Daily Wire Tip: Prevent Tarnish on Copper and Nickel Silver

By on September 4, 2010
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Daily Wire Jewelry Making Tip


This is not a question just a tip I use, maybe you can try it and share it.

For practice recycled copper wire or for nickel silver wire, clean the wire, then polish it with Nu Finish car polish. This is a polymer, not a wax, and lasts a long time. This makes the wire bright and shiny. I’ve used this on copper that was then left out for a year and had no corrosion show up.

I clean the copper wire by soaking in half water/half white vinegar, then dry it and polish it. I just wipe the nickel silver wire down and then polish it.

-Diane in Hanover, Pennsylvania


Although it not usual for me to post tips from folks as a question, I have to say that I really appreciate your experience and wanted to share it with everyone. Thanks so much, Diane!!

If any of our readers have other tips for preventing and removing tarnish, feel free to leave them in the comments below!

Answer contributed by Dale “Cougar” Armstrong

Have a question? Submit your question here

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  1. avatar


    September 5, 2010 at 7:21 am

    Put a small piece of blackboard chalk into the zipper bag with your wire to keep it tarnish free while stored.

  2. avatar


    September 5, 2010 at 9:06 am

    That is the best tip I’ve seen in a while. I live in a coastal town where humidity causes everything to tarnish almost overnight it seems. Now I might be able to use some of my practice pieces for display more than a show or two before having to start all over again. Thank you so much Diane for the tip and WS for sharing.

  3. avatar


    September 5, 2010 at 9:25 am

    A great tip Diane. I have a can of that sitting on my work bench and use it as well. But, I don’t do the step you use before with the water and vinegar first. I’ll have to try that and see what the difference will be. Especially with the copper since I use a lot of copper for designing as well as for a finished piece.

    Thanks again.

  4. avatar


    September 5, 2010 at 9:33 am

    Thanks for the tip with Nu Finish car polish! Try adding a little salt in your water and vinegar solution, it will clean up the wire faster. We used to clean our pennies that way when we were kids!

    • avatar

      Françoise Zainal

      November 17, 2012 at 2:26 pm

      we do it to prepare copper to enameling
      I suppose that chimically, the Cl of the salt (NaCl) combines with the H of the acetic acid and HCl chlorydric acid is stronger than acetic acid !!!

    • avatar


      February 25, 2014 at 6:59 am

      Now I’m curious as to how that would work with water, vinegar, and salt in a rotary tumbler.

      • avatar


        May 12, 2015 at 6:26 pm

        If u use straight vinegar & salt warmed in microwave, or keep in small crock pot on low. You can clean things up very quickly! If used for copper , it will copper plate other items. So you might want to keep metals seperate. If you end up with copper on nickle silver, try vinegar/salt with a tiny amount of hydrogen peroxide to clean it right up!

    • avatar


      February 25, 2014 at 7:00 am

      Would this combination work for bronze and/or brass as well?

  5. avatar

    Barbara Bear

    September 5, 2010 at 9:59 am

    These are wonderful! Here’s another one. I buy a large quanity of the fabric used to make tarnish free covers for sterling silverware. You can buy it at a fabric store. I then cut it up in small piecees . When ready to store Jewelry or findings I just put a piece of the fabric in a zip lock with the silver, copper, gold. It works !

    • avatar


      February 25, 2014 at 6:57 am

      What type of cloth is this? I have a fabric store around the corner from where I live and would like to go in there with a purpose and not a question for the ppl there to try to figure out. Thank you.

      • avatar


        December 2, 2014 at 12:31 pm

        It is called Pacific cloth.

  6. avatar

    Val Bogdan

    September 5, 2010 at 10:54 am

    Thanks to all of you for sharing! I will use all these tips seeing as I use a lot of copper in with my dichroic jewelry. I have never heard of the chalk to prevent tarnish. Love this site!!!

  7. avatar

    Verita Shaak

    September 5, 2010 at 11:37 am

    I use a polymer based floor finish for my polymer clay pieces called Holloway House Professional Quick Shine Floor Finish. I bet that will work as well! I’m going to give it a try since I also use a lot of copper and nickel silver in my work. It may also protect sensitive skin from irritaton, don’t you think?

