Copper bottles are in vogue these days. Backed by Ayurveda, many health-conscious folks are turning to copper bottles to improve their metabolism and health. And truth to be told, though copper deficiencies are extremely rare, it is proven that storing water in copper bottles for 16 hours can make the bacteria and other pathogens non-viable.
But anyone who has been using copper bottles knows that its maintenance is not hassle-free. Exposure to moisture and air cause oxidation. As a result, copper bottles or any utensils for that matter develop a black or green patina. It is not just the exteriors, but the interiors too develop this layer. And excess consumption of copper or copper oxide can lead to copper toxicity that affects the brain, liver and lungs.
So, if you use a copper bottle, it is crucial that you clean it regularly and thoroughly. So, how do you clean copper bottle? Which cleaning agents work best? Let us explore.
What is The Black and Green Layers on Copper Bottles?
The black and greenish layer on copper bottles is a mixture of many oxides of copper. At first, copper reacts with oxygen to form copper dioxide. This layer further reacts to form copper oxide, which is blackish in colour. Further, it reacts with Sulphur, carbon dioxide, water and other elements. The final greenish patina you see on copper bottles is Cu4SO4(OH)6.
Fortunately, these oxides are all alkaline in nature. This means the best cleaning agent for copper bottles is something acidic.
Cleaning Agents For Copper Bottles
The acidic cleaning agents you can find right in your kitchen are vinegar and lime. They both have a pH of 2-3, which means they are mildly acidic. Vinegar is pungent and its smell may not be pleasant for all. But it is stronger. So, it would be a good idea to mix vinegar and lime together to make the smell pleasant. Also, add some salt to the mixture for better abrasion. Use only a soft scrub so that you don’t scratch the surface of the copper bottle.
Here are the step-by-step instructions to clean copper bottles
Time needed: 30 minutes
How To Clean Copper Bottles?
- Exfoliate The Exteriors With Lime, Vinegar and Salt
As mentioned, vinegar and lime are some of the best cleaning agents for copper bottles as the patina you see is alkaline in nature. Simply, make a mixture of vinegar, lime and salt and apply it all over the bottle. Then use a soft scrub and gently remove the black/green oxidation. Scrub in the same direction so that even if the surface gets slightly scratched, it doesn’t end up an eyesore.
- Lime Juice For Cleaning Interiors
Next, squeeze a lime and add some salt to it. Then, dilute it with water and pour it inside the copper bottle and leave it overnight. The next day, rinse it several times with clean water.
- Keep It Dry
Once you cleaned the bottle, use a kitchen towel or paper napkin to dry the surface.
Tamarind is another alternative, which was used traditionally to clean copper and brass utensils. But, sometimes, it may result in patchy surfaces on copper and brass.
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How To Maintain and Care For Your Copper Bottles?
- Use your copper bottle only for storing water. Other drinks may react with copper bottle, not only damaging it, but also creating harmful copper compounds.
- Pour water at room temperature to the bottle. Hot water causes copper to react quickly to form the patina.
- If the thread of the lid is squeeky, lubricate the lid with oil.
- Never clean copper bottles in dishwasher.
- Most copper bottles are not leakproof. So, avoid using it for travels.