Green Living

Non-Toxic Cleaning Tips for Stainless Appliances + Copper Pots


non toxic cleaning ideas for stainless appliances, copper pots and more
Clean your stainless appliances, copper pots with non-toxic kitchen ingredients

Non-toxic cleaning tips for stainless steel, silver, copper and more

January has been a clean-organize-purge month for us as we embrace the urge to simplify that sometime arrives after Christmas. The non-toxic cleaning ideas using baking soda that I shared earlier this month have been a great help but there are other jobs, like cleaning copper, silver and getting rid of messy smudges on stainless steel appliances, that called for a different approach.

4 recipes for easy, effective, non-toxic cleaners for metal (including jewelry).

All use simple kitchen ingredients.
We have had our stainless appliances for less than six months but they’re so full of smudges and fingerprints we were half wishing we had the old scrub able standard, until I discovered this cleaning tip from the David Suzuki Foundation:

Non-toxic Stainless steel appliances cleaner:
Drip one tablespoon of olive oil onto rag. Rub the surface of your appliance to get rid of smudges. Sprinkle one tablespoon of white vinegar on the other side of the rag and wipe down the appliance. Let dry.

When I was little one of my jobs around the house was to clean the brass door knobs. I’d go room to room with Brasso and a rag scrubbing and polishing, not giving a thought to how toxic it might be. I also helped clean the brass and silver serving pieces. We used Twinkle for those jobs, another toxic cleaner. Brasso and Twinkle: two old standbys in the cleaning cupboard.  

I used to think that polishing metal could only be done well with these toxic cleaners, so in my own home our copper pots and silver remained tarnished for years. But after much searching and testing I have discovered non-toxic and very effective methods for cleaning copper, silver and brass.

Nontoxic Copper Cleaner:
Combine ¼ cup fine sea salt and ¼ cup flour in a bowl and add enough white vinegar to form a paste. Spread the paste on your copper, let sit for a minute or two and scrape it off. The paste can be used on more than one pot in succession. Rinse your pots under hot water. Dry immediately and polish with a soft cloth.

Nontoxic Silver Cleaner:
In an aluminum pan (or a baking dish lined with aluminum foil) sprinkle one tablespoon of baking soda and one tablespoon fine sea salt. Carefully pour over one half cup of white vinegar followed by one cup of freshly boiled water. Place your silver pieces (including jewelry) in the baking dish, making sure each piece is submersed and touching the foil. Watch the tarnish disappear before your eyes. (Seriously, it was our evening’s entertainment.) Rinse under hot water and polish with a soft cloth.

Nontoxic Brass Cleaner:
Make a paste using the juice of half a lemon and one teaspoon of baking soda and rub on your brass. Rinse with hot water and reapply if necessary.

If you’re replacing your chemical metal cleaners with these healthy alternatives remember that your old cleaners are considered house hazardous waste and can’t go in the garbage. Dispose of them as you would paint.


  1. It’s quite Interesting post! Thanks for writing this for us; I’ll share this with my friends too.Executive Cleaning Edmonton
    Thanks for share that…

  2. Companies looking to become LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Certified must have green cleaning as part of their certification requirements.

  3. Thank you, Bridget Oland to share such an important information. Hope I get more information regarding nontoxic cleaner

  4. Awesome advice! I can add one more for a rusty sink – baking soda and vinegar works miracles. Thanks for sharing!


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