The value provided by your copper kitchen hardware is often overlooked. Besides looking amazing and adding a ton of style to your kitchen, your copper hardware helps to optimize your space and increases that space’s functionality.

Copper hardware can build up grime, lose luster, and turn an unsightly greenish hue over time unless you clean it regularly.

Thankfully, if you stick to a cleaning routine, you can extend the useful life of your old copper handles and hinges significantly and maintain their beautiful shine for a long time.

So today I’m going to teach you about some easy, inexpensive methods to clean kitchen cabinet hardware properly and restore your copper to make it shine like new.

How To Clean Copper Kitchen Hardware

To clean your copper kitchen hardware you should use a homemade salt and vinegar cleaner. The acetic acid in the vinegar will help to restore shine to dull copper hardware, while the salt crystals will help you scrub the tarnished surface.

Not only is this a safe natural way to clean your copper, but the vinegar will also act as a strong antibacterial disinfectant.

Clean copper kitchen hardware screws and hinges

Making A Copper Cleaner

To make a salt/vinegar cleaning solution mix a tablespoon of salt per one cup of pure, white vinegar. Make sure to stir well before using it to clean.

You may also want to test your cleaning paste on a small, inconspicuous area of your copper hardware to make sure that it won’t damage it. This can happen because sometimes, your copper hardware might not be fully copper. It is always best to make sure.

Now, remove your copper hardware from your cabinets and place them in a container large enough to fit them. Then add enough salt/vinegar cleaning solution to completely cover the metal pieces.

Let your copper hardware soak in the cleaning solution for 20 to 30 minutes. Any less than 20 minutes and the solution won’t have sufficient time to do its magic. More than 30 minutes will not yield better results.

After the soaking period is complete, you need to rinse your copper hardware to remove the sharp-smelling residue of the salt/vinegar mixture completely. Then dry with a clean rag or paper towel, before placing your hardware back in place.

Pro-Tip: You can also use a baking soda/vinegar mixture, following the same ratio of 1 tablespoon of baking soda per 1 cup of vinegar. This mixture is a bit more powerful than a salt/vinegar mixture because the non-toxic chemicals in baking soda can penetrate the surface of your hardware a bit more easily.

Thankfully, salt (or baking soda), and vinegar are not the only common household items that can help you clean your copper hardware. Here are a couple more tricks you can use.

Make your copper kitchen hardware shine with the right cleaner

Alternative Methods For Cleaning Copper Kitchen Hardware


Ketchup or catsup is another highly acidic household item that can be used to clean your copper hardware.

Ketchup is especially helpful if you need to remove corrosion stains from your copper hardware surface.

To use Ketchup as a cleaning agent, simply rub a generous layer on the surface of your copper hardware and wait about 30 minutes before rinsing with cold water and drying with a clean cloth.


Paprika, that delicious powder made from dried and ground peppers, is another surprisingly effective household item that can clean copper hardware wonderfully.

To make a paprika cleaning solution, take equal parts of the red powdery condiment and fresh lemon juice to make a thick paste.

Apply the paste directly to the copper hardware and rub vigorously to remove the outer tarnished layer. Be sure to use a clean cloth to wipe your hardware clean before putting it back in place.

Red Wine

The final tip I can recommend to clean your aging copper kitchen hardware is to use red wine.

All you have to do is to bring some red wine to a boil, before turning off the heat. Then proceed to submerge your copper hardware in the hot liquid, and let it sit for at least 15 minutes.

Afterward, rinse the copper or brass hardware in clean, fresh water. This red wine hot bath will leave your copper hardware shiny and renewed.

Copper is a beautiful material that can do wonders for your kitchen’s style and overall aesthetic.

 It is also highly durable, as long as you make the effort to care for it properly; which involves making sure to clean it regularly to avoid the formation of ugly stains and discolorations. Thankfully, the best way to clean copper hardware is as easy as pie, especially if you follow the tips above.