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Washed the copper right off of my vintage Revere pan......anyone heard of this?

I've never cooked with any type of copper cookware before and I bought a vintage Revere 10 in. copper bottom pan to try out. After I cooked something in it I sat it on a cool burner for a little while and washed a few dishes, then put the Revere pan in the sink and started washing it. As soon as I turned the pan over to wash the outside I saw that the copper had basically disappeared! I know I should not have put it in the sink before it was completely cooled but I didn't think it was that hot and I didn't know the copper could just wash off. Btw, the pan did not warp and still sits flat. Did I ruin it because it was too warm when I washed it? I can't find any information on this. Thank you!

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  1. I have never heard of this before. My mother used here Revereware daily for almost 40 years without the copper wearing out.

    1. Are you sure the copper is gone and not just discolored?

      1. I have never heard of this, and I have used this line of cookware.

        1. Is it a blackish color on the bottom? If yes, try using a cleaner specifically for cleaning copper. If you were able to wash the copper off that would be v. cool, but unlikely. I use my mother's copper revere pots which are about 50 years old and the copper is still there.

          1. Did you buy this on ebay? This is speculation. If you cannot get the copper color to come back using copper cleaner, I would suspect that the pan has been treated. There was a line of Revere Ware that had aluminum bottoms, not copper. They are identical to the copper bottomed ones except that the bottoms are aluminum. I don't know how it could be done, but perhaps copper was painted over the aluminum. But--try cleaning it with copper cleaner, like Cameo, and then keep us posted.

            2 Replies
            1. re: sueatmo

              Wow, thanks for replying everyone! YES, I bought it on ebay and I was worried it might have been treated, but the pan looked used, not like someone had re-coated the copper. To me it looked like he had probably used some sort of cleaner on it and scrubbed it pretty hard in places but at the same time it wasn't shiny and new looking if that makes sense. I washed it with dawn and a regular washcloth and dried it before cooking with it. There are still thin traces of copper, (sort of an yellow film) and on one side there's a large area of orange that is copper but discolored I guess. I will have to buy something to clean it with and post what happens, but the copper appears to be gone for the most part. Some of the area around the side of the pan is now dark pink, some looks pale yellow. Thanks

              1. re: chipom

                Query the seller. If he indicated that the bottom is copper, and it isn't, he should take it back. Perhaps someone here knows how to test whether the bottom is copper. But if copper cleaner brings it back, then you know. I wonder if it possible that the copper was scrubbed off? But surely that would not be possible? I like Kaleo's advice. The copper may be there, but discolored. Please keep us posted.

            2. I use my Revereware (the post 1968 kind) every day and I have no idea how this could even happen. My mother used hers (the superior pre-1968 kind) for probably 55 years and again, nothing remotely like this ever happened to her.

              1. The copper most likely discolored from the heat. Unless copper is polished very frequently it will darken with use/heat.

                I've had Revereware pieces since the early '80's and the copper has never worn away - my Mother has pieces dating further back which are fine. None of ours looks bright and shiny. I'm not inclined to polish the stuff, especially since it doesn't affect performance.

                2 Replies
                1. re: meatn3

                  I wish I could explain it better, but I don't think it's just discolored. I have seen photos of copper bottoms that are dark and haven't been polished, but this isn't dark. There are even places where the copper looked thin to begin with on the bottom edge where it's now silver. The majority of the bottom is a transparent yellow with some dark orange areas as well. The dark pink is just a small area on the side part of the edge, most of the edge is pale yellow like most of the bottom. Maybe that was even more confusing, but to me it looks like the copper is pretty much gone. I do appreciate everyone's help and I'll update.

                  1. re: chipom

                    Please do update after you try the steel-wool or polish...

                    I guess someone could have machined away some of the base to "clean it up" for e-bay if it had been really dirty...that's the only way I can see this happening. Revereware just doesn't wear out - it was a product where you more than got your moneys worth.

                2. It was one of my chores, growing up, to polish the bottoms of my mother's Revere Ware pans. Get some copper polish, and yours will be fine.

                  1. Hi, chipom:

                    Your result sounds... bizarre. I know this stuff well because my mom had (and I still have) an enormous set of Revereware. IME, it is not very good, but it is practically indestructible.

                    Immersing it while warm should have been no problem. Did the copper "disappear" in one place, or the entire bottom of the pan?

                    I would try this: Get some fine steel wool (tell the hardware clerk "000"). Scour the bottom with it and see if the copper doesn't reappear. You may have just discolored the metal.

                    Give that a try,

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: kaleokahu

                      I've read and appreciated everyone's responses and I wanted to let you know what happened. I finally got some polish last night and sure enough, the color came back! I feel a little embarrassed that I thought the copper disappeared but it sure did look like it was gone. I still don't understand what happened and I'm waiting to see what happens next time I use it. If I'd been able to I would have posted a pic. ratgirlagogo I would love to get some of the pre 1968 that is in good shape. Mine has -79 Clinton ILL on it. Mine is fairly scratched up on the inside and has a few tiny pitted places, but it's not bad. This is my first time using any type of Revere cookware or copper clad cookware. Thanks for the advice everyone!

                      1. re: chipom

                        So glad your pan is OK. This is the place to come with questions. I've done it myself. Usually the responses are helpful and kind.

                        I don't know why you couldn't find more vintage Revere ware pans on ebay. http://tinyurl.com/7yxp7o4 This is a beauty.

                        But estate sales, if you attend often, might be a place to find more pieces. Once you get started collecting, you'll learn more and spot pieces when you least expect it.

                        I hope you enjoy your new pot.

                        1. re: chipom

                          I am glad that everything works out for you.

                          1. re: chipom

                            Hi, chipom:

                            I have quite a lot of the pre-1968 Revereware that I'd be willing to sell. Send me an email at kaleokahu@gmail.com


                            1. re: kaleokahu

                              sueatmo, that pot does look gorgeous, but I just can't bring myself to spend that much. kaleokahu, thanks for the offer, but I'm not planning on buying any more right away. Thanks everyone!