The First Thing You Should Do with a New Container of Plain Yogurt

published Jan 19, 2022
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Yogurt container
Credit: Sarah Crowley

I recently had a couple of friends over for dinner and one of them spied my old Revere Ware copper-bottomed pot. My guest said her mother had cookware just like it and seeing mine brought her right back to the kitchen of her childhood. My own mother actually had (and still has!) the very same pot — and a whole matching set. With its stainless steel ring on the handle, cute button lid, and copper bottom, these pots and pans are undoubtedly iconic.

When I was a child, I scrubbed these copper bottoms with Comet every time I was on dishwashing duty, and I would clean them until they were sparkling. As I rinsed the suds away, it was rewarding to see the gleaming copper — a color so rare and beautiful. Back then, I would tackle those scorch marks and tarnish with just a scrub pad, cleanser, and plenty of elbow grease.

But if I only knew then what I know now! There’s a much easier way to spiff up copper pots with a lot less hard work — and yes, it involves yogurt.

Credit: Sarah Crowley

Use Plain Yogurt to Clean Tarnished Copper

If you have any copper cookware that needs to be restored or you have brand-new copper pots or utensils you’d like to keep gleaming, you’ll want to make yogurt your new best friend. It’s the convenient grocery store buy you never knew you could use for shining up your pots and pans.

When you open a brand-new container of plain yogurt, dab a thin layer on tarnished copper, and let it sit for 30 minutes. Plain yogurt contains lactic acid, which eats away at the tarnish on copper and restores that beautiful shine. Know how it’s working? You’ll see the yogurt turn green. When the time is up, wipe the yogurt off with a soft cloth and buff the copper. You’ll find that this easy trick works on shining up brass, too!

How do you take care of your copperware? Tell us in the comments below.