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Topic: Advice on cleaning copper cups while retaining patina
Message: Posted by: kipling100 (Jul 16, 2019 06:14PM)
I recently obtained a set of Charlie Miller cups. I'd like to clean them a little, mainly for dirt, but don't want to remove any patina. Any advice on what type of cleaner I could use? Just soap and warm water?

Message: Posted by: BCS (Jul 16, 2019 09:02PM)
Yes some soap and warm water... Dawn works well; do not use Palmolive it will mess with the patina. Afterwords wax them up... they will shine and the patina will still come through.

The patina on this set is dark as an old penny, I used some carnauba car wax on them and they look great.


Take care,
Message: Posted by: BCS (Jul 16, 2019 09:11PM)
Here are a set of Charlie Miller Cups treated the same...


It is amazing how copper takes on so many shades of brown.

Take care,
Message: Posted by: karnak (Jul 16, 2019 09:55PM)
I wish my copper English pennies looked so brown! I donít know why they so stubbornly resist patina-izing. Theyíre still more orange than mocha.
Message: Posted by: kipling100 (Jul 16, 2019 09:55PM)
Those look beautiful! Thanks for the tips.
Message: Posted by: BCS (Jul 16, 2019 11:42PM)
Kipling 100,

Thanks... I hope you can get your Cups to a state you are happy with.


I have two suggestions for you if you are into experimenting with your coins.

1... make a paste of water and Palmolive soap and rub it into the coins with your fingers. It might take a coupe times. Do be aware it could ruin your existing patina. Below are photos of some Johnson Products coins I did this to... sorry I do not have before and after photos.

2... bake them in the oven at 400 to 450 degrees for 15 minutes or so. Clean them well first to remove any oils with denatured alcohol. You might have to give them a light polishing with Brasso afterwards. I have used this process on copper Cups.




Please let me know if you have any questions.

Take care,
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Jul 17, 2019 02:40PM)
A couple of hints.

If you have a set of copper or bronze cups that have reached a patina you like, but are dirty, clean them with soap and water, something mild, like Ivory soap. Dish soap works well, too. Afterwards, dry them thoroughly and apply a very thin coat of Renaissance Wax. Museums use this on their sculptures, etc. You can get it from Amazon, Woodcraft or Rockler. It's not cheap, but a little bit goes a long way. I have two tins of it that have been in my possession for at least 8 years.

On the other hand, if you have cups with green verdigris on them, then you will need to work with them differently. I can't advise you on this one.

Regarding English Pennies -- heat is probably the best method. Wash them thoroughly, dry them and then heat them in an oven. DO NOT USE AN OPEN FLAME. Also DO NOT USE YOUR MICROWAVE!!!!

Really old English pennies from the Victorian era had a different alloy and durn a really deep brown, almost black. The ones from Edwardian times forward don't do this.
Message: Posted by: karnak (Jul 17, 2019 04:30PM)
Thanks for the tips on English pennies (sorry, didn't mean to derail this copper cups thread!). Just one final followup question: would it be risky to heat an English penny shell in an oven? Any chance it might buckle or bulge, or no? And would the silver side of a C/S coin be at all affected by such high heat?
Message: Posted by: BCS (Jul 17, 2019 05:08PM)

I do not have an answer for you... my gut is telling me no.

Take care,
Message: Posted by: BarryFernelius (Jul 18, 2019 09:45AM)
And, obviously, if the coin has any kind of magnetic gaffus, donít bake it!
Message: Posted by: Mad Jake (Jul 18, 2019 10:59AM)
[quote]On Jul 17, 2019, BCS wrote:

I do not have an answer for you... my gut is telling me no.

Take care,
Bruce [/quote]

I patina cups 2 ways and coins as well. I either use Liver of Sulpher for coins, and , now don't laugh a Smoker to patina cups. It works like a charm.
It was my brothers idea. He bought a set of new polished copper cups. Well he smokes in his office. Within a week those cups developed a very
nice Patina. So he tried a smoker we have for smoking Pork here outside the shop and it worked.

Message: Posted by: BCS (Jul 18, 2019 11:21AM)
Jr... I will have to try the smoker next time the neighbor BBQs.

I hope your dad and family are doing well.

Take care,
Message: Posted by: Mad Jake (Jul 18, 2019 03:04PM)
give it a try, it really does work.

Bruce, dad passed away just over a year ago. He went into a coma and didn't come back to us.

Kindest Regards,
Message: Posted by: BCS (Jul 18, 2019 03:14PM)
Jr... so sorry I did not know... I have been away.

Bless you and your family... I love all my treasures your father has spun.

Message: Posted by: Chuck Finley (Jul 20, 2019 03:42PM)
I use vinegar and salt and just use my hands to rub them down. I then give them a week and the nice patina starts to return to them and look quite nice. They do get a bit shinier but are still on the dull side.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Jul 20, 2019 11:44PM)
A bass player I used to work with told me that when he was in the Marines, he couldn't find any brass polish around the barracks, so his D.I. told him to use Tabasco sauce. It worked fine. Two of the ingredients of Tobasco sauce are vinegar and salt.