How to Clean Tin Lined Copper Pots. GLO Anwers

How safe are your copper pots at the moment?

No the tin lining inside is not simply for aesthetic reasons. That thin layer is there for your—and your dinner guests—protection.

Copper cookware are exceptional at distributing heat evenly.

Unfortunately the heat and the acid in certain foods can let the copper react.

The result can be toxic if some of the copper finds its way into your cooking.

How to clean tin lined copper cookware pots

This is why quality tin linings are necessary.

You still have the benefit of effective copper cooking without the dangers.

Unfortunately this tin lining needs proper maintenance. Let’s discuss this important process.

What do You Need?

Cleaning tin requires a bit of effort but most ingredients for maintenance you’ll find in your cupboards:

Basic Cleaning

  • Soap
  • Water
  • Soft cleaning utensils
washing dish

totally not my face when i'm doing the dishes

Heavy Duty Cleaning

  • Sodium bicarbonate
  • Table salt
  • Aluminium foil
  • Ceramic bowls: This is important as other types of utensils may cause chemical reactions you don’t want

Step by Step Process

The processes discussed here fulfil two purposes:

  • Your pot will be clean
  • You’ll be left with a shiny tin lining instead of the dull one you’re probably used to

Basic Cleaning

Cleaning tin is easy and beneficial.

A mixture of water and soap is usually enough to rid the pot of grime. Don’t use scrubbing tools that are too abrasive. Stick to sponges or soft brushes.

Despite the importance of this thin tin layer you don’t have to worry too much about damaging it.

Washing it actually enhances its functionality. The surface will become smoother so less food will stick to it.

Take additional care when the pot is in use by only using wood or plastic utensils.

Metal tools may cause damage and let the tin wear out faster.

cleaning supplies

Heavy Duty Cleaning

Copper pots add aesthetic value to your kitchen thanks to the beautiful shiny surfaces.

To maintain this the inside—the tin lined area—must be on par with the rest of the pot.

For this purpose you may need to follow this process once in a while. Prepare the mixture in the pot so you know every inch of the tin lining gets the necessary attention:

  • Put the pot or pan you want to clean on the stove.
  • Fill it with water and switch on the stove. Wait until the water boils.
  • Remove the pan from the stove and place it on a surface you can work comfortably at.
  • Add the ingredients mentioned above:
cleaning copper pot
    • Sodium bicarbonate
    • Salt
  • Mix this well
  • Place aluminium foil in the pan. It must be large enough to cover the entire bottom of the cookware. The bottom is usually the part which becomes dull over time.
  • Weigh the foil down with ceramic bowls so the foil and pot are in contact with each other.
  • Leave the pot for 15 minutes.
  • You can keep to the time or wait for the tin to brighten. This is your sign that the process worked.

What’s amazing about this process is the little effort it requires. You may need some time, but you’ll be surprized at how easy this works.

The efficacy is thanks to chemistry.

The tin and aluminium foil react with each other in the salty water.

This reaction discharges grime and causes the tin to brighten.

This is why it’s important to use the products mentioned.

Replacing any object or ingredient with a different substance will prevent the chemical reaction from taking place.


A simple wash in soapy water will remove any excess residue. You’re left with clean and shiny cookware.

Alternative Options

Despite taking precautions the tin layer in your copper pot will eventually wear out. You can wait until you see the copper shine through or be proactive and tend to it earlier.

Tin lined copper pots must be relined every couple of years.

This can be every 15 to 30 years depending on how much your pots are used.

Take the copper cookware to professionals to add a new layer of tin.

lined copper cookware

You can see it’s not difficult to keep your copper pots in top condition.

For both health and aesthetic reasons, you must work these tasks into your schedule.

Now you can enjoy cooking again without any concerns.

A proper cleaning process is the ideal time to see whether your pots need a new lining.

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