Copper fixtures can harbor dangerous levels of copper and other toxic elements, so cleaning and sanitizing copper fixtures is critical to preventing harmful health effects.
But cleaning copper fixtures can also be challenging, especially if copper has been in contact with other elements.
To help you remove copper particles from copper fixtures, this article offers tips on how to properly clean copper fixtures and identify when copper has touched other elements, such as metal.
Step 1: Remove copper particles1.
Remove copper objects that have been sitting in copper fixtures.
The best way to remove copper is to clean copper fixture surfaces with an acid-free, mild detergent, such the household detergent or dish soap.
This can be accomplished by washing the surfaces with water, soap and a mild cleaner.
You can also use a sponge, a clean cloth or a clean rag to remove the copper particles.2.
Wash surfaces with a mild cleaning solvent such as dish soap, soap-based detergent and vinegar.
This step is also the easiest and most effective method to remove harmful copper particles, because the solvent will help to remove surface oils and minerals.3.
Remove and clean copper from fixtures.
Use the same detergent that was used to clean the copper fixture, but use less.
The copper particles should be gently rinsed with warm water, so that the copper will not seep into the cleaning solvent.
This will help you avoid creating a dangerous buildup of copper on the copper surfaces.4.
Replace copper fixtures that have accumulated copper.
If copper particles remain, replace the copper fixtures with fresh copper fixtures or remove the old copper fixtures from the system and re-use them in the future.5.
Clean copper surfaces with soap and vinegar to remove any remaining copper residue.6.
Rinse copper surfaces thoroughly.
Use a mild, non-toxic cleaner, such a dish soap and soap-only, and rinse the surfaces thoroughly with water.
Use an air conditioner-safe vacuum cleaner, if you have one, to remove particles from the copper plumbing system.7.
Clean all surfaces of copper fixtures thoroughly with household detergents, vinegar and water.8.
Repeat the above steps until the copper is removed from the plumbing system and copper particles have been removed.9.
Rinute with distilled water, followed by a bleach solution, and allow to sit for 15 minutes.10.
Repeat steps 2 and 3 until all copper is completely removed.