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The Wonder of Ketchup
Article © MAIL User: flyingmoose

Ketchup cleans copper. The acid from the tomatoes eats off the tarnish that develops from moisture and skin oils. It might work on other metal, but I'm afraid of tinting it orange. This isn't a problem with copper.

Basically, get a cookie sheet or plastic tablecloth, some surface that you don't mind getting ketchup all over, and a bottle of ketchup. The size of the bottle will depend on the amount of maille you're cleaning, and the brand shouldn't matter though I only ever use Heinz 57.

Take your finished piece of dirty copper maille, lay it on the sheet, and cover it with ketchup. Getting the ketchup to cover all the rings is a little like tossing salad (meaning lettuce and dressing as opposed to a Chris Rock joke), just make sure it's all evenly coated.

Let it sit for a half-hour to forty-five minutes. You can check to see if it's done by wiping off one or two rings. If they look shiny enough. If not, recoat those pieces and leave it another 5-10 minutes.

When it's done, rinse it off completely, preferably with the hose outdoors. If you don't get all the ketchup off, it will get rather sticky. Towel dry the piece thoroughly so the moisture doesn't start tarninshing it after you've just cleaned it.
That's it, your maille is clean.

I've only done this twice, but both times, the metal was so bright afterwards it looked pink. If anyone's willing to try it on bronze or steel, please let me know how it comes out.
Original URL: http://www.mailleartisans.org/articles/articledisplay.php?key=83