How To Clean Copper Gas Lanterns
The copper gas lantern is a popular choice for a variety of reasons. It’s easy on the eyes, it’s great at filtering out light pollution and excess heat, and it adds an air of elegance to any space. However, all that beauty comes with one drawback; cleaning your gas lantern can be a bit of a hassle. Because it’s made from copper, you can expect constant tarnishing around the glass panels as well as other places. The good news is that cleaning your gas lantern isn’t as difficult as you think! In this blog post we are going to give you everything you need to know in order to make sure your copper lantern stays shiny and new for longer. Let’s dive in…
What to know before you begin cleaning
Before we get into the cleaning process itself, let’s go over a few things that you need to know before you begin. Keep in mind that a clean lantern is a functional lantern and you need to clean it regularly for that reason. If you don’t clean your lantern regularly, it will tarnish and discolor the copper finish faster than it would if you kept it clean and maintained.
There are a few things that you need to keep in mind when it comes to cleaning your lantern:
- Clean your gas lantern before you use it for the first time and every time you put it away.
- Don’t clean the lantern with chemicals or abrasive cleaners.
- Avoid using steel wool or anything abrasive to clean your lantern.
- Don’t immerse your gas lantern in water.
How To Clean Copper Gas Lanterns
Step 1: Remove the glass panels
The first step in cleaning your gas lantern is to remove the glass panels. To do this, simply lift the glass panels off the frame of the lantern and set them aside. Once you have them out of the way, you can move onto cleaning the rest of the lantern.
Why remove the glass panels?
If you want to make sure that the glass panels don’t get dirty or tarnished, it’s best to remove them before you start cleaning. The glass panels will be easier to clean and more prone to staying clean if you take them out first.
Step 2: Soak the metal with vinegar
Next, fill a bucket big enough to fit your gas lantern with water and 2-3 cups of white vinegar. You can also substitute the vinegar with hydrogen peroxide if you want, but vinegar has a longer history of being used to clean copper. In any event, the water should be warm and the vinegar should be at the same temperature. Once you have the bucket filled, submerge your entire gas lantern into the bucket of water and vinegar. Allow the water and vinegar to sit on the lantern for at least an hour before you proceed to the next step.
Why soak the metal in vinegar?
Vinegar acts as a natural cleaning agent that breaks down any dirt, grime, and other harmful residue from the lantern. The acidity of vinegar also acts as a natural deglosser for a more thorough cleaning.
Step 3: Scrub with baking soda
After the water and vinegar have had ample time to soak in, remove the lantern from the bucket and dump the contents out. Next, fill the bucket with plain water and add a handful of baking soda to the water. Submerge your lantern in the bucket once again and let it sit for around 20 minutes. After the 20 minutes are up, use a sponge or soft-bristled brush to scrub the lantern clean of the baking soda residue. Once you have scrubbed down the entire lantern, drain the bucket and refill it with plain water. Allow the lantern to sit in the water for a few minutes to rinse off any remaining soap or baking soda before proceeding to the next step.
Why scrub with baking soda?
Besides being a very effective cleaning agent, baking soda also acts as a natural scrubber, which helps you to get a deeper clean and better scrub away any residue.
Step 4: Dry off and re-oil your lantern
Once you have scrubbed the lantern clean, drain the bucket and allow the lantern to dry. Once it’s dry, apply a thin layer of vegetable oil or beeswax on the outside of the lantern. You can also use a combination of both if you want to get extra protection against the elements and oxidation. In any case, make sure to rub the oil or wax in thoroughly until the entire lantern is covered.
Why use oil or beeswax?
Vegetable oil, beeswax, and other natural oils and waxes help to protect against oxidation and rust. They also act as a natural barrier and vapor barrier against outside elements.
As you can see, cleaning your copper lantern isn’t as difficult as you may have thought. With the information and tips we provided you with in this article, you should have no trouble cleaning your lantern thoroughly and effectively.
Remember to clean your lantern before you use it for the first time and every time you put it away. Don’t clean the lantern with chemicals or abrasive cleaners. Avoid using steel wool or anything abrasive to clean your lantern. Don’t immerse your gas lantern in water.