I was pleased to discover that tomato ketchup can be used to clean copper. I don’t like using those relatively expensive, stinky, finger-burny cleaners. I usually rub copper with lemon halves dipped in salt to remove tarnish, but it’s sticky and time-consuming (aka I am lazy).
Fortunately, due to aforementioned laziness, there is only one copper item in the Thrifty Household that requires regular cleaning. It’s a copper saucepan, steel-lined and with a very thick bottom. I love it and we have used it daily for about 10 years, but every now and then I look at it and recoil at all the tarnish. Dreamy to cook with; a nightmare to keep shiny and nice.
So for this tomato ketchup experiment I dug out the pan’s seldom-used lid from the back of the cupboard. Here’s the before shot. I reasoned that if tomato ketchup can clean this horror, it can clean anything:
HOW TO CLEAN COPPER WITH TOMATO KETCHUP:
1. Decant your tomato ketchup into a small pot.
2. Apply a liberal coating of tomato ketchup to copper.
3. Leave for 10-20 minutes.
4. Wipe clean and rinse in warm water.
How easy is that? I applied the tomato ketchup to the copper saucepan lid with a silicone pastry brush (top picture), but any brush or balled-up cloth will do.
I also found that I needed far less tomato ketchup than I had thought. I slathered the saucepan lid with the same-sized blob of ketchup that you’d serve with a portion of chips. If you’ll excuse the pun, this makes the ketchup-cleaning method as cheap as chips: I used value ketchup from Morrisons, which costs around 19p a bottle. Far, far cheaper than a chemical cleaner – and even cheaper than lemons.
Here’s the result, after 20 minutes:
Not bad, eh? It isn’t an even finish – if you look closely, you can see the brushstrokes – but it’s clean. Another slathering of ketchup, a little thicker this time, should do the trick.
Overall, I’m impressed.