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What should you do to the lacquer coating on a copperware pot or pan?

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Some copperware comes with a protective lacquer coating that keeps it from tarnishing. THIS COATING MUST BE REMOVED BEFORE USING. If it is a new piece of cookware, instructions should be included in the packaging that tells if the piece is lacquered and how to remove it. If you have had the piece or if the original box is not with the piece you can test it to see if it is lacquered. If you have had it awhile and it hasn't tarnished, then that is one clue that it probably is lacquered. If you don't get that "squeaky" clean sound when you rub your finger against a freshly washed piece, it could also mean that it is lacquered. To remove lacquer, select a pan large enough to submerge the copperware or at least submerge one-half of it at a time in simmering water. Fill the pan with water and add 1/4 cup of baking soda per gallon of water. Bring to a boil and then keep at a simmer. Lower the copperware into the water and let it remain 15-20 minutes. The water should fizz when the copperware is first submerged. You should be able to peel the lacquer off the copperware after the 15-20 minutes. If you were able to only put one-half of the copperware in the simmering water at a time, then submerge the other part(s). Wash and dry the piece and it is ready for use. If a spot or two of lacquer remain, you may use a soft cloth saturated with acetone to remove small remainders of lacquer. Wash and dry again if acetone is used. ACETONE IS HIGHLY FLAMMABLE SO IT SHOULD NOT BE USED AROUND A FLAME OR ANY HEATING DEVICE. PREPARED BY: Angela M. Fraser, Ph.D., Associate Professor/Food Safety Specialist, and Carolyn J. Lackey, Ph.D., R.D., L.D.N., Professor/Food and Nutrition Specialist, North Carolina State University (August 2004)

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