A copper bracelet is a cool and creative summer accessory. It goes well with most outfits, it has a beautiful color and it offers a contemporary and bohemian vibe. But how can you take care of a simple copper bracelet? What should you do to make sure that your beautiful jewelry maintains its cool look?

In this article, you will discover how to clean and take care of a copper bracelet. Keep in mind that we are talking about a simple bracelet, without any gemstones. If your bracelet features gemstones, then you need to be very careful how you clean it so that you won’t ruin the stones.

Lacquered vs. non-lacquered copper bracelet

As you well know, copper tarnishes. In fact, sterling silver jewelry tarnishes because of the copper in the alloy, so you can imagine what happens when a piece of jewelry has a lot of copper in it. This is why some copper bracelets get a thing lacquer layer. This layer prevents them from tarnishing as quickly as non-lacquered copper bracelets.

How to clean a lacquered copper bracelet

If your bracelet has a lacquer layer, you won’t notice tarnish for a very long time. Instead, it will become dull if you don’t clean it properly. A great way to prevent this is to use a polishing cloth and rub your bracelet gently with it. This way you can restore its original shine, but make sure you don’t polish it too often. A polishing cloth is mildly abrasive and you can end up rubbing off the lacquer if you do this too often. Once every two months should be fine. Also, remember that you have to use a copper polishing cloth. Other types of polishing cloths like silver and gold ones may not be effective for copper.

If your copper bracelet is too dirty for the polishing cloth, you can always clean it with warm soapy water and a lint-free cloth. Rub your bracelet gently with the cloth and don’t forget to dry it off.

How to clean a non-lacquered copper bracelet

If your bracelet doesn’t have a lacquer layer, it will get tarnished easily. Before learning what substances you can use to remove tarnish from a copper bracelet, make your sure bracelet doesn’t belong to the following categories:

  • A gemstone bracelet may be tricky to clean. If your copper bracelet has gemstones, work around them and don’t soak the piece of jewelry in liquid.
  • An antique copper bracelet may lose its value if you remove the tarnish. Consult with a jeweler if you really want to clean your bracelet.

This being said, there are a couple of methods of removing tarnish from simple copper bracelets.

  1. Lemon juice

As you may have guessed, to remove tarnish you need a mildly acidic substance. You can simply use a piece of cut lemon and rub your bracelet with it, then rinse. After that, dry your bracelet with a lint-free cloth.

You can also use a glass container to pour the lemon juice there along with a little bit of salt. Leave your copper bracelet to soak for 10 minutes, then take it off and rinse it with warm water. Dry it off using a microfiber cloth to restore its beautiful shine.

  1. Vinegar

Another method of removing tarnish from a copper bracelet at home is to use vinegar. Just let it soak in vinegar for 10 minutes, then rinse and dry it off. For both methods, we recommend using a glass bowl instead of a metal one. A metal container may interact with the acidic substance or the bracelet itself.

Besides vinegar and lemon juice, some people also use ketchup, tomato sauce or Worcestershire sauce. But as any sauce can stain the bracelet, we recommend sticking to the essentials.

  1. Industrial copper cleaner

The at-home methods work when your copper bracelet doesn’t have a heavy layer of tarnish. If it does, you will need a commercial cleaner designer for copper jewelry. You can dip a microfiber cloth in the professional cleaner and rub your bracelet gently with it. Don’t forget to rinse and dry it off afterward.

How to care for a copper bracelet

To delay tarnish you have to store your bracelet in an airtight jewelry box or a sealed pouch. Keep it away from humidity and don’t let water near it, unless you are cleaning it. This means that you shouldn’t wear your copper bracelet when you are cooking, exercising or going to the pool.

After wearing it and before placing it in the jewelry box, make sure to wipe it dry. Humidity in the air, oils from your skin and other factors can accelerate the tarnishing process.

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Ruxandra is a fashion blogger who teaches fashion stumped twenty to thirty somethings how to shop their jewelry boxes for polished new ensembles. Her work has been featured in Vogue, Fashionista, Nylon, and Refinery29.