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Copper & Brass Lacquer Removal

A clear, protective lacquer coating is often applied to copper and brass tea kettles and other kitchen utensils to retard or prevent tarnishing.

If you are using a lacquered utensil for decorative purposes only, this finish may be left on and needs only to be occasionally wiped with a soft cloth to keep it clean.

If the kettle, pot or pan is to be used for cooking, on direct heat, or if it will come in contact with very hot water, the coating must be removed.

It is essential that all coating is removed before using on direct heat or with very hot water. Failure to do so will result in unsightly spotting that you'll only be able to remove with strong buffing.

Check the product label and its specific instructions on removing the lacquer. Some lacquers can be removed using a homemade solution; stronger lacquers require a commercially available lacquer removal product.

Commercial Removers

The easiest way to remove the coating is with a commercial lacquer remover, such as Parks' refurbisher or Behr's The Stripper, available at hardware and paint stores. Follow the instructions and repeat the process until all lacquer is removed, especially in small crevices.

Homemade Solution

Make a mixture of Baking Soda and Water (1 Tablespoon of Soda to each Quart of Water) and bring to a boil.

While still boiling, immerse the item. One half at a time if your pot of solution is not large enough to immerse the item completely.

After about 15 minutes of boiling, the coating will peel and lift off. Remove from the solution and wash with hot water. (Remember to protect your hands from hot surfaces.)

Use acetone (or non-oily nail polish remover) on a cotton or wool pad to remove any remaining stubborn coating.