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Copper sink turns black immediately under water


Q. I and my neighbor friend used to use a cleanser (like Comet) for cleaning our brass, stainless steel, bathroom sinks, etc. It is called Cameo [linked by editor to product info at Amazon]. My friend and I have been looking for it for a long while and we can't find it in the Vancouver, British Columbia area. When you make a paste out of it (with a bit of water) it's a quick, and fab cleanser (especially for Copper) If anyone in this area knows where we can purchase Cameo, please let us know, Thanx,

Dianne Holowka
- North Vancouver, B.C., Canada

Ed. note: We linked your mention of Cameo to its page on Amazon, Dianne. Both the aluminum/stainless cleaner and the copper cleaner are available there.


Q. I have a client with a hammered copper bathroom sink. I use a copper cleaner to shine it, but as soon as the water is turned on there is a blackish streak. I wondered if a clear powder coat was the proper solution to retain the shine and beauty of the copper while giving it a shield from the water. Also, is this a permanent solution or one that will have to be repeated? If it has to be repeated, then how often, under normal use?

Jo-Ann Peabody
Executive household property manager - White Lake, New York

simultaneous (2007)

A. Hi Jo Anne, first off, powder coating requires baking in an oven done by a professional powder coating company so unless the sink is removable, this is not an option. Also, potential cracking by pots and utensils would create a maintenance problem to come. Did you want to polish the sink to bright copper look? The discoloration you report is most likely due to some high chemical content in your water. We can offer a patina process in the form of a Restore It Yourself kit which can help you achieve a brown to black patina on copper and bronze. Frequent waxing will help protect the restored surface and maintain your patina. Best

Barry Feinman

Barry Feinman
Restore It Yourself, Inc

Carlsbad, California


A. Try Everbrite coating.Hope it helps and good luck!

Goran Budija
- Zagreb, Croatia



A. I would suggest two possible answers.
Incralac is a very good clear varnish containing inhibitors to prevent copper tarnishing. There are clear electrophoretic lacquers which may be tougher but need specialist application.
I would not expect either to last very long.
However, the bottom line is that you have just discovered the hard way why there are so few copper bathroom sinks. It is a totally unsuitable material for that use. The same goes for gold plated taps (faucets ?)

geoff smith
Geoff Smith

March 20, 2017 -- this entry appended to this thread by editor in lieu of spawning a duplicative thread

Q. I cleaned an antiqued brass sink with a mixture of salt, vinegar and flour. It is now clean and shiny. Since it is a sink that is used, what is the best way to get the antique look back and what needs to go on it to protect it from future stains. Also, what is the best product to use for routine cleaning?

Sharon Nivens
- Kings Mountain, North Carolina USA

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