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Cleaning Copper and Brass after Pickle

I have a large pan of Copper, I put a very fussy handle on the pan made of Brass I have all sorts of patterns and scroll work on the handle leaving it twisted and impossible to sand, The Copper transfer to the Brass when I did a Super Pickle. The brass is now Pink and seems to be there to stay. The entire project is ruined unless I remove the Pickle Plating from the Brass handle.

I have asked Ganoksin several times for help and not one person has even tried to make a suggestion!


Madalyn Maloney

Hi Madalyn,

Did you use pickle or mix a separate super pickle to remove that copper blush? What are you using to pickle and/or super pickle?

Pickling will typically leave a copper blush on brass, but a warmed super pickle should remove this. You’ll notice that the super pickle becomes greenish with the copper that has been removed. If you leave your piece in the solution too long the copper will sometimes re-plate on to the brass and you’ll have to start over with a fresh solution.

If you have used a super pickle and it isn’t working to remove the copper, you could try 3M radial disks. They’re great at getting into hard to reach areas and textured surfaces and are available in a variety of grits.


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Look up peracetic acid, brass pickle formula. It is an acid dip for brass and bronze that will eliminate the copper blush from copper alloys. It is made with easily obtainable (grocery store) ingredients. Works a charm. This site has directions…

Thank you millions. I will try all of the suggestions. I had already tried some of them but I guess I over did the Super Pickle.

Again, Thanks for helping.

I have had the copper blush on brass after a standard pickle. One of the ways is appears is not by the copper plating out of solution (would be easy to fix, just use a fresh pickle with no copper yet dissolved into it), but by selective dissolving/etching of the more reactive metal in brass, the zinc. Normal sulfuric acid or bisulfate (which forms a partial sulfuric acid in solution] preferentially eats the more reactive metal (zinc) leaving the copper behind. What I have generally done is to add H2O2, hydrogen peroxide to allow the acid to dissolve the copper as well. Just do not leave it in too long and add fresh H2O2 as needed. Standard first aid 3% peroxide works just fine in heated bisulfate pickle. Back in the day I remember using a strong nitric acid on brass - it ate everything clean and if you were too slow it would pit the brass. Great stuff in an industrial setting with proper ventilation. Rot your lungs and rust your tools without proper ventilation!