Copper is a valuable substance these days. Pennies made before 1982, which are 95 percent copper, are worth more than their monetary value. Copper kettles and pans have long been a favorite choice for eye candy in the kitchen. But anything made of polished copper requires a whole lot of maintenance to keep it looking its best. That might be one reason homeowners have started looking towards copper sinks instead. As long as your copper sink’s patina finish doesn’t get damaged, the copper requires almost no maintenance at all. In fact, scrubbing or polishing the sink will actually damage the finish and thereby compromise the copper. So what’s the difference?
No Need To Look Brand New
As copper ages, it oxidizes. That means that merely being exposed to air will slowly change the surface finish. That’s why Lady Liberty is green after all these years. With kettles and pans, manufacturers have specific instructions to remove this natural finish, both for that shiny-new look and because it’s used directly with food. That’s why those pans need all that wretched scrubbing and polishing. I purchased a copper kettle and once it needed maintenance, I stashed it under the sink never to be seen again. Every night I beg the copper fairy to polish it for me and leave it glistening atop the stove, but she is deaf to my cry for help. But copper sinks don’t involve any of this torture.
Copper Sinks: Aged With Purpose
Instead, the vast majority of copper sinks are pre-treated (usually with heat) to speed up the aging process and develop them to a rich, deep brown color before they even get to you. Rather than constantly fighting against the metal’s natural inclinations, you should let a copper sink continue to age on its own. That means keep harsh the harsh scrubbers and acidic cleaners you’d use on your pots and pans well away from the sink. All you need to do to keep it clean is simply wash the basin with mild soap, and if you have hard water, wipe any excess water away with a soft cloth. This indestructible metal will last a lifetime.
Low-Maintenance Signature Sinks
If that doesn’t sound like enough cleaning, it’s because copper sinks actually do most of the heavy duty cleaning on their own. Copper is naturally anti-microbial, and will kill just about any microscopic baddie left on the surface, usually in less than an hour. In fact, an hour after use, copper sinks are more sterile than surgical sinks you’d find in a hospital – no chemical cleaning needed. And while “old penny” might not be the finish you’d think to ask for, it’s rich, unique, and will never feel dingy. Many farmhouse style copper kitchen sinks do tend toward the more rustic side (as they often have hand-hammered finishes), but the metalwork can also be beautiful enough to bring bring happy tears to a homeowner’s eyes. Decorative apron fronts come in a range of distinguished designs that can make any kitchen feel unique and gorgeous.
Naturally Anti-microbial Bathroom Sinks
Better still, the same is true of copper bathroom sinks, too. The more hands-off you are in terms of cleaning, the more your sink will develop a one-of-a-kind patina, while keeping itself completely sanitary. Like in the kitchen, copper bathroom sinks range from intentionally rustic (think: a little bit western inspired) to really gorgeous and highly detailed vessel sinks that can easily stand as the main statement piece in your bathroom. Double bonus for a guest bathroom sink you never have to clean. Here are a few that made my A list.
Copper Sinks To Make A Statement
Intricate designs are about as common on copper bathroom sinks as they are on larger apron sinks for the kitchen. Think floral themes, vineyard-inspired looks, or even something a little more Greco-Roman, reminiscent of ancient vases. Mostly you’ll find these types of designs in vessel or above-counter styles that put the entirety of the sink on display (and really do eliminate splash water, especially when you’re washing your face). Very fine detailing works well on copper because of how it ages: the nooks and crannies are going to be the first to darken, which will make the raised elements stand out more prominently.
Unconventional Styles That Don’t Need A Deep Clean
Shaped sinks are another popular choice for copper. Most often you’ll see ones modeled after plant life – especially flowers or leaves. But you can also find ones that are more abstract or geometric, which can be perfect for making a statement in a more modern bathroom. Typically these don’t have a lot in the way of detail work on the copper itself; most have a textured, hand-hammered finish with maybe with a few small accentuations. It’s the shape of the sink itself that’s the star.
Whether you opt for a copper sink with a distinctive style or a simple hand-hammered finish, or put it in your kitchen or your bathroom, a natural copper finish is a perfect way to infuse your home with a luxurious look that doesn’t require luxury-grade maintenance. Besides, a sink that cleans itself and can stand up to even the toughest use? Is one less thing to worry about.