A copper farm sink can be the perfect addition to your home. The kitchen is so often spoken of as the heart of the home, the place where family and friends gather for sustenance in the form of good food and good conversation. When so many good times are spent in a room, you want to design it so it is pleasing to be in that room and to share it with others.
In the kitchen, one of the central items to choose is the kitchen sink. One unique kitchen sink option is the copper farm sink. The copper farm sink has the ability to be a fresh and innovative design while at the same being a timeless artisan piece of work.
This is a unique look not seen in many homes today, and the sinks that are available are often one of a kind. However, to preserve the beauty of your copper farm sink, sometimes referred to as copper apron front sinks, you need to be aware of some key care techniques to employ on a regular basis. This will ensure your investment does not go to waste. Here are some cleaning and maintenance tips to consider if you own a copper farmhouse sink.
What To Consider When Choosing A Copper Farm Sink
Besides knowing you prefer a copper farm sink or apron front kitchen sink instead of a copper vessel sink, there are three major details to consider when getting your new copper sink. The first major point to check into is the quality of the element used. The quality of the copper for your sink should be 98% or more pure copper. Beware of buying copper farm sinks from China, as they often put in additives such as bronze and tin. Often the best copper farm sinks come from Mexico and India, where artisans take pride in their work and the quality measures up. A Mexican copper sink is becoming a popular and stylish kitchen feature in the southwestern United States. For the best affect be sure to add a copper drain as well.
The next detail to consider when shopping copper farm sinks is the thickness of the copper. This thickness is designated by the gauge number. The lower the gauge number value, the thicker the copper and therefore the better the quality of the sink. Apron or farm sinks should have a minimum gauge of 16. An ideal gauge for higher quality copper farm sinks is 14. A 14 gauge copper farm sink is becoming the standard for some new luxury home builders. If the sink is made from a thin sheet of copper that is around 20 gauge, it will damage easily and will likely warp or dent.
Lastly, the importance of construction of the sink cannot be stressed enough. Kitchen sinks are used frequently, over many years. They need to be hardy workhorses.
Copper farm house sinks can be constructed in two ways, by hand or by machine. Those that are handmade by talented and skilled artisans who craft each sink means it will be high quality and unique, whether you choose a hammered copper sink or one with a smooth finish. Machine made sinks use a mold that ensures a high level of accuracy every time. While a hand-crafted, artisan-made copper farm sink sounds very artsy, it does require a closer inspection to ensure the quality and precision of the work.
You should, of course, consider your budget as you weigh these different variables. If you wish to complete the look with a copper range hood, you’ll need to be careful and consider how much you can spend before start looking at copper apron sinks. A one-of-a-kind hammered copper farm sink usually isn’t cheap. Before you invest be sure to consult a fair number of different copper farmhouse sink reviews.
Understanding Copper as a Living Element
Copper changes color as it ages, starting out bright orange and ending in a light teal after many years. The metal does this through a process called oxidation, but every stage of this process is beautiful in its own way. You have to expect your copper farm sink to change in color over time. This could be a benefit though because it makes for less copper sink maintenance in the long run. This metal is supposed to get dark and age, just as wine is supposed to sit or bronze is supposed to darken. Thus, you can keep the same copper kitchen sink in your home for many years and still work it into the design.
Before you invest in such a distinctive sink, you need to understand that the natural aging process makes owning and maintaining copper farmhouse sinks a very different prospective than a stainless steel, aluminum or even brass farm sink.
However copper is a great element to use for sinks, or other things continually exposed to water, as it does not rust and it is very strong. In fact many people who are upgrading their plumbing choose copper repiping because of its longevity.
Cleaning Your Copper Farm Sink
You should clean your copper sink on a regular basis, but you do not have to do much to it. Warm water will suffice for most liquids in the sink, and a soapy water mix will work for everything else. Do not use an abrasive cleaning material that would scratch the metal, and avoid harsh chemicals that may strip off the finish. If you want to maintain a shiny look for your sink, you can use a copper cleaner. Just be sure to thoroughly rinse it off before you use it for anything you would consume. This cleaner can be very harmful when ingested.
Waxing Copper Farm Sinks
You can apply a wax to your copper that will increase the amount of liquids that run off it. The wax will also protect the coloring of the metal and slow down the patina process. This is the best option for people looking to obtain that shiny copper look as opposed to the aged, old farmhouse appeal. Wax can be applied and wiped off with a soft cloth, and you do not have to wax your sink too often.
Using Household Products to Clean Your Copper
If you cannot find any copper cleaner in your home, you can also use lemon juice or ketchup to clean the surface. Spread this on with a soft cloth and let it sit for a few minutes. Then rinse off with warm water and let it dry. This will remove some of the patina that has formed on the copper, so note that it will be a different color once you finish this. The acid in the products is actually the cause of the change.
However, if you are looking to maintain the aged look of a piece, you may simply want to stay with soap and water. If maintaining the authentic patina is your desire, it becomes more about what not to do to the sink than it is about what to do. All chemicals and citrus-based cleaning solutions should be avoided as well as any abrasive agents for these will remove the patina.
Taking care of a copper farm sink is not as difficult as you may assume. It ages well over time and is made of a durable enough material to last for as long as you need it to. You can buy copper sinks that are already aged, or you can look at a new one that will grow with your family. Take pride in the look of your copper farm sink and do your best to keep the value of it intact. With just a bit of research and care, you can have a functional work of art for your copper kitchen sink to enjoy for years to come.