How to clean your copper mug and keep it as new

moscowmuleadmin 01/03/2014 52


Why you need some good advice to clean copper mugs

Two of the most common problems we will encounter when owning copper mugs for a while are: “How can I clean my copper mug? and “How to remove those ugly patina and keep them shiny as new?”. As a metal material copper will naturally tarnish as time passes by. Because it reacts with oxygen in the air, and then patina appears. Those patina will be in various colors and shapes, depending on weather water involves in that reaction or not. That may not be completely prevented but can be limited to an acceptable level through right and proper management. So you really need some advises to clean copper cup, and to keep your Copper Mug as new.

Cleaning Solutions

Nature effective cleaning recipes

Vinegar and salt are excellent for cleaning copper because acidic vinegar can strip tarnish and abrasive salt helps to remove any of the built-up debris.

clean_copper_ mug_with_lemon_juiceLemon Juice and Baking Soda: Lemon juice is also acidic,it works just as well.  Just combine it with baking soda,which is abrasive in this recipe, you can add some salt if needed.

clean_copper_ mug_with_KechupKetchup:The most easy way for you will be ketchup, it is amazingly powerful. It is originally made up of vinegar and salt and the tomato paste in ketchup is also very acidic.

You can use these recipes to clean copper mugs by rubbing the solution over the item, letting it sit for a couple minutes, and then wash it away. Wax finish or lacquer keep your mugs well and avoid patina, but it means that you must do that every time you use them.

Specialized Copper cleaners

Although the nature recipe can help clean the Moscow Mule copper mug or copper palates but they cannot do all work we need: Not only a clean copper mug but also a shiny and glowing one. You will be happy to find out there are some companies providing some specialized copper cleaners on market. Some products have been used over decades such as this Weiman Products 340 Copper CreamAs the best reviewed cleaner in this field this cream gets your mugs really shinny and looking like new for just a few bucks. And this copper cleaner will make you job far easier than just about anything else. It will clean every trace of tarnish and stain on the entire surface, and left the copper bright and spotlessly clean. Only 15 seconds easy rubbing and wiping  afterwards can make your copper mugs sparkles again

copper cleaner copper cream

>-click to get this magic copper cream for less than 4 bucks and read real customer reviews on Amazon

If you owns a bar serves costumers with Moscow Mule. It is no doubt that you have a plenty of copper mugs. This 4lbs Industrial size Weiman Copper Cream Polish will be more convenient for you


copper cleaner copper cream2

>-click to get this 4lbs magic copper cream or read real customer reviews on


  1. Joan Grogan 04/10/2014 at pm1:57 - Reply

    We are trying to find an alternative to Old Dutch. We are in small town and we have about 10 stores/taverns all selling Old Dutch products. We have been in this location for over 20 years. Can you help us with contact information on any alternatives? Thanks!

  2. ellen Hoff 08/23/2014 at pm1:42 - Reply

    I tried to clean my copper mugs with the ketchup, I didn’t notice any change. Then I tried the vinegar and salt and let them soak in that. It seems to be a little better. If anyone has a great secret, email me! Maybe the cups are supposed to look tarnished, but cleaned in soapy water. Love this drink and I am not much for drinking!

    • moscowmuleadmin 08/26/2014 at am7:12 - Reply

      Thank you for your comment. It is glad to know some of my tips can really work for you.
      The default configuration does not allow Email to be shown to others.
      Based on your comment I can manage to add your Email address to the right end of your comment.

  3. Google 08/25/2014 at am10:03 - Reply

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  4. Tsquare 08/31/2014 at pm3:59 - Reply

    My Moscow cups had twenty years of tarnish on them and I wiped it away with very little effort using a soft sponge with “Bar Keepers” it’s a powder, that should be available at any grocery store. It doesn’t scratch, and I swear by it in the kitchen to clean my porcelain sink, stainless steel pots, and even aluminum.

  5. moscowmuleadmin 08/31/2014 at pm11:12 - Reply

    Thank you for comment. Your tip of Bar keepers will definitely help to solve the same problem encountered by other copper mug owners.
    Bar Keepers Friend® Cleanser & PolishBar Keepers Friend® Cleanser & Polish

  6. Kaylea 10/12/2014 at am7:39 - Reply

    Used bar keepers best friend and it worked!

  7. coleman Canoe 11/29/2014 at pm6:35 - Reply

    Appreciating the hard work you put into your site and detailed information you offer.
    It’s nice to come across a blog every once in a while that
    isn’t the same old rehashed material. Fantastic read! I’ve bookmarked your site
    and I’m including your RSS feeds to my Google account.

  8. Laicee 01/09/2015 at am1:08 - Reply

    Always reiershfng to hear a rational answer.

