid/1 lit water solution+some ammonia to adjust pH to 9(if you think that is complicated you can use only citric acid)!

Good luck!

Goran Budija
- Zagreb , Croatia

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