  8. avatar


    September 5, 2010 at 12:58 pm

    What great ideas from all! Thank you for posting them. I live on the “Wet” (West) Coast, so dampness, tarnish and corrosion are always lurking.

    • avatar

      Françoise Zainal

      November 17, 2012 at 2:28 pm

      I live on the Atlantic Coast in Britanny/France and this will help me too

  9. avatar


    September 5, 2010 at 2:17 pm

    Yes! great tips .But, can you do this with sterling silver wire? Useing Nu-Finish ?

  10. avatar

    Rachel Ison

    September 5, 2010 at 2:38 pm

    What a great tip! Thanks so much for sharing.

  11. avatar

    Carol Wilson

    September 5, 2010 at 3:27 pm

    This is a great tip and I can’t wait to try it since I, too, live in a coastal town. Regarding the chalk, I’ve also heard of using those little silica packs that come in pills and other things. Seems like the same effect, so I’ve started saving mine.

    • avatar

      Laurie Kollins

      June 25, 2013 at 6:27 am

      I just recently heard of using the silica packs, but for silver. My teacher told me to use an art spray to preserve the patina on my silver pieces, this should also work on copper or any other metal.
      I’m a new customer and love, love, love this site. Thank you all for sharing .

  12. avatar

    Casey Willson

    September 5, 2010 at 4:47 pm

    I have used a polymer for years too. What I use is the generic brand of Mop N Shine floor cleaner and finisher.
    It will even harden and stabilize chalk turquoise.
    There are tricks to dipping it and drying it. I use a parts cleaner container with the little strainer in it for findings and small items then drain on several layers of paper towels before using. For wires you must make sure there is NO tarnish as you’ll have a hard time cleaning the sealer off (have to use ammonia or wax stripper!) if you dip over tarnish.
    The slide the wire over a cotton pad saturated with the polymer dip.
    This is especially good for base metals and even helps keep nickle from contacting skins for those with nickel allergies.
    Hope it helps someone. Be sure to practice on really cheap stuff until you get the knack. Or email me. I wrote up some instructions and will gladly give them away.
    UPDATE: Casey’s directions are now available on our blog! Click here: Coating Base Metal Wires with Mop N Shine

    • avatar


      September 5, 2010 at 5:04 pm

      Wow Casey – thanks!

    • avatar


      October 25, 2011 at 8:47 pm

      I would really love having your instructions and thanks for the great tips. I have a nickel allergy and hate having a green ring around my neck =0}

    • avatar


      November 21, 2011 at 1:34 pm

      Thanks, Casey, for being so generous and sending me your instructions!

      Here’s a link to Casey’s directions on our blog: Coating Base Metal Wires with Mop N Shine

    • avatar


      September 12, 2012 at 8:35 pm

      Can’t find any Mop n’ Shine, but did find a Mop & Glo, would that work too? I have to use the nickle silver, copper and gold and silver tone wires for my work, real silver is way beyond my resources!!

  13. avatar


    September 6, 2010 at 1:34 am

    Thanks for the tip, Diane. Today was one of the best tips. Simple, interesting, inexpensive and it works!!! More power to you… all of us will have shiny and clean metals from now on. Again, thanks!

  14. avatar


    September 6, 2010 at 4:02 am

    This latest tip, keeping recycled copper or nickel silver wire clean and without corrosion, is brilliant. Thank-you to Diane in Hanover for sharing her tip. From Lynne in Victoria, Australia

  15. avatar


    September 6, 2010 at 9:30 am

    Thanks for posting this, Dale. I thought others might like it or have similar ideas. -Diane

    • avatar


      September 6, 2010 at 10:15 am

      Diane, I really appreciate you sharing this special technique with us : ) I hope to try it myself (when I can breathe).
      All my best, Dale

  16. avatar

    judy hearney

    September 7, 2010 at 7:13 am

    Has anyone tried Nikolas metal protector or Ever Brite/Protectaclear?

    I have recently started using the Nikolas Spray. It is very convenient on copper pieces with a lot of folds. It is non-toxic when dry. It smells like nail polish. I place wax paper on the stones and spray the metal surface. I was just wondering if anyone has had experience with this product. Thanks for the tips on the chalk and silicon packets. I will be trying that on my wrapped pendants.

