How can I save my tin-lined copper cookware’s rusty handles?

Found out copper collection was stored in the shed over the winter while work was being done in the kitchen. Mostly from Gaillard with a few Dehillerin and Jacquotot. All are 3mm+. The handles are now covered in rust. Would it be best to use a vinegar bath to remove the rust or is the risk of pitting the handles too great? Or should i go through the hassle of building an electrolysis setup? How would you approach reseasoning the handles without melting the tin?


What’s the best site to sell copper cookware? I have a tin-lined pot that I’d like to sell as the lining has worn off. I have no desire to go through the hassle of getting it re-tinned as I have enough steel-lined pans.

Thanks. Hopefully this works.

Honestly, I get most of my copper on ebay. Unfortunately for sellers, they do take a big chunk of your sale in final value fees. I think its 13.25%? You can try facebook marketplace and if your piece is over 3mm, a collector near you may be able to buy it from you with cash. I honestly dont really look there for copper though.

IME, Ebay and Etsy are easiest, and likely to get your stuff more exposure. Some tinners will do consignment sales after retinning.

I use a bench grinder with a wire wheel. If you don’t have that, your local harbor freight stocks wire wheel attachments for a household drill that should be able to work similarly to brush the rust off. But holding the drill will get tiring after a while making the grinder a better option if there are lots of pans in need of this treatment.

PS I’ll buy any Gaillards you no longer want :slight_smile:

I recently dealt with this on one of my saucepans. I decided to wash off as much of the rust as I could using a non-scratch scrub pad with dish soap and water. Then, I warmed the iron handle over the stove and applied USP-grade lanolin (Lano-Lube gauge protectant). It remained quite tacky after the handle cooled down, so I simply wiped it down with a rag while the handle was still warm after using the pot. Now it’s tack-free and the lanolin has settled into the “pores” of the iron handle.

I did it this way because I didn’t want cleaners, polishing compounds, or waxes collecting in the large pits of the cast iron.

Blacksmiths wipe their work with carnauba wax while it’s still hot. Gives a nice finish.

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Rub it down with food-grade mineral oil and 00 steel wool. Rinse thoroughly to prevent even the remote possibility of steel wool nibs finding their way into the pan.