  9. George 01/11/2015 at pm2:21 - Reply

    Only had my cup for two weeks. And I just read to use the ketchup for a cleaner…. DONT DO IT!! that literally ate the Silver-lining inside of the cup. My cup is now junk! Then tried to further straighten that out with the lemon juice and baking soda! Don’t do that either same thing just made it worse!! How in the heck are you supposed to clean these things if Katcup destroys them??? and what would happen if I had a bloody Mary in one??? Junk! However you all be happy to hear That my red plastic Solo cup I have had been rewashing is doing fine

    • moscowmuleadmin 01/13/2015 at am4:21 - Reply

      These methods we discussed are usually for copper surface not the internal lining. If you have damaged silvery lining, tin lining I guess,your copper need to be relined to recovery.

  10. scott 02/09/2015 at pm11:48 - Reply

    george, should have purchased all copper. better conductor, easier care.

    • moscowmuleadmin 02/10/2015 at am3:45 - Reply

      Can’t agree with you more !

  11. joshua 02/23/2015 at pm12:52 - Reply

    how is the best way to clean the inside of the mug?

    • moscowmuleadmin 02/24/2015 at pm8:19 - Reply

      If you mugs are unlined solid just clean the inside as the outside. If you have a lined one you should pay more attention to protect it.

  12. Chuck 06/26/2015 at pm1:37 - Reply

    My mugs are all copper. If I use one of the cleaners to do the inside how safe is it to drink out of? Thanks

  13. David 07/12/2015 at pm7:45 - Reply

    BarKeepers Friend is as good as it gets for cleaning copper mugs. if your mug is aged 20+ years you may need good ol USMC Brasso! Let both ‘sit’ a spell- 1 hour or more- then rescrub before rinsing…Voila! Your copper mug is patina free! Personally, patina has no negative effect to me…though others who are NOT familiar w/copper mugs think the mug is ‘dirty’. NEVER use ‘Brillo’ style steel wool pads on your mugs. Opt w/patience, for the BarKeepers Friend route. I have no experience w/ ketchup, lemon juice and salt, etc., I am a former Marine and BarKeepers Friend works. If you are persnickety then you’ll need some Brasso.

    • moscowmuleadmin 07/13/2015 at pm10:15 - Reply

      Thanks a lot for sharing your extraordinary experience with copper mugs cleaning!

  14. Steve Gollis 07/23/2015 at pm4:04 - Reply

    I just purchased 2 copper mugs. Can I store them in silver keeper bags like I store my silver to prevent them from tarnishing?
    Thank you.

    • moscowmuleadmin 07/23/2015 at pm9:47 - Reply

      It’s a good idea to keep your copper mugs!

  15. Steve Gollis 07/23/2015 at pm9:55 - Reply

    Thanks, will do!

  16. Sara 08/22/2015 at am8:03 - Reply

    can you put copper mugs in the freezer for extra chilled drinks?

    • moscowmuleadmin 08/22/2015 at am8:57 - Reply

      Not recommend for this method! Because it is something like keeping your copper mugs in a moist and closed box. Although the temperature is low it would cause damage to copper mugs.

  17. Jimmy S 09/26/2015 at am9:54 - Reply

    Is bar keepers friend safe on the inside of a container that you keep water in?

    • moscowmuleadmin 10/08/2015 at am1:27 - Reply

      It is safe for all copper cookware but you better flush you mug thoroughly to eliminate any possible harmful residuals at the last step.

  18. Cindy 09/30/2015 at pm6:27 - Reply

    Inside of copper mug turned orange after leaving some liquid and lime in over night

    • moscowmuleadmin 10/08/2015 at am1:29 - Reply

      Highly recommend the cleaning should be done soon after usage. Overnight with orange is really really bad for a solid copper mug.

  19. Rebecca Garner 10/01/2015 at am3:53 - Reply

    Thank you for sharing this awesome trick! Vinegar, lemon and baking soda are always good idea for green cleaning! Greets!

    • moscowmuleadmin 10/08/2015 at am1:31 - Reply

      Thank you for your commenting but this website don’t like spam links.

  20. Cara 11/07/2015 at pm2:01 - Reply

    Is Weiman’s Bronze Polish safe to use on a mug? I’ve washed it thoroughly with soap and water after polishing, but is it safe to drink out of? I recently came across the phrase “food-grade copper cleaner” which leads me to believe that what I’ve used is not safe for food.

  21. Patrick 12/27/2015 at am7:47 - Reply

    Hello, my wife and I received a pair of your Hammered Barrel mugs from our neighbors for Christmas. We rinsed them out and used them that evening for some ice water at the end of our evening. I left some water in the bottom of both mugs and when I poured them out in the morning I noticed that the Tin or Stainless lining on a portion of the inside of one of them seems to ave come off leaving a blackish spot.

    It also seems that the same has happened very slightly along the crease in the bottom of the mug. The water was orangeish-yellow (my wife’s term) when we poured it out. Any ideas why this happened or what can be done about it. They are beautiful mugs but I am a little concerned about what may be leaching into my drink(s).

    • moscowmuleadmin 12/27/2015 at pm11:17 - Reply

      Dry your copper mugs each time is recommended! But a fine tin or Stainless lining will not be damaged so easily by just water. Maybe it is a quality issue. If convenient upload some pictures of the black spot of your copper mugs. This will be helpful to let us find out what really happens.