    • avatar

      AmyLee Brooks

      February 12, 2013 at 11:23 am

      Thank you Judy & Everyone else for the GREAT ideas!
      I use Protectaclear & it works PERFECTLY! No tarnishing, No green skin, & No worries! Love it! Just make sure the metal in CLEAN & NEUTRALIZED before using!
      I have found in life, wether it involves family, practicing medicine or making jewelry, that when people put their minds together & work positively together, ANYTHING is possible, not to mention it is also easier, more rewarding & a much happier outcome!
      ***Thanx Again, Everyone!

  17. avatar

    Sherrie Lingerfelt

    September 7, 2010 at 9:34 pm

    What a great tip!! We all have issues with tarnish when working with the many types of metals now available. This will take out a lot of extra work we do when cleaning our pieces for a show. Thanks so much everyone.

  18. avatar

    Janine Brown

    September 8, 2010 at 4:39 pm

    Great tip and thank you for sharing…I have a small can of Protecta Clear that I use on my handmade silver, copper and brass beads. It holds up very well and I have not had to clean my beads in a few years..


  19. avatar

    judy hearney

    September 9, 2010 at 7:09 am

    Thank you Janine. I have had some problems with some silver pieces. I will try the Everbrite on a them the next time I clean them. I have switched to argentium recently and hope it will make my life a little easier. But I do like the look of copper and it does allow me to keep my cost/prices down. Thank you all for your tips. I think a can of Nu finish may be next on my list. Judy

  20. avatar


    September 28, 2010 at 10:53 pm

    Another tip for preventing tarnish is to save the little packets of drying agents that drug companies place in both boxes and bottles of medicines. If you just throw them in your jewelry box and into your supply storage they prevent tarnish too. They are free and they are usually in sealed bags or containers so you do not have to worry about getting powder on materials or your hands. I find this to work like a charm. The same product is sold in larger packets at the local hardware stores for use in your closet and pantry to prevent mildew in coastal areas. One of the teachers at a local bead shop shared this hint and I have asked all of my family to save these for me. I use them in my supply jars and boxes as well as in my flatware drawer. Family and friends have provided so many of these that I have a large sealed jar with a supply that will last for years. If you have a friend or family member that works in a pharmacy or hospital you will never need to purchase a tarnish preventative product again!

    • avatar


      September 29, 2010 at 12:24 am

      Great advice on how to find free supplies – thanks Annette!

  21. avatar

    Kathy Bloom

    November 22, 2010 at 2:14 pm

    Thank You everyone! I really like working with copper but it sure does get ugly! I will break out my Turtle Wax.

  22. Pingback: Keep Copper Shining | Jewelry Making Instructions

  23. avatar

    Kathryn Kienle

    February 15, 2011 at 7:47 pm

    I tried using the NuFinish on my fired and tumbled copper clay and pearl grey steel pieces. What a mess. The NuFinish settled in all the groves and patterns of the pieces and turned white. I was very careful to apply a very thin layer. Needless to say I had an impossible time trying to get it back off since it is a polymer. Luckily, I am a Chemist by trade so I knew some tricks to remove it.

    • avatar


      February 15, 2011 at 7:55 pm

      Kathryn, thanks so much for sharing your experience with us – especially as it didn’t work well for you. Would you mind sharing how you countered the NuFinish?

      • avatar


        October 2, 2013 at 11:05 am

        OxyClean will remove it.

  24. avatar

    Kathryn Kienle

    February 16, 2011 at 12:32 pm

    To remove NuFinish or any polymer based wax, any really strong solvent will work well. I used paint thinner to remove the NuFinish. Acetone from the hardware store would probably have worked well too (Nail Polish is watered down so it didn’t work. Just be sure to rinse with water really well after cleaning with any solvent. The problem is that NuFinish is a polymer (think plastic) not a wax so it is difficult to remove.

    I followed your suggestion and ordered some ProtectaClear but I ordered it in a spray form since I have a lot of detail work and the liquid form will film across filigree type work even though it is “self-leveling”.

