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Surface Scratches Mauviel Copper Pan

Today I was scrubbing with a very soft rubber bristle brush and Bar Keeper's Friend and somehow managed to scratch up the lid of my Sauce Pan. I typically only use the soft side of a sponge, but didn't imagine rubber bristles would do any damage. They look like very light surfaces scratches, but since the finish of these pots are glossy it sticks out like a sore thumb. What sort of polish can I use to fix this ghastly mistake, will Copperbrill polish away minor scratches or do I need something else?

I'm content with scratches here and there, I know it's going to happen. But this one has really bummed me out. Looking for a polish solution to fix this, please help!

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  1. Hi, mundty:

    Not to worry. That's what BKF does, especially if you scrub with it. It wasn't the bristles, it was the feldspar in the BKF.

    If you don't have a bench buffer, I suggest either Flitz or Simichrome polish. There is also another highly-rated polish I haven't tried yet: http://www.englishcustompolishing.com... If you try it, please post a review.

    If you still see the scratches after that, I would work the scratched area over with 0000 steel wool (finish in one direction--I suggest parallel with the pan's bottom) and *then* repeat the polish.


    1. "They look like very light surfaces scratches, but since the finish of these pots are glossy it sticks out like a sore thumb."

      I would just leave it alone and consider it a learning experience. BKF has abrasives that can scratch mirror finishes like the top of metal lids.

      I don't have any experience polishing metal. But my understanding is using anything to polish out the scratches in metal will just make it worse.

      1. The thing is I use BKF all the time, but normally with the soft side of a wet sponge and have never experienced anything like this until I used the brush.

        1. A bench buffer is really the best way. Since most people don't have one at home, you may have luck going to your local jeweler and asking if they can buff it for you. They should have the proper wheels and paste to buff it up beautifully.

          3 Replies
          1. re: laraffinee

            We have plenty of bench grinders at work... I assume with the right attachment I could fix it up? Any suggestions on what sort of Pad I should use? Do I need to use one of the polishes mentioned above... or would the pad probably suffice?

            1. re: mundty

              Hi, mundty:

              Great if you have a buffer. With the usual BKF scratching, I would use a loose muslin (*not* sisal) wheel, turning at 1700 rpm, with a coloring rouge--Jeweler's Pink is good. If just coloring doesn't do it, step up to a light cutting rouge like chrome white, and then polish out with the coloring (only one grade of rouge on a wheel!).

              Unless you have a really long arbor shaft, you need to be careful about the pan catching on the wheel and dinging it/you up.

              IME, polishing by hand using Flitz and Simichrome does a pretty good job of at least evening out this type of scratches. A pro metal finisher could still probably see them up close, but you may not.

              In fact a lot of people always use BKF (It does a great job of *cleaning* and tarnish removal), and then polish--that way your degree of polish is uniform, if not perfectly mirror. I just find BKF to be too abrasive--can't brook the thought of thinning the copper every time I clean it.


              1. re: kaleokahu

                Totally agree with Kaleo about the muslin wheel and the rouge.

          2. Right now you have the new car syndrome. The smallest scratch will look painfully annoying to you. In time, this will pass and you will get used to scratches on your car or your cookware. It is probably better bite the bullet and not "fix" the scratches. Good luck.

            3 Replies
            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

              We're not talking about a small scratch here and there, I have those and I'm fine with them. These are swirl marks... trust me I screw up.

              1. re: mundty

                Hi, mundty:

                And as with a brand-new car, your enjoyment of your band-new copper pan should not suffer from a scratch. People who don't have your grade of copper cookware may not understand keeping it perfect--at least for a while, or 1-2x/year.


                1. re: mundty

                  No, you did not screw-up. Screw-up is such a strong word for it. I have a pretty good idea what kind of swirl marks you are talking about. A lot of my cookware have tham -- especially on shiny polish surface. They annoyed me in the very beginning, but later you will realize they will occur soon or later. So it is natural, and they absolutely do not affect your cookware performance.

                  Here is thing. The more I was concerning about the scratch and swirl marks, the more I was tip-toeing around the cookware. At the end, I realize that this is not the way to use a cookware. I should be using the cookware. It shouldn't be the other way -- cookware using me. I should freely and comfortably use my cookware. Yes, when it comes to actions which may actually damaging their performance, like overheating, heat shock...etc, then I will be careful. Have fun with your cookware. Enjoy.

              2. I would just polish them by hand, you can do a lot of damage with a buffer if you don't have the experience using one correctly. Copper is soft, so get some polish, and spend some time buffing the swirls out.

                Personally, I wouldn't even blink an eye over the swirls. Cookware is meant to be used.

                1. Yes, you could polish the scratches out (as Kaleo describes or by sending it out), but, since copper cookware is built to last for generations or centuries, I'd view these marks as the first in this pan's story. Face it--there's no way this pan can get used and not marked up, especially as decades go by. I have a handful of copper pans now, and not one is pristine. My very favorites all have scratches, dings, or small dents, and one even has what I would describe as a fairly substantial gouge. It's all part of their history and part of their beauty.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: jljohn

                    Hi, Jeremy:

                    Yours is the better long-term view. However, for the "honeymoon" of a new pan (and for me 1-2x/year), there's nothing like having a nice polish.

