Do Copper Fire Pits Turn Black?

  • By: Mike Hale
  • Date: July 17, 2022
  • Time to read: 5 min.

Most individuals will often discover a wide variety of fire pits made of copper, especially when looking to purchase a fire pit. Perhaps the beautiful reddish-brown coloring of copper attracts many fire pit shoppers with its lovely warm color.

However, you should be aware that this attractive-looking fire pit type can change color over time.

Fire pits do turn black, primarily when used over time. If you use your copper fire pit without frequent polishing and occasional refinishing, it will eventually change color. Even if your fire pit has a patina coat, like most fire pits, the finishing might ultimately wear off with time.

Today, we venture into the world of copper fire pits to enlighten you on why copper fire pits turn black. As we come to the close of this article, you will understand how to keep a copper fire pit from turning black, whether you are a fire pit owner or a prospective buyer. Sit back, relax, and enjoy!

Outdoor Gas Fire Pit

Do Copper Fire Pits Turn Black?

Copper fire pits usually add a touch of elegance to your outdoor setting because of their lustrous finish when new. However, fire pits do turn black, mainly when used over time.

If you use your copper fire pit without frequent polishing and occasional refinishing, the interior will become permanently discolored from soot and heat.

Proper maintenance of your copper pit is essential to maintain your copper pit from turning black. Remember, without proper care, that is, constant cleaning with a good quality copper cleaner and polisher will lose quickly.

Why Do Copper Fire Pits Turn Black?

Despite several advantages of copper fire pits over other metals fire pits, there are many reasons why copper fire pits turn black. Below are some of the reasons why copper fire pits turn black.

Lack of Proper Maintenance

Copper fire pits need to be appropriately maintained. You can primarily maintain your copper fire pit through frequent polishing and refinishing. If you use your copper fire pit without regular polishing and occasional refinishing, it will eventually turn black.

Exposure to Heat

A copper fire pit will turn black over time from exposure to heat during use. The more you use your copper fire pit, the more it is exposed to heat. This continual exposure to heat will eventually discolor the fire pit from heat and soot.

Exposure to Moisture

In addition to exposure to heat, copper fire pits can also turn black due to frequent exposure to moisture. When you expose copper to moisture, it forms a patina, a dark-greenish coating on the surface.

Adverse Weather Conditions

Adverse weather conditions can also affect the outward appearance of copper pits. Therefore, if you live in areas where bad weather is prominent, your copper pit might soon fade and develop an old-style look.

Constant Burning Of Wood on the Copper Fire Pit

The constant use of wood will automatically turn your copper fire pit into black. If you burn wood on the copper pit, the wood will emit a lot of soot, eventually turning the grill or grate into black.

Wind Blowing the Flame

If you see soot around the perimeter of your burner pan, know the wind is the most likely cause. Remember, even the slightest breeze can have a detrimental effect on the flame in your fire pit, leading to sooting on your fire pit and the edges of the burner pan.

How Do You Keep a Copper Fire Pit from Turning Black?

There is nothing so disappointing than buying a gorgeous copper fire pit only to have it turn black. Here are simple ways to help you keep a copper fire pit from turning black.

Clean Your Fire Pit Regularly

Once you use your fire pit, ensure you remove the ashes and debris by sweeping them into a pile in the center before you start to clean the fire pit. After that, clean the grill/grate after use to remove any grease and charred meat.

You can use warm soapy water and a wire brush for the best results. However, if the warm soapy water is not getting the debris off, you might want to try copper cleaner. It also makes an effective cleaner.

Another good idea to clean your fire pit is to cut a lemon in half, use it to wipe down the inside of the copper fire pit, and then sprinkle it with salt. When the lemon and the salt come in contact, the two’s chemical reaction will cause stains and caked-on soot to be removed.

Finally, rinse the fire pit with clean water, and then wipe it dry with a clean towel. You can use a chamois towel to buff the copper by moving it in a circle.

Deal With the Patina

Apply the following instructions if you want to deal with patina for good;

  • Dump the lingering ash, wood, charcoal, and creosote into a garbage bag or compost pile
  • Use a mallet and putty knife to chip away the massive build-ups of creosote
  • Use a detergent and a clean rag to scrub the inside of the copper fire pit thoroughly
  • Grab commercial cleaner or lemon and salt if soot remains caked on, then apply to the impacted areas until the lingering debris is gone.
  • Finally, polish the fire pit in a circular motion.

Coat the Copper Surface with Lacquer

If you want a long-term solution to preserve the look of your copper pit from turning black, put several coats of lacquer on the copper surface. Lacquer coating will prevent the patina that is usually formed when copper is exposed to outdoor elements.

Cover the Fire Pit during Downtimes

When your copper fire pit is not in use, please keep it safe with a cover. It is best to cover a fire pit during downtimes since you probably won’t be using it every day for the whole year.

Covering your copper pit will keep it in good condition and prevent getting leaves, dead bugs, and other debris in it, which might make it turn black.

Additionally, covering your copper pit will protect it from outside elements and extreme weather conditions.