  22. Angela 01/10/2016 at am10:40 - Reply

    I just bought a set of four all copper mugs, no silver lining. We washed one by hand and there are dark steaks and what look like water spots all over the mug, especially the outside. The inside has more dark splotches. Help! How do I prevent this from happening? Are the mugs junk now? It’s only been used once. Any insight would be appreciated.

    • moscowmuleadmin 01/17/2016 at am12:04 - Reply

      It seems like you make a most common mistake as a new copper mugs owner. You did not dry your mugs throughly before storage. If your mugs are pure solid copper you just need to polish them to remove those dark spots. Try this Bar Keepers Friend® Cleanser & Polish. It is the best!

  23. Wendy 03/26/2016 at am10:23 - Reply

    Hi great info here! Was wondering how i can get my mugs not to smell? They are full copper, i also have others w/ silver lining they don’t smell. Thanks 🙂

    • moscowmuleadmin 03/26/2016 at pm6:45 - Reply

      Hi Wendy! You have a very sensitive nose. Pure Solid copper mug do smells a little. Lined ones will be better! Keep your mugs absolutely dry can prevent this kind of smell somewhat.

  24. Gwynneth 04/01/2016 at pm2:07 - Reply

    I just found out about this drink from the show “Better Call Saul”. In one episode, a guy orders a Moscow Mule in the classic copper cup. I was intrigued and looked it up. I had to laugh about cleaning copper–it’s not that easy! I cleaned a Revere Ware copper-bottom frying pan (it was very oxidized), with salt & vinegar, and the scrubbing actually took the copper off in many places! So be careful not to scrub too hard, folks! Other than copper cleaner, I’ve found ketchup or tomato sauce to work great, but it leaves a weird smell.
    Thanks for the great info here!

  25. Sherri Rinebold 06/17/2016 at am11:29 - Reply

    I just used lemon juice and salt to clean my father’s Moscow Mule mug from 1948 and I can’t believe how beautiful it is now! I’m going to test it out tomorrow. Thanks for the great tips.

    • moscowmuleadmin 06/17/2016 at pm10:25 - Reply

      1948! wow! It must be a very antique one! Thank you for letting us know our tips work. Would you please to post a picture to show us what a 1948 copper mug looks like!

  26. Tmac 08/17/2016 at pm10:11 - Reply

    Can you put copper mugs in a toaster oven after cleaning and wiping to really get the moisture out?

    • moscowmuleadmin 08/17/2016 at pm10:19 - Reply

      You can not!!!

  27. Carol 09/30/2016 at am8:44 - Reply

    My problems are not tarnish but water spots that absolutely do not come off. The mugs are shiny but just the condensation from the icy cold drink left the mugs spotty that nothing clears up! Help please

  28. Patel Familey 04/28/2017 at pm3:55 - Reply

    I try very fist list salt & vinegar clean my all copper pot and mug.

    Thanks very much

    • moscowmuleadmin 04/28/2017 at pm5:28 - Reply

      Thank you for your comment. Salt&Vinegar are truly the most simple and effective way for nearly all copper utensils

  29. Frustrated 06/15/2017 at pm7:17 - Reply

    Hi! I have Cooper mugs that were used at a party. When I woke up in the morning I saw that they still had alcohol in them and there had been a lot of condensation on them. The condensation appears to have stained the outside a whitish color. I can send pics if it would be helpful. I tried everything including wrights copper cream and it didn’t fix the tarnish whatsoever. Any tips for very stubborn white tarnish?

  30. Hadiza Hamma 07/18/2017 at am11:35 - Reply

    Hello. I bought this copper jug yesterday, I rinsed it with tap water and then kept water in it overnight. This morning I discovered several parts of the jug looked rusty. In fact there are so many black rusty looking patches all over the inside where the water was. The outer part has many rust spots too. Does this mean I bought a fake copper jug? Can I continue to use it for drinking water? I fear that A’i may be consuming something else other than copper. If u don’t mind I will send the picture to your email. Thank you.

  31. David Glazener 07/26/2017 at pm4:02 - Reply

    A real Moscow Mule mug doesn’t have a lining. It should be solid copper. The acids in the lime juice react with the copper.

  32. joy 10/20/2017 at am8:37 - Reply

    can i ask how much salt and vinegar will i use to clean my copper mug ?

  33. Roxy Lentz 12/12/2017 at am10:41 - Reply

    I bought 3 vintage West Bend copper mugs for my son who likes Mules. He is a millennium, and before I clean them, I want to be sure that the millennials want shiny cups. He knows they should be solid copper.

    I am a metalsmith, an the best way to take patina off copper is to put it in “pickle” a hot water bath, in a crock pot, made of water, white vinegar, and salt. I would test on something that doesn’t matter first. My question here is, do millennials want their Moscow Mule cups shiny? Usually, patina from age is a good thing, on some stuff. BTW, I will put a copy of this website with them when he opens for Christmas.

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