    • avatar


      February 16, 2011 at 5:31 pm

      Kathryn, thanks so very much!! I really appreciate you sharing this knowledge, based on your personal experience, with all of us!!
      All my best,

  25. avatar


    March 5, 2011 at 3:23 pm

    The absolute fastest way I have ever found to clean up copper is salt and lemon juice. It works better than the vinegar and salt. I make a lot of copper wire and dichroic glass jewelry, and just pop the piece in, and in seconds it is sparkling and bright copper. Rinse well, dry and then when packing away i put it in a snack baggie with a dessicant packet from a bottle of meds or vitamins.
    This has been my standard M.O. for several years now. I used to shy away from using copper, as it got so grungy so quickly, and my customers now know how to keep their pieces as clean and bright as the day they bought them.

    • avatar


      March 5, 2011 at 4:01 pm

      Awesome Nancy – love your M.O. Thanks so much!

  26. avatar


    March 16, 2011 at 1:19 am

    While all the ideas posted here are great tips. I can’t stand it when I buy beads and they start having the “coating” come off (clear or dyed) with wear and our body heat, oil and sweat speed up this process.I personally found Lemon and salt work Great for removing the tarnish from copper! I have children and try to keep it natural, I even Oxidize my sterling with a boiled egg. No pickle of liver for me. Au Naturale. At least try to.

    • avatar

      Sue Goodloe

      October 26, 2011 at 10:58 am

      Hi, could you please tell me how you use a boiled egg to blacken your sterling silver? would really appreciate it.

  27. avatar

    Joe Barela

    April 17, 2011 at 10:58 am

    Hello everyone, lots of great ideas here, just a few suggestions I thought U should also consider; When useing paint thinner or acetone, these are strong chemicals and U should always use gloves and use in a well vented area that is vented to the outdoors. It is also verry flamable. Also note that these two chemicals Laquer thinner and acetone will penetrate your skin instantly and enter your blood stream and go directly to your brain and other vital organs. Oh also do not forget to use a charchole respirator not a dust mask as a dust mask is not for vapors.
    God Bless!…..JB

    • avatar

      Donna Passarelli

      February 19, 2013 at 11:43 am

      Great tip about the respiratory and gloves.

  28. avatar


    April 19, 2011 at 8:33 am

    First I want to say that I love this site! Got your book and love it. I am work mostly with copper now but the ring I made from your book was SS and I love it.

    Years ago a friend & I owned a boat and wanted to cut the every weedend chore of washing and waxing it. Another boating friend told us about NuFinish. He put it on his fiberglass boat and it looked great….ours not so much. It dries fast (our slip was in the sun) and that was our down fall. Fortunately we didn’t get the entire boat coated. It took us almost forever to get it off so we know it lasts a long time.

    Hope this helps with the “how long it lasts” question and thanks for this site.

    • avatar


      April 19, 2011 at 9:02 am

      Hi Lonni, have you tried the process on your jewelry wire yet? I am wondering because I have heard mixed results.Would you let us know how it works for you?
      Many thanks for all of your kind words – glad to help where I can : )

  29. avatar


    April 19, 2011 at 10:55 am

    Hi Dale, thanks for this blog for learning and sharing.

    My experience with NuFinish was years ago and I did not use it on my jewelry. I was just commenting on one of the other poster on the durability of the product. If it can protect the surface on a boat for the seasons in No. VA its a great product. We just had a problem with applying it (in the sun) in a smooth flawless manner. Although I am trying Mop & Glow on a inexpensive chain necklace to see how the feels and wears.

    I made a copper bracelet yesterday (your horseshoe pattern…luv it) to give a friend to try out and I am applying Mop & Glow on it so I can watch the outcome. Sorry I couldn’t answer your question on NuFinish.

    • avatar


      April 19, 2011 at 5:08 pm

      Cool Lonni – would you please report back regarding the Mop & Glow – of course if you remember – after the jewelry has been worn for a while? Thanks so much!

  30. avatar

    Sharon Snyder

    April 24, 2011 at 10:35 pm

    I tried to find Stay Brite which the military uses on their brass and copper to avoid tarnish and was told it’s no longer available.
    While talking to a copper company official i was told after cleaning my brass or copper to use to use Permalac. It will last for years in most any situation inside or out. Hope this helps.

  31. avatar

    Sheryl Dahl

    May 31, 2011 at 8:50 am

    I wanted to leave comments on both Everbrite and Renaissance polish (which I haven’t seen mentioned here).

