The most common type of corrosion individuals see on their copper jewelry is tarnish. Copper is highly susceptible to tarnish, more so than any other metal. The tarnish is due to oxidization and will cause the piece of copper jewelry to look either green or black, and it will transmit these colors to the skin.
Lemon Juice and Salt
First, take a fresh lemon, cut it in half and squeeze out about one teaspoon of juice. It is better to use fresh lemon juice rather than bottled lemon juice as the acidity level will be higher. Add one cup of water and a teaspoon of salt to the freshly squeezed lemon juice. This creates a strong copper cleaning solution.
Place your copper bracelet into the cleaning solution and allow it to sit from anywhere between three and five minutes. This enables the acidic cleaning solution to soak right into the copper. After time is up, remove the copper jewelry and place it under running lukewarm water for up to 30 seconds, just to wash off the acidic solution. Then wipe down with a soft cleaning cloth. Go in a circular motion and do not scrub too hard as it may cause scratching to occur.
Do not be surprised to see any black or green tarnish streaks on the cleaning cloth. This means that the acidic solution has been effective in removing tarnish.
Why does my wrist go Green
Copper oxidizes and darkens when it comes in contact with the air in the environment. It tends to get to a certain dark color but then it doesn’t get any darker. The same sort of thing can happen when copper comes in contact with your skin if your skin is acidic. The acids in your skin combine with copper and make copper salts which are green.
They are harmless and can simply be washed off. Copper develops a patina especially in the presence of heat, sunlight, sweat, swimming pools and chlorine water, chemicals and cosmetics. Some people love the deep rich look of vintage copper while others like the bright shiny bronze look of clean copper. If you have ever had a copper bracelet that started to turn green or even turn your skin green, you might have been turned off by copper.
The green color results from an individual’s body chemistry at a particular time. Two people can wear the same bracelet and one person’s wrist will turn green and the other’s will not. A person can wear a copper bracelet one day with no green marks and the next day green marks might appear. What does the green tell you? The green color means that your skin has become more acidic and has dissolved copper from the bracelet faster than the body can absorb it. This usually happens when we sweat, when we are stressed, when we experience dietary changes. They may also appear when the body is deficient in copper so is trying to obtain it a rate faster than it can absorb
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