How to Polish Copper: the Most Effective Solution
Learn from my experience the most effective solution to polish copper post caps.
How to Polish Copper is sponsored by The Home Depot and contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.
The process of polishing copper is not difficult, but it does take time and patience. Copper tarnishes from the air around us and sometimes we don’t even realize that our copper items have turned green! Post caps in general, but in the case of my deck, copper caps on the posts are an important detail that is often overlooked. Copper is a beautiful metal and when it’s polished, it can be a good accent to your home. I reviewed 3 techniques, natural solutions, and the use of chemicals, to determine the most effective solution to cleaning copper post caps. To help make this job a little easier I utilized the scrubbing power of my Dremel Versa.
What are Copper Post Caps
A copper post cap is a metal crown that sits at the top of a utility pole, often a 4×4 post of a fence or deck.
Brasso – Chemical Cleaning Agent
So first off I tried Brasso. I applied Brasso to the post cap and using the Dremel Versascrubbed the post cap.
It worked extremely quickly. I scrubbed the surface with the Non Scratchpad, followed by the Polishing Pad. Everything went well. It cleaned the tired-looking post cap, but the next day I realized the chemical was just too must for the cap. I wouldn’t say this was a great way to polish copper. It stripped the cap of its luster.
Lemon and Salt
Next I opted for a more natural cleaning solution for my copper post caps. I sliced a lemon and grabbed some salt.
First I applied a good bit of salt directly to the lemon wedge and began to rub it on the post cap. I instantly saw the discoloration change. BUT then I started to see a different chemical reaction.
I must have applied a little too much salt because I totally stripped the post cap. SMH. I should have paid more attention in High School Chemistry. Looks like I will be replacing this post cap. The next day the post cap totally had a patina.
Finally, I tried Mineral Spirits and I am happy to say, I finally got it right. I applied the mineral spirits and using the non scratch scrubbing pad took my time cleaning the copper post cap.
I then applied water and using the polishing pad.
It wasn’t instant, but it worked. And it wasn’t too harsh for the post caps. In fact, it took a lot of elbow grease and patience. But it was a whole lot easier using the Dremel Versa to tackle this project. I don’t think my arms could have handled the kind of power I would have needed to actually get these things nice and shiny.
Now keep in mind, while I found mineral spirits to be the perfect solution coupled with the cleaning power of a Dremel Versa for polishing copper post caps, there is no perfect solution to getting the post caps exactly like they were when you bought them however many years ago. These things have been through years of various weather conditions. But I am pretty happy about how they look.
For more Dremel projects:
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