    Renaissance is a “micro-crystalline wax polish”. The label says “Refined waxes blended to a formula used by the British Museum and restoration specialists internationally to revive and protect valuable furniture, leather, paintings, metals, marble, ivory and many other surfaces both housed and exposed to weather. Freshens colours, imparts soft sheen. Apply sparingly with soft cloth and buff gently. Dries hard instantly. Resists liquids spillage. Does not show finger marks.” I am SOLD on this product. It is spendy, but a little goes a long way. I think that I bought mine at Amazon.com, but I’ve also seen it on eBay.

    I’ve also used Everbrite Protecta Clear and found the company to have a FANTASTIC Customer Service Department. The spray works great on chain – I’ve used it on copper, silver and brass. I bought this directly from the company at http://www.EverbriteCoatings.com.

    Lastly, I don’t want to get off the subject, since we’re talking about metal; but if you’re looking for a fantastic scratch remover and polish for plastics, check out http://www.NovusPolish.com. I’ve used it on scratched lucite and other vintage beads, and – with a little effort – they look like new!

    Thanks for all of the other tips. I LOVE this site! Sheryl

    • avatar


      May 31, 2011 at 12:29 pm

      Very cool info Sheryl – thanks so much for sharing! We have had past discussions about using both Everbrite and Renaissance Wax, but sometimes they can be difficult to find amongst all of the information on this blog. Thanks for the reminder.

  32. avatar

    Pat Rini

    July 12, 2011 at 7:58 am

    I am new to this site and really appreciate all the ideas on keeping copper shiny!! I have been cleaning mine with a q-tip and Tarnex and then rinsing and wondering if this might eventually hurt the wire?? thanks again for all the ideas—

    • avatar


      July 12, 2011 at 10:52 pm

      Pat Rini, I do know that the product you mention (Tarnex) works by removing a layer of the material it is used on, meaning that the item cleaned will tarnish once again. You may wish to try something different that is easier to use?

  33. avatar


    July 12, 2011 at 11:16 am

    One thing about the metal clays is that they are porous. The medium bakes out in the kiln leaving you with metal, but the medium cannot exit the product unless the surface, on some scale, is porous. Any protectant that potentially turns white – or any other color – will not work with metal clay. No matter how much you rub, the Nu Finish (or whatever) will get into the pores of metal clay. I never thought about that until I read the discussion.

    • avatar


      July 12, 2011 at 10:44 pm

      Diane, I thank you for your thoughts with regards to metal clay. This is not a medium that I personally know a lot about, so I enjoy hearing from those of you who have the experience to share.

  34. avatar

    Heidi Rousseau

    July 12, 2011 at 11:44 am

    Hello, A few years ago my sister’s daughter visited us and I gave her a pair of my earrings which she said she alleric to.She took them and hand painted her earwires with clear fingernail polish and that solved her problem and she loved the earrings.Don’t know how this would work with copper tarnish but it should.I have never tried this.CL in Oregon

    • avatar

      Jeanette Salazar

      November 5, 2011 at 7:41 pm

      Hello Heidi,

      I have tried clear nail polish on copper and on brass and it dose work great for awhile, but you have to keep putting it on again and again. I hope this helps your sister so that she can do something else that will last longer.

  35. avatar


    July 12, 2011 at 1:49 pm

    Let me draw your attention to those savers, the little packets of drying agents – most of them contain silica. Silica is very good at absorbing humidity, but it gets eventually saturated. I would suggest to dry it before using it, even if you just took it out of a medicine package: put the packets in the oven at 50 – 100 ºC for say half an hour minimum

    • avatar


      July 12, 2011 at 10:41 pm

      Excellent tip Melitta – thanks!

    • avatar

      Jeanette Salazar

      November 5, 2011 at 7:43 pm

      Hello Melitta,

      Thank you for the tip, because I use them packets.

  36. avatar


    October 25, 2011 at 1:41 pm

    I love copper, both the look and the feel of working with it. But it does tarnish quickly. For some, that tarnish is a positive but I prefer the original color. On finished pieces, I spray with a clear acrylic spray. This dries both hard and clear and is very durable. Hang the piece somewhere outside where you can move all the way around it and the over spray will not damage anything. Spray lightly but thoroughly. Wait a minute and then wiggle the piece so that small places are not stuck together. Leave until well past the recommended drying time since drying on metal can take a bit longer than on wood. Hurray for base metals!

