I know a lot about bathrooms—materials, fixtures, cleaning, and more—and I share it with you here.
How to Clean and Fix Problems With Copper Bathtubs
Copper baths are a gorgeous luxury product, giving your bathroom a standout piece and an air of rustic traditional quality. Unfortunately, this means that they are usually pretty expensive, and although worth the investment, you want to know whether or not you can ensure that it is easy to maintain and clean on a regular basis.
However, you may be surprised to know that, unlike the bath itself, cleaning and maintaining the bath doesn't require any expensive cleaning products and is a simple enough task to do on your own.
How to Clean a Copper Bath
What you need:
- Mild detergent or mild soap
- Warm water
- Soft cloth, such as a flannel
- A pair of gloves
Once you've gathered the items above, double-check that you're wearing gloves as a pair of gloves is important when dealing with detergent because it can be harmful to the skin. If you’re only using a mild soap, it’s not as important to wear gloves, but it is advisable to do so as you might irritate your skin otherwise.
Firstly, you need to wipe around the inside surface of the copper bath using your soft cloth, making sure you cover the entire area. It’s as simple as that, with no advanced steps required such as those for cleaning stone baths. However, make sure you completely rinse the bath with water, getting rid of any excess soap or residue.
After cleaning, take heed of the warnings below.
- Use mild detergent or mild soap ONLY. Other cleaning products can damage the surface of the copper bath. These include degreasers and corrosive cleaners, plus ammonia or acid-based cleaners. NEVER use any of these as they can cause irreparable damage.
- Use a soft cloth ONLY. NEVER use steel wool as this can scratch the surface of the bath, and the same goes for brushes.
- When you’re having a bath, make sure anything you want to add to the water is suitable for use in a copper bath. For example, lemon should NEVER be added to bathwater.
Dealing With Mineral Deposits
From time to time, you may get a film on the surface of your copper bath that is the result of a build-up of mineral deposits. This will especially be the case if you live in an area where the water has a high mineral content, but it can happen anywhere if you don't take the correct precautions.
Simply do the following:
- Dry the surface of the bath down thoroughly after each use, making sure it’s completely dry and smooth.
- Optionally you may want to try waxing the surface of the copper bath. This helps to prevent scratches, but it also helps prevent mineral deposits from forming in the first place. When you've done this, you will notice that beads of water form on the bath. When these disappear, it is time to give the bath another coat of wax, although it’s worth noting this won’t be a regular task.
To be honest, it’s really not worth trying to repair any scratches. It’s a well-known fact that copper scratches easily, and the second you try to repair a scratch, another one will just pop up elsewhere. Instead, you should learn to love the scratches, as these alongside dings and dents form a unique character for your copper bath and add to that rustic feel. Eventually, scratches will blend into the surface of their own accord anyway, as copper will change appearance over time.
Jazz on November 14, 2017:
Can you tell what type of wax to use on a copper bath?
Magarette Boutillette on April 13, 2016:
I love my brass tub but need to know the answer to what kind of bath salts or oils I can use in it
Frank on November 12, 2015:
How do you clean Greenspan/Mjneral mix build up in bottom of a cooper bath,
Leanne G on November 04, 2015:
Do you have any suggestions for the best bubble bath, bath salt or bath oils to use in my copper bathtub ?
Thomas Mulrooney (author) from Burnley, Lancashire, UK on April 26, 2012:
@rmcleve Ha ha, unfortunately not! Obviously the price is a massive barrier to getting a copper bath but I think it's well worth the investment in the long run, there's just so much joy you can get from owning a copper bath.
Thanks for the comment! :-)
rmcleve on April 25, 2012:
Great hub for those with copper tubs! If only I had to worry about maintaining a copper bath... Anyone got a spare?
Thomas Mulrooney (author) from Burnley, Lancashire, UK on March 22, 2012:
They do, and they look even better when you match the rest of the bathroom to them.
Thomas Mulrooney (author) from Burnley, Lancashire, UK on March 21, 2012:
Thanks for the comment!
Sometimes I think people have the assumption that copper should be bright and shiny, when in reality you want your bath (or sink) to retain that rustic quality. This is especially the case when you've built up your bathroom décor to reflect that trend. Shiny copper would look odd in a bathroom that's supposed to look like a room in a traditional country home.
mactavers on March 21, 2012:
Amen to your cleaning tips. We live in a Southwestern home and have copper sinks. I once hired a cleanning gal before a special occasion at our home and she cleaned one of the sinks to a bright "copper penny" shine before I discovered what she had done. It took months for the pretty antique dark copper color to return, but at last it did.