Copper Education

Copper Education

How will a Copper Sink Wear Over Time?

Our Luxurious Copper Products, we are often asked about what is normal wear for copper sinks, copper bathtubs, and other copper products.  More specifically we get asked what to do about light and dark spots that occur with normal use.  The answer is both simple and relieving:  the finish will take care of itself.

Copper has what is considered a living finish, and it naturally protects itself from the environment.  The Statue of Liberty is copper, and when first delivered was shiny like penny.  After years of exposure to elements, copper develops a finish to protect itself, a barrier called patina.  This patina has stages – first brown, then black, then green like Lady Liberty.  That last green stage occurs after years(10-15) of exposure to an outdoor environment, so be assured that your copper sink will not turn green, as it is indoors and away from constant bombardment from the elements.

Our Copper Products beautiful finishes come from exposure to fire. This high temperature exposure accelerates the patina development process that brings out the deep, rich color of a Copper Sink.  Your sink might be exposed to different household elements, such as the acids in foods, that can cause lightened spots and color variations, or to scratches from normal use while washing dishes.  This is normal.  The beauty of a living finish is the sink color is in constant variation.  These variation will blend together over time.  Light spots will naturally darken and dark spots will naturally lighten.  Even if scratched, the shiny scratch mark will darken and blend back into the finish over the course of time.

To help speed up the repair of a light spot or scratch, wash the sink with soap and water.  Leave the finish exposed and do not use wax, which coats and protects the copper from the elements.  You want to leave the spot exposed and use the sink as you normally would to encourage the copper to form new patina.

Maintenance tip:  Once a year, purchase Wet Sand Paper in 500-600 grit from your local hardware store.  Get the sand paper and sink wet and do a light sanding over the entire surface.  This will expose the copper at top of the hammer marks and help  to even out the patina and blend the finish all together.  After sanding, rinse and dry the sink and apply wax.  

Copper Care Instructions

The best way to care for a Copper sink or tub is also the simplest.  Use a mild soap and soft cloth when needed.  As a best practice, wipe the sink dry after each use, especially in hard water areas.To help keep the copper product looking its best, apply a thin coat of wax occasionally.  The wax will help to maintain the luster of the copper and will promote better water runoff.  We recommend Copper Sink Care Wax, a pure bee’s wax spray-on formula available from Chariot Wholesale.

A simple spray on/wipe off application is recommended once a month.  The Copper Sink Care Wax will help protect the copper surface, will not create a wax buildup, and will dry clear to bring out the true copper color.  Please see the Accessories section for further information. Should a slightly discolored spot or scratch appear, do not be discouraged and do not take action.  Avoid waxing the sink for a few weeks.  Copper has an endless ability to regenerate the patina surface naturally.  With regular use the copper will regain the patina finish and will once again match the surrounding area.

To prevent discoloration or damage to the finish, avoid acidic substances left in contact with the copper surface.  For example, when cutting acidic fruits such as tomatoes, pineapples or other citruses, let the water run so the fruit juices do not linger on the copper.  Thoroughly rinse the sink after working with acidic substances.  Do not use chemical cleaners or abrasive substances that might remove the patina, and be sure to rinse the sink well should one of these come into contact with the copper.  Do not use vinegar to clean the sink, as it is naturally acidic.

Our Copper Products are especially easy to care for.  The rolled corner construction and troughed floor promote better drainage and less food traps.  Following the simple steps outlined above, the sink or tub will last a lifetime.