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You must have seen tarnished copper vessels being cleaned with lemon or tamarind juice. Explain why these sour substances are effective in cleaning the vessels.


  • Green coating on copper is copper carbonate. It is formed by the reaction of copper with carbon dioxide , moisture and oxygen in the atmosphere.
  • Copper is a metal . Hence, it forms a basic oxide .
  • So, Copper oxide is basic in nature.
  • Lemon and tamarind juice are acidic in nature.
  • Lemon / tamarind juice reacts with the basic copper oxide to neutralise it, forming salt and water and thus cleaning them.

green coating on copper - Teachoo.png

  after cleaning with lemon - Teachoo.png

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Maninder Singh

CA Maninder Singh is a Chartered Accountant for the past 13 years and a teacher from the past 17 years. He teaches Science, Economics, Accounting and English at Teachoo