The choice of a copper sink can add beauty and value to your home. However, you cannot clean and maintain a copper sink in the same way as you would a stainless steel, ceramic or cast-iron sink. Copper sinks have a patina that requires special care to maintain.
Copper sinks acquire a patina in one of two ways. Unfinished copper will acquire a natural patina through time as it ages. The exact color your sink becomes will vary, because copper is a natural product. No two copper sinks will acquire a natural patina that looks exactly the same.
Wipe down an unfinished copper sink periodically with soap and water. You may use a specialty product called "Renaissance Wax" if you wish to slow down the aging process of your sink.
Keep acidic foods and liquids off the sink's surface after the sink has acquired a natural patina. Wipe them off immediately with soap and water. Acidic foods and liquids can strip the patina off the sink wherever they come into contact with it. The patina will eventually return, but your sink will have a spotted look until it does.
Hard water may also spot the surface of your sink, so you should always dry your sink with a cloth after each use, or apply Renaissance Wax to protect the patina. Never use copper cleaners or any other chemical cleaners on your sink after it acquires a natural patina. Only use soft cloths to clean your copper sink, as scrubbing pads can scratch the patina.
Purchase a sink with an accelerated patina finish if you wish a patina upon installation. Although further aging is possible, this type of sink will generally stay about the same color it is when you purchase it.
Taking care of an accelerated patina copper sink is exactly the same as taking care of a copper sink that has achieved a natural patina. The only difference is that you may have an accelerated patina copper sink prewaxed by the manufacturer to protect its finish. This does not mean that you will never need to apply Renaissance Wax to your sink, but it will save you the trouble of applying the initial protective coat of wax yourself.
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