Are you getting ready for a house full of guests this Thanksgiving? Are some of them great housekeepers or visitors with a critical eye? Time to polish everything up in anticipation of the arrival of the friends and family! That includes the silver and the copper pots!

Universally praised for its ability to conduct heat evenly and its visual contribution to anyone’s kitchen, copper cookware is popular with serious chefs. Unfortunately though, those beautiful pots get dark unless you apply some elbow grease and keep them polished. Happily though according to Houzz, it is not difficult to keep copper shining!  Here are the helpful hints from Houzz.

Don’t put your copper pots in the dishwasher

Mauviel, the French copper cookware manufacturer since 1830, says don’t put copper in the dishwasher because harsh detergents will damage your pots. The company also warns against using cleaners that contain bleach because it can be corrosive and pit the cookware , resulting in a scarred, pockmarked surface.

Unlined pots have to be kept shining

Unlined copper pots — meaning those not lined on the inside with a different metal — should always be kept shiny. If a patina, also called verdigris, is allowed to darken the inside of a copper pan, it can be transferred onto food. In short, cleaning the inside of unlined copper is essential. To remove verdigris on an unlined pan, use a vinegar-salt solution or rub the metal with lemon sprinkled with salt.  Rinse and dry the pan.

What is best to clean your copper pots and pans 

To maintain a shiny surface, clean after every use; to create a nice patina, you need to clean with the paste only occasionally.  Houzz recommends Copperbrill by Mauviel  or De Buyer.

Here’s how to use the paste:

  • First, rinse the pan thoroughly.
  • Then, using a soft sponge or cloth, rub a small amount of the paste all over the copper surface.
  • Next, wash the pan under a running faucet.
  • Dry the pan.

Other products that Houzz recommends include: Wright’s Copper (Brown) Cream Polish; Twinkle Brass & Copper Cleaning Kit; and Hagerty Heavy Duty Copper, Brass & Metal Polish.

If you want to try a home made remedy, Houzz recommends a paste mixture of kosher salt with lemon juice or just plain ketchup.  A dab of ketchup on the pan rubbed it in a circular motion with a microfiber cloth cleans right away. Some other suggestions are lemon juice and baking soda or vinegar and salt.

I love shopping at Sur La Table in Friendship Heights and Williams Sonoma in Betheda for cookware! A shining copper pot makes a real statement in a Washington DC kitchen!