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Looking After and Cleaning Your Moscow Mule Mugs: The Right Way

Posted by Paykoc Imports ,12th Feb 2015
Looking After and Cleaning Your Moscow Mule Mugs: The Right Way
Updated on August 30th, 2023

Some people actually like the aged look that copper gets when it develops a patina, but if you're like most people (including me), you're going to want your Moscow Mule mugs (and any other copper items you own) to remain nice and shiny for as long as possible. We're not going to cover the proper way to clean (both commercial and non-commercial way) and some different care and maintenance options for copper in this post.

Caring Properly for Your Moscow Mule Mugs

Before we start talking about the various homemade and store-bought solutions that you can use to clean your new copper mugs, we're going to first run through a couple of "good practices" to implement if you own some of these beautiful drinking vessels. As they say, prevention is always better than cure!

  • Never Use a Dishwasher - Most of the cooking utensils, plates, and drinking vessels that you use daily can be put in the dishwasher and forgotten about until they're nice and clean, but not Moscow Mule mugs! Copper requires special treatment and must be washed by hand. This is because the cleaning experience inside a dishwasher can be relatively abrasive, which could cause linings to crack and flake off and the mugs to become dented. Also, even leaving them for a short period to sit with what you may consider to be a relatively insignificant amount of water on them is bad practice and can cause oxidation, which will lead to the development of the patina that you're most likely trying to avoid.Careful Maintenance of Copper Mugs is Vital
  • Always Double, Triple, Quadruple Dry - You probably already gathered just how important it is to dry your mugs properly from the last point. But the truth is, most people just lightly rub over the surface of the mug even if they do go to the trouble of hand washing them. These copper mugs then sit in a cupboard with moisture left on them, which as we've already said, can lead to oxidation and a darkening of the mug's color. If your mugs are produced from hammered copper, you have to be especially careful since tiny amounts of moisture can cling to the material inside the divots. It's a good idea to use cotton cloth first, as this does a great job at absorbing moisture, before passing over the whole mug again with a second dry cloth.

More Cleaning Solutions that You Can Use on Your Moscow Mule Mugs

Paykoc Copper Mugs In our last post, we discussed copper cleaning methods that all do a good job under normal circumstances, such as standard warm water and dish soap, tomato ketchup (yeah, really!), vinegar and salt, as well as good 'ol Bar Keepers Friend. But if those suggestions just aren't enough for you, and you’re looking for easy store-bought products here are a few more:

  • Bon Ami - This is a store-bought cleaning solution that has been available for well over 40 years now. While it isn't as strong as Bar Keeper's Friend - which is the product we generally recommend - it can do a good job. It's certainly less abrasive, which could give you peace of mind if you're worried about scratching your mugs.
  • Wright's Copper Cream - While we would still tell you that Bar Keeper's Friend does a better job at touching up copper decor pieces, copper cookware, and Moscow Mule mugs, Wright's Copper Cream is not too far behind. It wipes off most types of marks, is fast-acting, and is affordable too.

Admittedly copper mugs and cookware do require a bit of extra effort to maintain in good condition, but that's the price you have to pay if you want to dazzle guests with them year-round. Another great way of dazzling your guests is to get your copper mugs engraved click here for more info. And if you're not entirely sure what type of Moscow Mule to make yours, head over to our Moscow Mule recipe page for some ideas.


Everybody loves the Moscow Mule for its refreshing taste, its myriad variations, and its beautiful copper mugs. Those mugs have become the signature of what is turning out to be one of the most versatile cocktails ever created. Whether your Mule is from Shanghai or Mumbai, Glasgow or Moscow it’s served up in the same beautifully timeless copper mug. However, any sort of copper cookware - or in this case drinkware - needs to be given a thorough cleaning from time to time to remove tarnish and restore its original luster. You can buy expensive cleaning products at the store or you can do it yourself. We’ll always opt for the DIY approach if it makes sense. So in this post, we’re going to provide several simple ways to bring back the luster on your Moscow Mule mugs.

Homemade Ways to Keep Your Copper Mugs Looking Great

Most people rely on commercially available cleaning solutions these days and why not? Chemists at large corporations are paid handsomely to come up with ways to restore things to their original, pristine state. Copper is no different. There are copper cleaning products you can buy that will do a fine job but there are also several non-commercial methods for keeping your Moscow Mule mugs looking great. Here’s a short list of our DIY favorites.

  • Vinegar and Salt - This method is as old as copper itself and is still used today in all corners of the world. Fill a small bottle with vinegar and add two tablespoons of salt. Mix it thoroughly. You can either pour the mixture onto a sponge and clean the copper mug that way or you can create the mixture in a small spray bottle and spray it on your copper mug. If you want a slightly stronger mixture use white vinegar which is slightly more acidic.

  • Worcestershire Sauce - What’s that? Worcestershire sauce for cleaning Moscow Mule mugs? Absolutely. Simply pour some Worcestershire sauce onto a sponge and rub it into the surface of your mug. Make sure you use enough to make the surface good and wet. Then let it sit on the surface for a minute or 2. Finally, wipe it off, rinse your mugs to remove any residue, and dry it thoroughly. Viola!

  • Baking soda and Lemon Juice - Baking soda has myriad uses both in food prep and as a cleaner. In this case, we’re going to mix it with lemon juice to make a solution to clean our copper Mule mugs. Mix equal parts baking soda and lemon juice (typically just a few teaspoons of each but more if you have a lot of mugs). Use a soft clean cloth to apply the mixture to your mugs and work it into the surface. Use a microfiber cloth to polish and then rinse the mug and dry it thoroughly.

  • Cream of Tartar and Lemon Juice - In this case, we’re going to use the lemon for its acidic content and the cream of tartar for its pasty properties. Mix the two and then work the paste into the surface of the copper mug using a clean cloth. Let it sit for approximately five minutes before wiping it off with another clean cloth. Wash the mug with warm soapy water and then rinse thoroughly. Dry and enjoy.

That’s it, folks. Our short list of non-commercial DIY ways to keep your copper mugs looking great all year long. If you haven’t yet partaken of the many pleasures of the Moscow Mule, order your own Moscow Mule mugs from our online store and get started enjoying the cocktail sensation that’s swept the world.