How do I clean 100 year old Copper door fixtures.

Discussion in 'The Duck Hunters Forum' started by WHUP ! Hen, Jan 20, 2020.

  1. WHUP ! Hen

    WHUP ! Hen Elite Refuge Member Supporting Member

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    This is more than likely the last subject that would appear on a duck hunting forum.

    My daughter and her husband are returning to their hometown area. They are both teachers and have jobs in our local district. Jeremy is the boys Head Basketball Coach and Leslie is a Special Ed teacher. They are building a new house on a farm that was settled by Jeremy’s great, great grandfather. The old house has been razed. Before is was torn down they salvaged an ornate door that Leslie wants to use on her pantry. The door was not a problem, it looks great. The problem is the door fixtures, they are solid copper and are black as a Mennonites hat. I have tried everything under the sun but nothing has worked. I do have 1740 electric motor that I sometimes use in carving decoys. The best I have been able to do is get a little copper color on the edge of a door knob. If anyone has any suggestions, I would greatly appreciate them. My old Army stand by, Brasso will not touch it.
     
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  2. spaightlabs

    spaightlabs Elite Refuge Member

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    Leave the patina on there.
     
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  3. callinfowl

    callinfowl MEGA.

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    If you must clean them a 50/50 mixture of hydrochloric/swimming pool acid and water.
    Soak for an hour and brush them off as clean as you want them then wash in hot soapy water. This is what we used to clean up buckets of copper fittings that were super dirty.

    """"""""""'Wear eye protection and long rubber gloves."""""""""""
     
  4. Banded1

    Banded1 Elite Refuge Member

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    Vinegar and salt solution may clean it and be less caustic but as was said, I’d leave the patina alone.
     
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  5. callinfowl

    callinfowl MEGA.

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    Lemon juice, anything acidic will get the job done it just depends on how clean she wants them. Personally I'd do the dip scrub deal with white vinegar until you reach the degree of patina she is looking for, you don't really need to add salt, the salt is just a scrub.

    If she wants them bright copper color the acid water deal will get you there the fastest and at 50% it would destroy the copper.
     
  6. hobbydog

    hobbydog Elite Refuge Member

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    You got to be kidding,Not even close. Free advice on any topic.

    Vinegar and salt or citric acid and salt. Get the PH down to about 2 and let it work.
     
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  7. MJ

    MJ Administrator Moderator

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    As someone that deals with hardware finishes at work, I would hate to see someone "clean" old copper fixtures. It takes years for a living finish to accomplish what you're trying to remove. As mentioned above, leave the patina alone. I doubt you would ever get it to look like the original copper ever again anyways.
     
    num70 likes this.
  8. callinfowl

    callinfowl MEGA.

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    Patina is overrated, to me patina means dirty, I can get it to look old without it being solid black from years of neglect. It's all about what your daughter likes.:yes:tu
     
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  9. PaulinKansas

    PaulinKansas Elite Refuge Member

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    Leave the patina on there. My furnished rental house that had the pipefitters and prostitutes was built in 1906. Some of the sink handles and stems are brass, along with the light switch wall plates. These light switches are push button.
     
  10. DuckyPhe

    DuckyPhe Senior Refuge Member Supporting Member

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    Coke, as in Cola, cleans copper like a champ. Use it so clean my copper Pings regularly. Cheap enough to be worth a try.
     
    WHUP ! Hen and Juan De like this.

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