How will a Copper Sink Wear Over Time?
Our Luxurious Copper Products, we are often asked about what is normal wear for copper sinks, copper bathtubs, and other copper products. More specifically we get asked what to do about light and dark spots that occur with normal use. The answer is both simple and relieving: the finish will take care of itself.
Copper has what is considered a living finish, and it naturally protects itself from the environment. The Statue of Liberty is copper, and when first delivered was shiny like penny. After years of exposure to elements, copper develops a finish to protect itself, a barrier called patina. This patina has stages – first brown, then black, then green like Lady Liberty. That last green stage occurs after years(10-15) of exposure to an outdoor environment, so be assured that your copper sink will not turn green, as it is indoors and away from constant bombardment from the elements.
Our Copper Products beautiful finishes come from exposure to fire. This high temperature exposure accelerates the patina development process that brings out the deep, rich color of a Copper Sink. Your sink might be exposed to different household elements, such as the acids in foods, that can cause lightened spots and color variations, or to scratches from normal use while washing dishes. This is normal. The beauty of a living finish is the sink color is in constant variation. These variation will blend together over time. Light spots will naturally darken and dark spots will naturally lighten. Even if scratched, the shiny scratch mark will darken and blend back into the finish over the course of time.
To help speed up the repair of a light spot or scratch, wash the sink with soap and water. Leave the finish exposed and do not use wax, which coats and protects the copper from the elements. You want to leave the spot exposed and use the sink as you normally would to encourage the copper to form new patina.
Maintenance tip: Once a year, purchase Wet Sand Paper in 500-600 grit from your local hardware store. Get the sand paper and sink wet and do a light sanding over the entire surface. This will expose the copper at top of the hammer marks and help to even out the patina and blend the finish all together. After sanding, rinse and dry the sink and apply wax.
How Can I Care For My Copper Sink?
Copper Care Instructions
Drop-in and undermount copper sinks as well as drains are installed using a special Clear silicone sealer that's designed not to discolor the copper occasionally sinks are also installed with clips. Unlike traditional sealer used with porcelain sinks, Clear silicone is compatible with copper and provides a waterproof seal. Applying the silicone sealer and installing a copper sink is relatively straightforward. Obtain the silicone and the appropriate clips for a drop-in or under-mount sink and organize the few tools needed for the installation. If you're needing a drain for a sink please contact your retailer.
Caring for your copper sink is surprisingly easy, they're virtually maintenance free.
To keep clean, simply rinse your sink/bathtub with water after every use. Since copper is a natural anti-bacterial surface, it is not necessary to disinfect or scrub your copper.
NOTE: Copper reacts with acids, so run water when you're washing fruit such as lemons, limes, oranges, grapefruit, tomatoes or pineapple and never leave pieces of them sitting in the sink. Mustard and vinegar also react with your copper sink, Its best to leave water running while working with products and foods of this nature and remember to thoroughly rinse your sink immediately after use. If the copper surface should get scratched or affected by one of these acidic foods, the copper will naturally regain its original, aged patina with regular use and time so make sure they are rinsed entirely. Wipe the sink down with a clean, soft cloth after every use especially if you have hard water because this will help avoid spots.
When cleaning your Copper use dish liquid soap such as Dawn and a soft sponge. Rinse your sink/bath thoroughly and then wipe it dry with a clean, lint-free cloth. Never use any sort of abrasive cleanser or scrubber on the sink/bathtub because it may scratch or even remove the patina.
NOTE: Most hired housekeepers tend to scrub things to get them really clean and shining, so if you have a housekeeper make sure they are educated on how to clean and care for your sink it is not accidentally damage.
Even with the most careful use, the patina on a copper sink will start to degrade over time. The best way to protect your sink while allowing its patina to soften over time is to wax it. Apply high-grade plumbing wax to the sink as soon as you notice that water no longer beads up on the surface. Follow the instructions on the plumber's wax to get the best result. It is also possible to apply a lacquer finish to copper sinks to protect them, but this must be done by a professional.
***The most important thing to remember about copper is, DO NOT use abrasive cleansers or disinfectants on non-shiny copper. lt does NOT require that much work!***
Following this simple routine of 'Rinse and wash', your copper sink, bathtub or tabletop will give you a lifetime of enjoyment!