Polished copper, without any coating, can be a mirror finish and provides a great surface for many applications. Caring for polished copper, can be easy with the right expectations and tools.

Polishing copper makes it very smooth on the surface which can help it resist reacting with common substances. Compared to a matte finish or sanded copper, polished copper does not allow water or other liquids to easily cling to the surface. Therefore, if the polished copper also has a wax coating or oil on it, polished copper can be quite resilient to reactions.

This does not mean, however, that polished copper will not react. It will react to common substances such as water, food, fingertip oils, and more. The easiest way to care for polished copper is to just let it react and age. The natural patina will change color from orange to browns and sometimes green with a white powder. The color all depends on the environment or substance that is reacting with the copper.

If you wish to maintain the copper as a polished orange color, the recommendation is to keep it as clean as possible to prevent reactions. While that may not always be practical, there are a few ways to maintain the color. The first is to seal it with a coating like a clear spray paint. This works well in applications where the copper will not be handled too much like for art or other decor that hangs on a wall.

If you want to remove spots or other marks on polished copper, the most common way is to use a chemical polish such as Brasso. Plan to do all of the surface, not just the spots in order to get a uniform color. While there will always be some marks that do not disappear with polish, Brasso and some aggressive rubbing will work on most.

Allow the polish to sit on the copper for a minute or two and then start removing it. A soft cloth and some buffing can get most of the marks to disappear. A professional trick is to use paint thinner on a separate soft cloth to help remove the residue from the polish. This whole process creates a lot of odors so it is best to do in a well ventilated area.