How to Make Copper Shine

Copper one of the most used materials in distillation equipment.  There are stills that are crafted from steel, but also use copper coil. On the other hand, there are stills crafted just from copper.  One of the best things about owning a copper moonshine is the natural shine and character, so you should keep it as clean as possible. In our post, we will reveal show to keep your copper shine looking brand new at all times.

How to make copper shine?

Even though copper is durable and tough, you should use non-toxic cleaning products when you want to make copper shine.  Natural products mean that you are never spoiling your spirits.  Extreme chemical exposure could also lead to the copper still becoming discolored.

Give the still a wash

You should start by washing your still with natural acidic paste. Doing this will remove copper oxide from the surface of the still. You can make this paste by mixing ¼ cup flour, splash of vinegar, and ¼ cup salt

  1. Mix the salt and flour. Slowly add your vinegar until you have a paste.
  2. Rub this paste over the still, and then let it dry for roughly 30 minutes.
  3. Gently remove the paste with warm water.

After doing this, you should have a copper still that is shining brightly. This will be enough to make most stills shine. However, those who want an even shinier finish may want to use polish or wax afterwards.

Should you polish copper stills?

It can be a good idea to add polish or wax to your copper still, as it will give a boost to the natural shine of the copper.  Furthermore, adding a layer of wax creates a protective layer to the still.

This layer stops the metal from tarnishing and prevents oxygen from reacting with the copper surface layer.  Preventing this oxidation process keeps the still deposit free for longer.

How to polish copper stills?

You can polish your copper still with wax or copper cream.  The following tools will make your life easier.

Angle grinder. You can attach a polishing pad to an angle grinder and start buffing away! Keep the grinder going until the wax/polish has made the copper still shine. 

Microfiber cloth. You can use a microfiber cloth to make your copper shine. This will require more effort, but the rewards till be worth it.

Polishing machine. If you want the job done in a matter of minutes, you can use a polishing machine. Simply apply your product and let the machine buff your copper still to perfection.

Should you apply copper lacquer to a copper still?

You don’t have to apply copper lacquer, but it can be a good idea as it will give a durable finish. A still that has been treated with lacquer doesn’t need to be given frequent polishes and waxes. In fact, the copper will be resistant even in extreme heat.

What are the benefits of using copper stills?

  • Copper will last for years and years
  • Copper is corrosion-resistant
  • Copper is great to look at – it has a lot of character
  • Copper can remove sulfur from the alcohol
  • Copper can improve the taste

What are the negatives of using copper stills?

By reacting with oxygen to produce oxide, copper stills can sometimes get a green coating on the surface of the copper. As such, it can be hard to keep your copper still clean.


Copper stills are versatile no wonder they are preferred over steel stills. Even so, it oxidizes easily to pick up a green-blue color known as patina and this is naturally a characteristic of copper. Unless you are okay with this vintage kind of look, you may want to keep your copper still shining and this is certainly possible as we have already seen. 

Note that there is no harm or degradation caused to your still by regularly cleaning and maintaining it to keep its shine. Therefore, whether you have opted for the not-so-permanent polish or the permanent lacquer, you will have not only given your still a desirable look but also protected it from tarnishing.