First-time users are often frightened over the slightest stain or discoloration in their copper vessels. However, fret not, as you can witness in the picture above, the interior of the water vessel has darkened over the decades of use. Yet, we continue to savor the revitalizing Tamra Jal or copper-infused water from the vessel every day! Such copper pots and vessels are commonplace in most Indian kitchens, cherished for their rich tradition.
Moreover, you’re probably familiar with the blue-greenish patina that copper develops, from small coins to the iconic Statue of Liberty in New York. This occurs because copper doesn’t rust; instead, it naturally oxidizes, resulting in discoloration or dark spots. This oxidation, known as patina formation, is a completely natural phenomenon and cannot be avoided.
This leads us to a crucial and frequently asked question: How can you maintain the pristine look of your copper bottle, and how often should you clean it?
Caring for the Inside
Before we delve into cleaning methods, let’s get acquainted with your copper bottle. The surfaces of copper products from Forrest & Love are crafted from pure copper, with the interior left in its natural state. This allows the drinking water to absorb the beneficial properties of copper. Over time, the untreated copper undergoes oxidation, leading to the appearance of dark spots. Fortunately, this is easily remedied with a simple cleaning method.
To clean, add 2-3 tablespoons of mild citric acid to the copper vessel (1 tablespoon for cups), pour in hot water, and let it sit for a maximum of 2-3 minutes. Be cautious not to leave the mixture for longer, as prolonged exposure to acid can have a detrimental effect on the copper. Afterward, shake, rinse, and thoroughly dry the vessel before further use. It’s a straightforward process!
Pro Tip: As copper is a conductive metal, be cautious when handling it as it can heat up quickly. Wearing hand protection is advisable. You can also find detailed cleaning instructions in this informative video.
How Often to Clean?
Cleaning the Exterior
In contrast to the interior, the exterior of your copper bottle is coated with a food-safe lacquer, giving it an elegant shine. Since the outer surface is protected from oxidation due to the lacquer, detailed cleaning is usually unnecessary. Simply rinse it with clean water, but avoid scrubbing or using dishwashing liquid, as the copper items are not dishwasher safe.
However, be mindful that the exterior paint can wear off due to scratches or knocks. In such cases, the copper underneath is exposed to the oxidation process, causing darkening in those areas. To restore the typical matte pink look of copper, sprinkle a lemon slice with salt (or use copper polish) and rub it onto the affected areas. Then, rinse with water and dry thoroughly. The oxidation spots will be removed, revealing the characteristic appearance of copper. However, once exposed, the copper will continue to oxidize and may require occasional cleaning.
In conclusion, copper often raises concerns when used, but it’s mostly due to misunderstandings about this versatile material. With a little care and a lot of love for your copper vessel, you can fully enjoy the enduring beauty and health benefits of this wonderful metal!