  37. avatar


    October 25, 2011 at 4:13 pm

    Hi everyone,
    Just wanted to let everyone know my experiments with the House of Halloway floor polish,the Nufinish wax, and clear acrylic spray after reading this post.

    I made a unisex copper bracelet for my son in law and treated it with House of Halloway floor polish as I made it, then also gave in two dips after it was finished. He wore it full time, taking it off only for showers, and the finish lasted about two weeks, where it then tarnished almost over night all over.

    The second copper bracelet was made the same way, treated as I made it with Nufinish Wax, then a double coat at the end. It lasted longer, about a month before having spot tarnish, beginning on the underside, then within two months all over the bracelet.

    We are now testing acrylic clear spray from the hardware store, and at about 2 1/2 months it still looks good as new. It was sprayed with the clear at the end, with three thin coats all over (six times spray then dry, three each side).
    Hope that makes sense.

    He works out alot where he sweats a lot and now also works as a janitor, which may have caused the Nufinish wax to be compromised with all the chemicals, as he was testing that one when he got the job. He also tended to forget to take the bracelet off until he was in the bathroom, so all were exposed to the moisture and heat of showers.

    None of them turned his skin green, or caused skin irritations like other copper products had in the past for him.

    Hope that helps everyone some…We have both found it interesting doing the tests. As most people will not wear the item full time round the clock no matter what their doing, I think all will work but will need renewing at some point, with the acrylic spray doing the best so far.


    • avatar


      October 26, 2011 at 12:52 am

      Oh my goodness Cheryl!! Thank you so very much for sharing your experiments with us! Over the past 2 years, I have written many, many answers to questions with regard to tarnish busters, including my own experiences with acrylic sprays. I am so very appreciative of the time you took to share all of your results with all of us!! It seems that acrylic spray is going to be the ultimate winner :)

  38. avatar

    Linda Keesee

    November 10, 2011 at 11:22 am

    I have tried the NuFinish wax and it does get in the grooves if you use to much. But so far no tarnish and it’s been several months.

  39. Pingback: Coating Base Metal Wires to Preserve Shine | Jewelry Making Blog | Information | Education | Videos

  40. avatar

    Boma Nduka

    January 14, 2012 at 2:41 pm

    would like to know if you soak your copper wire in vinegar and water before using them to make jewelry or after. I live in Nigeria in Africa so i have no idea about the Nu Finish wax. The kind of car polishes we have over here are different. But i always have problems with tarnishing and i use a lot of copper wire.

    • avatar


      January 15, 2012 at 10:40 am

      Hi Boma, to clean the wire as I work, I usually run it through either a polishing cloth or a piece of cotton t-shirt while I am straightening it. The vinegar solution can be used after the jewelry piece has been made, but take care with certain stones and coated beads! Another brand of common wax that some people have used with success is the floor wax called Mop ‘n Glow.

  41. avatar


    February 13, 2012 at 4:32 pm

    Hi all! This particular Q&A is exactly what I’ve been looking for! All the tips are great and I can see trying most of them.
    Now, I have a Q. It seems most of the tips are for copper. Will they work as well with nickle silver? Should I clean my wire/piece before or after the piece is done? Has anyone used petroleum jelly to coat a jewel or cab before spraying with sealer? Would a certain decoupage sealer work as a sealer and work as well?
    Oops! That was more than just a Q. :( but it seems one Q just leads to another. I enjoy taking knots out of fine chains so using a paint brush to seal a piece would be ok with me!
    Thanks again for your super tips. Now I feel confident enough to break out my copper and nickel silver.

    • avatar


      February 15, 2012 at 7:55 am

      Hi Cindy, as nickle silver has so many alloys that folks can be allergic to (and no ‘silver’ at all) personally I have never used it. Hopefully some of our experienced base metal workers can help here?

  42. avatar


    March 7, 2012 at 1:24 pm

    I’m so excited to have found this discussion as I’ve been trying to decide how to treat metal jewelry findings and beads to reduce tarnish. I’ve purchased a bottle of Nu Finish Car Polish. To those of you who use this product. Do you apply it straight from the bottle or do you follow the directions for using Nu Finish on a car which says to apply with a damp cloth, let it dry to a haze and then wipe with a clean cloth?

