Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Cleaning Copper

Awhile ago I was looking all over Pinterest for tips on cleaning copper. I have an antique copper sign from my parents' place, which originally came from my Great Aunt's place, which was probably originally purchased by my great grandparents or someone even earlier than that! I just don't know. But it's copper and it looked awful. My parents had this sign for quite some time, and I do remember that it almost gleamed with a nice coppery finish. Unfortunately the house my parents downsized to had some serious damp problems in the basement and a lot of their stuff got mildew and was quite ruined. The sign had got stuck in their basement, and this is what it looked like ...

You can see where I tried to clean it up with a chemical cleaner in the upper right corner, but it didn't seem to be working well.

Someone on Pinterest suggested an unlikely copper cleaner using ketchup! Well, what the heck! I had some ketchup, so I slathered it all over the sign and let it sit for some time, but not long enough for it to dry out.

After wiping off the ketchup and washing the sign as best I could (it's mounted on a wooden board so I didn't want to submerse it water), it came out looking like this ...

Not perfect, and not quite as coppery and shiny as I would have liked, but it's better than it was. At least now I can hang it up somewhere. I like the style of writing ... sort of "arts and crafts" stylized lettering. 

And here are some photos from my garden this afternoon :)

My son's climbing rose, which doesn't have anything to climb up!

the bumblebees are frantic to get in the last of the pollen from my turtlehead flowers

turtlehead patch

Everything is fading and browning around the edges despite the fact that the past two weeks have been in the high 20s!! Yesterday and today were quite unbearable with the humidity, and I confess I've been hiding out in the house where we have the airconditioner humming away. I think the a/c has been on more in September than it has been all summer. 

In a few days my husband and I are back camping in Algonquin Park where the colours are at their peak! Can't wait! I hope it's not too hot as we want to hike Centennial Ridges, which is a rugged trail. 

Thanks for stopping by!


hoping for a whole lot of this on the weekend ...

Canisbay Lake


  1. That is better! Beautiful flowers!

    It's been some years since I've been on it, but Centennial Ridges is my favourite trail in the park. I have a fond memory of sitting on the cliffs near the end, looking down at the lake... and out of the corner of my eye seeing a wolf come out further along the cliff to take in the view too.

  2. Twinkle copper cleaner is what I use, you can also use Brasso.

  3. Hi Wendy! It's so cool that ketchup worked so well. I love the writing on that sign. Very pretty. ;)

    Your flowers still look lovely! I hope you have a wonderful trip. We're just starting to see some changing color here and there these days. Another week or 2 and I think we'll be heading to peak color too.

    Blessings. xoxo

  4. Beautiful flowers. That plaque is lovely.

  5. I love your plaque and the truth it speaks. Very nice!

    Your flowers are pretty.

    Enjoy the changing colors and happy autumn ~ FlowerLady

  6. The plaque turned out lovely. Your flowers are still so pretty.
    Enjoy Algonquin! It will be gorgeous just now.

  7. I would never have guessed that ketchup could be used to clean copper. So where did you end up hanging the lovely plaque? I'm drawn to the pretty turtlehead flowers--they're purple, right?

    It feels odd to be wearing summer clothes and sandal at this time of year. Enjoy your camping trip!

  8. Wonderful garden shots and absolutely amazing Fall pictures. Have a fabulous camping trip, it's the best time of year to go.

  9. I wonder if it's the acid from tomatoes and vinegar in the ketchup that cleaned the copper. It's a unique fix for a great looking sign.
    I hope the weather cools off a little for the weekend so you can enjoy hiking in your beautiful province. What wonderful skies and clear water in the photo. Happy Autumn!

  10. The plaque is looking better. Who would have ever thought ketchup? Maybe the vinegar in it. It was worth a shot.
    xx Beca

  11. What a beautiful sign! How great that ketchup cleaned it so well...I wonder if that would work with silver to?
    Your flowers are just dreamy! Such wonderful splashes of colour still to enjoy! Have fun on your camping trip!

  12. Well done on cleaning up the plaque, I like that font, too. When I was a child we cleaned up our copper coins for Brownies by soaking them in vinegar, no elbow grease required, so like Lorrie and Beca, I wonder if that's why the ketchup worked so well. I reckon Coca Cola might work, too. The garden flowers look lovely, so nice at this time of year to have a bit of summer when we are looking to autumn. x

  13. I didn’t know about the tomato ketchup. You did a great job with the sign. It definitely looks better now. I love the picture of your mom and dad. Your garden still looks very pretty. The last photo of the bunny in the pot is so adorable!! We are having temperatures again over 30s. I am hiding inside as well with the AC turned on. The plants in my garden are mostly in their first year and they are suffering. Now I have an umbrella over the gardenia. Hopefully they will bloom like yours next year. Have a great time, camping!



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