HELP!! Patina off copper sink!

bichonluver3August 26, 2009

I love my copper sink with its dark patina but there are areas where the patina has come off (vinegar, citrus, tomato sauce) and bright copper shows. How can I repair these spots and get the patina back? I have seen some products advertised on the web. has anyone used these?

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My opinion is you will have to live with what it is, or put some impervious coating on the sink. Or commit to ceaseless maintenance.
The patina will come back eventually but not necessarily matching the existing.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2009 at 7:41AM
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Tincture of time.

The same way the patina got there in the first place.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2009 at 11:15AM
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I seem to remeber lemon juice ( citrus in general I think)onto dry copper adn allow to sit for a time then rinse. check on the DIY or HGTV, yes I know, not them... I've either seen or heard one of them doing it so it should be online at one of their sites. Goodluck.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2009 at 11:44PM
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A patina is mainly "rust" (cupric oxide). If you expose it to a chemical that reacts with the cupric oxide, the rust can disappear and you will be back to where you started. It would be difficult if not impossible to reoxidize the bright sections and have it all blend together.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2009 at 9:47PM
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Make sure to rinse acidic food down the drain. Don't leave cans in the sink or use a scrubber to clean items in the bottom of the sink. Clean the sink by wiping out the food waste with a paper towel. Wipe again with a paper towel soaked with a tiny amount of Goo Gone. This works for me. Good luck.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2009 at 12:34PM
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You can fix it. Not a problem. A company I know of make a copper patina repair. It is very easy.

Check it out on

It is called the Copper patina Repair Kit.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2010 at 4:53PM
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You can darken a bright spot on a copper sink where the patina has been taken off, by using a mix of 1/4 cup ammonia and 1 tsp salt. If the bright spots are small, I'd dab it on with a q-tip. Let it sit for a while, and it will darken up. It's a good idea to try it for a short time first, and to be a cautious in how long you leave it. (And rinse thoroughly with water.) The darkened area may still not match exactly, but will be less noticeable than the bright copper spot(s). In any case, time will restore the natural "old penny" patina, so it is better to under-do it with the ammonia/salt mix. This recommendation came from www.coppersinksonline, BTW.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2013 at 1:14PM
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I would like to THANK rschleicher for almost ruining my sink with his/her advice. I tried the ammonia/salt recommendation and it brightened up the copper patch like a shiny new penny. PLEASE do not post on here (or elsewhere) if you have not tried the things you recommend. This is a brand new $400 dollar dark copper sink............undermount, so It is not like I can easily replace it under the granite. Grrr...

    Bookmark   September 3, 2014 at 12:18AM
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Using household chemicals like ammonia, salt, vinegar, and almost anything can add a patina back to the copper but when dealing with aged copper, it will be obvious for a period of time.

It sounds like the surface of the copper wasn't sealed, which is OK, but you will always be at risk of having patina "removed" by another patina making product, such as an acidic tomato.

Time is always best at fixing copper patina issues, so accept the color difference and be patient.

Sadly, CathyCook66's comment above does highlight why sometimes you should hire a professional. Cathy tried something that is a proven method of adding a patina to copper, but since it didn't work for her, she lashed out at an experienced commenter believing Cathy's own failure was due to bad advice. Cathy didn't understand how her copper sink was made and ruined it rather than hiring a knowledgeable professional. Cathy's sink likely had a protected surface on it, but being new, she should have asked her installer, and unfortunately the finish she removed by using caustic chemicals that the manufacturer would have told her not do. I was sorry to see Cathy's post and hear she ruined her own sink, but on raw copper, ammonia and salt is a proven, tried and true means of adding a patina to copper, as is time.

This post was edited by Missing_No_Fingers on Wed, Sep 3, 14 at 14:45

    Bookmark   September 3, 2014 at 2:07PM
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