Copper Sinks: Things to keep in mind.
If you want an alluring look for your kitchen that does not corrode or rust and is antimicrobial, then a copper sink may be for you.
If you are thinking about getting a copper sink for your kitchen, make sure that you buy a high-gage model (16 gage minimum). Lower-gauge models may dent and warp.
Another thing to keep in mind is this: Copper Sinks are highly reactive and will darken overtime. If you are obsessive about having a perfect looking kitchen sink, then copper is not for you. Waters stains occur easily, and unless you are willing to wipe out your sink after each and every use with a cloth or paper towel, your copper sink will discolor.
The great part of copper is the the sanitation. Copper has antimicrobial properties, which means that harmful bacteria from foods such as poultry, tend to die in a few hours, unlike traditional sink material, such as stainless. If you like to wash your lettuce and veggies right in your sink basin, then copper is a good, healthful choice for you.
Cleaning a Copper Kitchen Sink
The first several weeks after our kitchen remodel, I was obsessed with my copper sink. I could not stand the water stains, and the darkening of the patina. We paid a lot of money for our beautiful copper-farmhouse sink, and I wanted it to stay the way it looked straight out of the factory box.
Slowly, I began to realize that the true beauty of copper is that it doesn't look perfect. Our sink is hammered copper and the uneven finish not only makes the sink unique, but it also protects the sink from scratches, which can occur on smooth copper. So, I stopped obsessing, and I started using the sink without worry.
Okay, so now that you have some water stains and dark patina, because you use your sink constantly without fretting, how do you clean it?
Warning: Do not use any of those fancy copper cleaners--they will ruin your copper sink!
Put down the cleaner and head to your refrigerator.
Grab some ketchup. Yes, you read that right, ketchup.
For daily cleaning soap and water is all you need. If you are like me, and do not want to fret about the water stains on your copper sink, you do not need to dry the sink after each and every use. Instead once a week or so, open the ketchup, pour some in the sink, and swish it around with a paper towel and wait. The longer that you leave the ketchup on your copper sink, the shinier the patina will become. The water stains will disappear, and your sink will look like new. For a little while, anyway.
I admit that at times I go too long before I use ketchup to clean my sink, so, once in a while my sink resembles The Statue of Liberty. Green stains appear on the edge of the sink, where water can puddle.
No worries. Go to the refrigerator and grab a lemon. Cut the lemon and squeeze lemon juice on the green stains. Wipe with a paper towel. Rinse. Dry. Done.
TIP: You can also use vinegar to clean your copper sink, but I prefer the smell of ketchup or tomato sauce over vinegar. The vinegar odor lingers much too long.
Other Items that Clean Copper Sinks.
If you used up all of your ketchup at your last cookout, don't fret, there are other items that clean copper sinks just as well. Personally I like to use ketchup, because it is cheap, if you buy an off brand--you don't have to put this ketchup on your burgers and dogs, just keep it for cleaning. You can also buy large sized ketchup at your local warehouse store.
Out of ketchup? Try canned tomatoes; barbecue sauce; jarred tomato sauce; old whole tomatoes that you slice and squeeze and then place in the sink basin for awhile; remember, the longer you wait, the shinier the patina. Patience is a virtue.
Any citrus fruit like limes, oranges, and lemons. Again, slice, squeeze, and place. Don't forget to wait.
If you can tolerate the lingering smell of vinegar, buy a jug, and it will do the job cheaply.