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Old 10-15-2012, 01:54 PM   #1
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Cleaning A Copper Sign


Hello.....What I need to know is....I have this copper sign and it's getting all rusted ...HOW DO I CLEAN IT......can someone give me any Ideas
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Old 10-15-2012, 02:00 PM   #2
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Cleaning A Copper Sign


Copper sign rusting
It's called a patina, It's the metal trying to protect it's self from oxadation. clean it off and it comes right back. Might want to try sealing it with spray shellic.
Brasso will clean it up.
If it's an antique it will be about worthless if you clean it.
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Old 10-15-2012, 02:05 PM   #3
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Cleaning A Copper Sign


Thanks Joe I will try that
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Old 10-15-2012, 02:05 PM   #4
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Cleaning A Copper Sign


As Joe alluded, if it is copper, you're looking at patina, not rust. Does a magnet stick to it?
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Old 10-15-2012, 03:10 PM   #5
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Cleaning A Copper Sign


Yes a Magnet does stick to it
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Old 10-15-2012, 04:01 PM   #6
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Cleaning A Copper Sign


So the sign itself is not copper, and you are probably correct in that it is rusted. Suggestions are going to vary, depending on the extent of the damage, so you might want to post a picture, but, assuming that it may be an antique, as Joe said, any manner or restoration may decrease the value of it significantly.
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Old 10-15-2012, 04:50 PM   #7
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Cleaning A Copper Sign


This is not an antique in any way, my wife got it at a garage sale and had it outside for the last 3 yrs. Now I have to see about posting a picture of it so you know what I am talking about
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Old 10-15-2012, 04:54 PM   #8
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Cleaning A Copper Sign


Sounds like it is some form of copper clad or even copper plate. Thin copper layer over steel or other ferrous metal if a magnet is sticking to it. See if you can tell by looking at an edge how thick it is.

I think Brasso might be too abrasive. I used stuff called Flitz for many metals but cannot remember whether on copper. Home detergent sections of your grocery or hardware store should have a polish for copper pot bottoms and so forth that might be worth a try.

Believe it or not, when I specified a copper countertop for a client the installer recommended using common ketchup to clean it. You might try a bit on a small SOFT cloth as see how far you get. Obviously the mild acid in the ketchup is what is at work.

There are stronger acids like those that come in brand name products like Tarn-X. You can also get polishing rouge sticks to use with a buffer. Some auto polishes/polishing compounds, not rubbing compounds (too abrasive), might work.

If it is a thin layer be extremely careful how much you remove as the oxidation may involve much of something like the entire copperplate layer. And as mentioned, if this has antique value, it is best to check with an antique dealer to see if you should touch it all.

I guess shellac or spray lacquer might retard the newly polished sign from oxidizing so fast. The greenish patina is what makes copper special in most instances though. A friend uses a copper print plate as the sign for his studio and he was furious when I shined it up for him once. Fortunately it developed a patina quickly so I was spared hearing about what I did for long.
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Old 10-15-2012, 06:03 PM   #9
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Cleaning A Copper Sign


"Believe it or not, when I specified a copper countertop for a client the installer recommended using common ketchup to clean it. You might try a bit on a small SOFT cloth as see how far you get. Obviously the mild acid in the ketchup is what is at work."



And i can tell you first hand that it works like a charm,and non abrasive too boot.
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Old 10-15-2012, 06:09 PM   #10
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Cleaning A Copper Sign


I want to thank you all for what you have told me on how to clean my copper sign. I will try it and let you know how I make out....THANKS AGAIN
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