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Topic: Rust on Cups
Message: Posted by: Christopher Moro (Mar 12, 2005 03:47AM)
I have a set of copper Jim Sisti cups. One cup came with a black splotch on the inside. Fast-forward to a few years later and the black splotch has grown. I wiped it several times using vinegar and found a deep red blotch in the middle. I think this is rust. Does anyone know how I should go about getting rid of this (if it is indeed rust or not) without ruining the copper? Thanks.
Message: Posted by: Richard Evans (Mar 12, 2005 06:58AM)
It can't be rust - because copper can't rust (only iron will do that). I would imagine it's some reidue left over from when the cup was spun. Whether this residue is capable of corroding copper, I'm not sure. It may depend on how pure the copper is (it won'tbe 100%). Have you tried e-mailing Jim Sisti himself?
Message: Posted by: Dave V (Mar 12, 2005 11:43AM)
It's just oxidation (the copper equivalent of rust)

Go to the grocery store and find a jar of "Wrights Copper Polish."

Clean the insides of all three thoroughly so they can "age" equally together.
Message: Posted by: Christopher Moro (Mar 12, 2005 02:55PM)
Thank you for the replies. I am relieved that it is not rust. I will try Wrights copper polish and email Jim Sisti if this does not work out.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Mar 12, 2005 05:26PM)
If you want to save a lot of elbow grease, Tarn-X may be the answer. Just don't leave it on too long, and be sure to rinse well when you get through working with it.

In a couple of extreme cases, I have had to resort to #0000 steel wool to remove a stubborn stain.
Message: Posted by: Christopher Moro (Mar 12, 2005 08:48PM)
Great timing, Bill. I just got in from cleaning the cups using Tarn-X (I ended up choosing it from the start). It helped out a lot, but the blotch is still there. The deep red center is gone now but the black around it is now a dark stain. It's harder to see, but I wonder if it will just end up corroded again if I leave it.
Strange thing is, I spent a long time cleaning all the cups (over an hour - with about half that devoted to the stain) and...the shine is very uneven on the cups. Some areas are shinier than others, some areas are pinker than other places which are more brown-copper. I wonder if I didn't rub hard enough on some areas. I did leave each cup sitting there with tarn-x on it while I did the others. Did I leave it on too long?
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Mar 13, 2005 02:30PM)
Probably not. Check the e-mails.
Message: Posted by: Snidini (Mar 14, 2005 12:08AM)
Chris, I have found a product I use on my cups called Flitz that not only gives them a great shine but will to some degree keep the acid and mosture from the hands from forming a tarnish at a fast rate. It's non abrrasive and it does clean "rust" spots and other corrosive elements on metals. I can't recommend it enough for any metal work.

Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Mar 14, 2005 01:27AM)
Chris just sent me the photos of his cups. He polished them with Simichrome, which is another non-abrasive polish very similar to Flitz.

Chris actually wants his cups to patinize, so Simichrome may be better in this case. Flitz is good, though, no doubt about that.
Message: Posted by: Christopher Moro (Mar 14, 2005 03:14AM)
Hi everyone - thank you for your tips. As Bill reported, I polished with Simichrome.
Let me just say that after my last post, my cups were looking horrible - silver colored streaks were all over the otherwise uneven colored copper cups. I was afraid I had ruined them with the Tarn-X. Enter Bill Palmer - superhero of cups, who saved the day. He offered a ton of help over the weekend and guided me step by step to get the cups to a condition that surpasses the condition they were in when I ordered them years ago! We seriously have to get a cape for this guy.
Here's a before and after shot. The before is on the tame side. It looked much worse than this.

I'm looking forward to the patina developing, but I have to say, a part of me will miss this brilliant shine.
Message: Posted by: Christopher Moro (Mar 14, 2005 03:18AM)
And polished. (Too bad the limit for the Café is so small - it's really hard for you to appreciate the difference)
Message: Posted by: Christopher Moro (Mar 14, 2005 03:19AM)
Oh, and the splotch from earlier is in good shape!
Message: Posted by: Snidini (Mar 14, 2005 10:59PM)
Chris, glad you were able to "resurface" your cups to beauty again. Thanks to Bill he has again shown his unselfish support and wisdom here at the Café. Thanks Bill.

Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Mar 15, 2005 12:31AM)
Chris overestimates what I did. I just pointed him in a direction I have used in similar circumstances. Sometimes it works better than others. Being familiar with these cups, I had a good idea what the problem might have been.

But I'm always glad to help people who have a serious question. (or one that cries out for a silly answer!)