Skip to content

Why is My Copper Sink Changing Color?

Sep 2023

adams farmhouse apron front copper kitchen sink

Copper sinks are an eye-catching addition to any space: kitchens, bathrooms, laundry rooms, tiny homes, and more. One of the common questions Sinkology receives is about the surface of a copper sink: will it change color?

The answer is YES

A copper sink can change colors due to a natural process called patination. This refers to the sink’s natural patina, a natural surface that occurs on copper due to being exposed to oxygen and the surrounding environment. Copper is a reactive metal and it undergoes a chemical reaction with air and moisture. When you unbox a Sinkology copper sink, it will have a shiny reddish-brown appearance. Over time and with normal use, the sink forms a thin layer of copper oxide on its surface, leading to a darker brown hue. Further exposure to air and moisture can cause the sink to develop a greenish patina. Copper’s ever-changing surface is one of the most beautiful characteristics about it. At Sinkology, we love the way that copper reflects real life—it changes, adjusts, evolves, and improves over time. Copper is an amazing natural element, and because it’s constantly evolving, change is inevitable. Like a broken-in pair of boots or your favorite pair of jeans, your copper sink will change ever so slightly with every use, and we think change is good.


Copper Discoloration

Discoloration will occur with a copper sink; it’s the nature of the metal. There are many reasons why discoloration occurs: harsh chemicals, long exposure to acidic materials (lemons, ketchup, toothpaste, etc.) or other types of food, general heavy use, and more. But, don’t panic—it’s all part of the life of your copper product. If you love the original look of your copper sink or tub and want to find ways to reduce discoloration and natural spotting, here are a few helpful hints for general maintenance and care:

  • Rinse your sink completely after use
  • Clean your sink regularly to reduce green build-up from the patina as well as spotting from food, juice, chemicals, or other types of debris
  • Treat your sink regularly with a sealant to help protect your sink’s finish by allowing water to bead up and rinse off. It will also help keep food debris from sticking to your sink.
  • Use a copper sink bottom grid to keep dirty dishes from coming into prolonged contact with the sink’s surface.
  • Avoid harsh, abrasive chemicals and drain cleaners.


Restoring the Patina

When discoloration happens, time and patience are typically all that are needed for your sink’s patina to restore its look and blend in with the rest of the surface. You may see shiny spots but rest assured: the patina will return to these areas and even out across your copper sink. You don’t need to do anything in particular to allow the patina to return, but if you would like to help the colors blend more quickly, here are a couple of tips from our team of Sinkologists:

  • Wash your sink rigorously with hot, soapy water and a Sinkology Breeze Scrubber. Scrub hard enough to lighten the patina a few shades in problem areas but be sure not to take the patina completely off.
  • Rinse clean with hot water and dry with a microfiber cloth. This intense scrubbing combined with hot water will help accelerate and blend the natural patina of your copper sink.
  • If you don’t clean your sink regularly, you may also see some green build-up on particularly dirty areas. Don’t be alarmed; this is just oxidation. Simply scrub the area with a gentle scrubber or your fingernail until the build-up is removed and then clean the area.

Copper kitchen and bathroom sinks are incredibly versatile, environmentally friendly, and straightforward to clean and maintain. For more information about caring for a copper sink, explore Sinkology’s resources or reach out to for specific help with your Sinkology sink.


If you have any additional questions during your search for the perfect copper, fireclay farmhouse sink or crafted stainless steel sink, our Sinkologists are here to help. Contact us or follow us on FacebookHouzzPinterestInstagram, or TikTok for more helpful tips and design ideas.