Copper, like good wine, ages with grace.   In fact, many people purchase copper awnings because they like the fact that the copper ages over time and changes color, a process known as developing a patina.  Click here to find out why natural copper eventually turns green.

There are however those who prefer the shiny, polished look of new copper and want to find out how to keep their product looking this way.  Cleaning and polishing is actually pretty easy with the right instructions.

To keep outdoor copper looking shiny, bright and new, you need to wash it and keep it polished. Copper is not difficult to clean but it needs to be cleaned frequently to maintain its original luster for a longer period of time.

Here are a few tips that you can employ to make your awnings look new and shiny and it won’t take you more than thirty minutes to do so.


You will need a ladder, a garden hose or a few buckets of water, pieces of soft cloth, vinegar, salt and flour. And don’t forget polish for shine. The cleaning procedure requires you to climb a ladder, so make sure that you have all of the product and equipment you need beforehand.

Initial Cleaning

Grab a good ladder to be able to reach the awning easily. Be very careful!

Make sure you have a person who is willing to hold the ladder as they tend to tip, especially when placed on soil or grass. To begin, start with soapy, warm water and wash the awning. Rinse with more water. This method is used to wash off the dirt on the surface of the awning.

Acute Tarnishing

If your awning has acute tarnishing, you can clean it with vinegar paste. You can make this paste using vinegar, salt, and flour in the same quantities and mix them into a consistent paste like form.

With a soft dry cloth, apply this paste to the tarnished areas of the awning.

Wait for fifteen minutes and rinse the awning with a lot of water using a garden hose or buckets of water.

To make the copper all shiny again, buff the awning with another soft dry cloth.

Severe Copper Tarnishing

If your copper awning is old and is tarnished severely, you should use salt and lemon juice in equal parts and rub it on the affected areas. Rinse thoroughly.

Once dry, buff it with a soft cloth to make it all shiny again.

Make sure to use real lemon juice for optimum results.

Cleaning Copper with Tomato Juice

You can also use tomatoes and tomato based products to clean copper. The acidic juice of tomatoes works amazingly well on tarnished and stained copper. The trick is to scrub properly.

Rinse, dry and buff, then shine with a soft cloth.