                    I make a point of taking the exterior of every pan I acquire back to close to looking like it was new. You can't, of course, remove all the scars and warts, and the process of tarnishing starts again the second you finish polishing, so it's a Sisyphean task.

                    Coincidentally, I got the polishing bug last week (missed doing it for the Holidays), and I have 47 pieces newly polished. Pretty cool when they're all mirrored...


                  2. Is there any danger in letting a copper pot darken/tarnish? I recently got a new copper pot as well and cleaning/polishing it (with lemon and salt or wright's copper cream) after every use is getting a little ridiculous. I don't mind letting it look tarnished but I don't want that to be bad for it. Hmm?

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Wapptor

                      Hi, Wapptor:

                      Nope, no danger at all.

                      Polishing after every use is crazy unless you're filthy rich and have scullery maids to do it. I'm down to polishing 1-2x/year, and if I'm entertaining I might polish one piece if I'll be serving from it.


                    2. This is a bit of a delayed reply. Just found this thread. I just bought three Mauviel pieces: a splayed sauce pan, a smaller sauce pan, and a large jam pan. They're absolutely beautiful, and I love them. After first using them, I used Bar Keeper's Friend on them- as it says on the container it's safe for copper.

                      After using the jam pan, I noticed a few small scratches on the inside of the pan from a metal spoon I used to stir a bit. I did some reading and decided to use a very fine steel wool. It removed the scratches, but it left very small brush marks. I followed up with BKF and then some MAAS metal polish. The copper still isn't to the mirror finish I'd like. I'm now noticing all three pieces are showing the micro-scratches from BKF. I'm bummed.

                      What do you guys do? Is it possible to get a mirror finish back by hand polishing? I've heard some folks use Flitz polish. Is it even practical to have a mirror finish on the copper cookware all the time?


                      2 Replies
                      1. re: saidmusician

                        here's how to keep a copperware looking like new:

                        throw away the old one.
                        buy a new one.
                        hang the new one on the wall.
                        do _not_ use the new pan.

                        it's not possible to actually cook with things and leave no trace they've ever been used.

                        I forget who mentioned it above - but the copper stuff around here only gets cleaned up / polished when I know it's going from oven to table.

                        1. re: PSRaT

                          Ha, good point and worded well. For all of you Mauviel owners-- what are you cleaning / polishing your pans with?

                          I'm guessing even soap and salt is going to take that mirror finish away(?).

                      2. I'm relatively new to copper cookware, just scratching the surface you might say, (pun intended) I have a few copper/tin lined and a few copper stainless. I use all for cooking, and though I have them hanging in the kitchen, that is more for convenience than for display.

                        At first, with the stainless lined pieces I just let them get whatever patina the use left on them. Then, my curiosity seriously piqued by Kaleo's excellent posts and threads about tin lining, I got a couple of nice hammered pans.

                        I began wiping them dry immediately after washing, something I did not do with the stainless lined pans. I find that though the copper is beginning to darken, it is nowhere near as stained as the pans that I just put in the drainer without wiping.

                        I have a couple of pans, stainless lined, that I replaced with tin lined. I am intending to sell the stainless lined on the bay so I tried a bit of Flitz polish. One is a Bourgeat, and the other a Mauviel. The Flitz on a paper towel left very fine scratches. So I stopped and intend to get the lemon and try it with kosher salt. If I have any positive results to report I will do so.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: JimmyH

                          Hi, Jimmy:

                          I think it's the abrasives in the paper towel that're to blame, not the Flitz. Try buffing with a microfiber rag.

                          One advantage of Flitz (and Simichrome) is that the finish is so micro-smooth, it actually resists tarnish from salt air, air pollution, etc., longer than virtually all other products. IME, the only way to get a brighter finish is jeweler's pink coloring rouge on a bench buffer.


                          1. re: kaleokahu

                            Thank you Kaleo. I have read many of your posts through google searches for info on copper pots/pans. So, though you've been unaware of it, you've been a mentor of sorts in my quest for building up the arsenal of copper cookware.

                            FYI, in my brief experience with tin versus stainless linings, I have come to prefer the tin lined, not so much for superior heat transfer, but because food is far less likely to stick.

                            So I've got a copper/stainless saute pan, and fry pan, and I will keep those. My sauce pans from large to small,5 of them are tin lined and I'll stay with the tin in those. Been fun putting these together from ebay auctions. Paid too much for one before I observed the market, but I've been quite lucky on the rest of them.

                            1. re: JimmyH

                              Hi, Jimmy:

                              It's all about curiosity and learning, so it warms my heart to think I've helped you.

                              There's an entire "infernal calculus" to getting into vintage copper. Sometimes you pay too much, other times astounding deals force themselves on you. Aside from the cooking, the vigilance and recognition of what you're looking at/for can be its own reward.

                              Have Fun,