    Thanks for all the great information. I’m looking forward to learning more!

  43. avatar

    Jini Jewels

    March 11, 2012 at 10:39 pm

    Have used all the waxes and products including floor wax, Ren wax, Nu-finish and others without stellar results even after thorough cleaning and handling with gloves. The very best results are with the Nikolas instrument spray previously mentioned. I clean first with vinegar and salt, handle with gloves even through rinsing – and then spray 2 coats of Nikolas – outstanding and durable finish – can’t swim in the copper tho’!

  44. avatar

    Dorothy Garner

    April 27, 2012 at 1:55 pm

    I am not sure if anyone has thought or used a brand name in a bottle called Tarn-X, i dip my wire in it ans swish it around a second , then shake off and rinse it in cold water and wipe it before i make the pieces. Can be used for copper, silver and gold.
    it says instantly tarnish is gone..not for use on beads, pearls or stones. I just start to use it about a month ago, will see how far it will work..


  45. avatar

    Peggy Powers

    September 21, 2012 at 2:39 pm

    My concern is which one or any of these can you use on finished pieces with stones already on them? I know the lemon and salt is a great copper cleaner and doesn’t harm crystals, glass, etc. but I haven’t used it on any gemstones or turquoise. I’d appreciate any advice. It sounds like perhaps the car polish idea might work well and the brass stuff used on boats for my brass. Do you think perhaps using a paint brush around more porous stones. Of course then you need to know what stones are soft and/or porous.
    Thank you for all the tips already given.

  46. avatar


    October 30, 2012 at 6:26 am

    I know this is an old thread but as a beginner, I’m tickled to have found it. My .02 is for getting free dessicant packages. I work at Pier 1 and OMG we toss so much of this stuff. I bet that every single week we could collect a gallon jar of dessicant packages as we open freight. If your local import store, be it Kirkland’s, PB, Pier 1, whatever, has a nice manager, they might save some of the packages for you and give them to you for free. There are always large packages stapled to the wall art, all the way to tiny ones stuck in each piece of jewelry as it’s wrapped.

  47. avatar


    April 2, 2013 at 9:26 am

    As skin is porous and your customers will be wearing on their skin whatever product you use….Has anyone checked on the risks of wearing any product dipped or sprayed with these products? Just interested. NO pointing fingers and certainly do not wish to offend. I have a sensitive immune system and am concerned about any product I touch with bare skin. I am just beginning to investigated using wire and making jewelry. Many thanks.

  48. avatar

    Laurie Kollins

    June 25, 2013 at 6:28 am

    I just recently heard of using the silica packs, but for silver. My teacher told me to use an art spray to preserve the patina on my silver pieces, this should also work on copper or any other metal.
    I\’m a new customer and love, love, love this site. Thank you all for sharing .

  49. avatar

    Linda Ricci

    January 12, 2014 at 3:51 am

    Another great and harmless way to clean tarnish on your jewelery is to line a shallow dish with aluminum foil. Sprinkle baking soda over the foil and lay your pieces on this. Slowly add boiling water just enough to submerge your pieces and the tarnish will disappear! Safe for your stones and beads.
    I use this method on all my silver flatware also!

  50. avatar

    Terri Flanagan

    February 6, 2014 at 1:10 pm

    I use Precious Liquid Jewelry Cleaner and Maas Metal Polish to shine my Copper. Then once shined and clean I Paint Glaze Metal Sealer on them (made by Vintaj). So far this method work great and also keeps my brass looking like gold. FYI – I got the MAAS at Westlake/Ace hardware store.

    To coat base metal look up the article on this website on using
    generic mop & shine as a dip. It works great and can be used to
    coat other metals and stones.

    • avatar

      Terri Flanagan

      January 18, 2015 at 2:37 pm

      I have since found the best solution for keeping my uncoated Brass, Bronze, Copper, Silver, Stainless Steel, Aluminium or other Non-Painted Metals, clean and shinny. The product is made by Everbrite (www.protectaclear.com or email: info@EverbriteCoatings.com), it is called Protecta Clear and it is amazing. Use it in conjunction with the MAAS metal polish (which is great in itself). I got the small can and have done many applications. It is worth looking into and the customer service is wonderful!