Why my copper sinks
require little or no maintenance...
So, why do all imported copper sink companies require drying after each use and have a long list of things you should not put or use in your sink?
They have good reason. First off, most imported copper sinks are not sloped well to the drain. That means water will not evacuate properly and must be dried out each time you use the sink. If my sinks were not sloped properly, I would have a similar problem. Secondly, every copper sink bowl on the market, including mine, will have areas where the finish or patina is removed (especially on the bottom of the sink). In the case of a Rachiele sink, the patina will "grow" back quickly - often in a matter of a few days (depending on the size of the area) so that the area blends in perfectly with the original patina. That is NOT the case with most imported copper sinks. Why? their "finish" is not a natural color. If you logically think about copper, you will be able to know the truth. You have had hundreds, if not thousands, of pennies in your pocket or purse over the years. If you noticed, all of the older ones all turn a rich caramel brown. They do not turn as dark as most of the imported sinks. So, when you remove some of the artificial finish on the interior of an imported sink and expose the raw pinkish copper, it will quickly patina to a rich caramel brown (the color of our sinks) not the color of their sinks. Two major issues with most imports. One is that the sinks are not sloped properly and the other is that the color on most imported copper sinks is not natural to copper. Rachiele sinks are sloped generously to the drain and we do not use an unnatural finish in our sinks. They are naturally weathered using household vinegar and no other product or method.
If you look, you will see that NO other copper sink manufacturer divulges what chemicals or process is used to finish the interior of their copper sinks. Be assured of your safety, the only product that we use to patina the inside of your sink is household vinegar. Your hammered copper sink is sloped well enough that there is no draining issue. Every sink is tested for proper drainage before it leaves my factory. Take a few minutes and look at the video below.
The photos below was shared by a past customer from 2012. Linda has had quite a bit of fun with the interior of her copper sink(s). She has written messages using ketchup in the sink for all birthdays in the family.
The below email was prompted by a customer that called and was concerned with marks inside her copper sink. She asked if that was normal. Rather than assure her myself, I asked a past customer to do so. I wanted her to hear it from a customer that has been using our sink for some time. Linda purchased her sinks from me several years ago. She lives in Washington and has been kind enough to keep in touch over the years. This is the email she sent to my customer:
"Dino Rachiele forwarded an email
you'd written regarding your new sink and
asked if I would contact you. I purchased
two of his copper sinks and have been using
them daily since May 2012.
I read your email and saw the picture that you'd sent Dino and wanted to share my thoughts. The first thing I thought when I saw the picture was that your sink looked brand new and hasn't had a chance to develop the patina that will come with use. When my sinks first arrived, like yours, they were a uniform color. When I first started using them, the very first marks (reactions to the copper) stood out in stark relief against that uniform color. They were very noticeable and you eye can't help but go right to them. You said in your email that you aren't even using the sink like you will be once you're cooking and entertaining. Once you start really using it, the sink will have a lovely, varied finish. You won't have that one mark that stands out like you do now.
I have two Rachiele copper sinks in my kitchen. I have a 36" farm sink and an 18" prep. I'll be honest. I abuse them. I toss things in the sink without a second thought. I'd take a picture right now if it wasn't full of dirty dishes. lol My main sink changes constantly. That's one of the things to embrace when you have a copper sink. When you said that even the tiniest fragments of food leave marks, you're right! And then those marks will fade and disappear. The beauty of the sinks really comes out as you have lots and lots of marks that are made and then fade and change. You'll have layers of overlapping reactions that will create a gorgeous patina.
I remodeled a kitchen in my previous home and wanted a copper sink in the worst way but was put off because of the maintenance required. No way was I going to dry out a sink after each use! When I remodeled my current kitchen two years ago, I was thrilled when I heard about Rachiele copper sinks. I researched the heck out of them and, after having my mine two years, I can say they have performed exactly as Dino describes on his website. Copper's living finish is something to embrace. My advise to you is to use the heck out of your sink, let it react to anything and everything you toss in it, and enjoy watching it change and evolve. Don't try to maintain a uniform finish.
If something happens in it that really bothers you, run some vinegar or ketchup over the mark. I attached a photo I took of a message I left for my daughter's birthday. I made it by writing in ketchup and let the ketchup sit for about 5 minutes. A few weeks after writing the message, it was unreadable. You can see what the sink looks like around the message. The second photo was taken 4 days after I wrote the message and the third photo was taken 5 days after I wrote it. You can see the change. I have a lot of fun writing messages or drawing pictures in my sink. I forgot to take a picture of the Christmas tree I drew this year. :)
Please feel free to write back if you have questions for someone who has experienced a copper sink with a living finish. I hope you'll end up loving your sink as much as I love mine. Embrace the living finish, have fun with it and really enjoy having a sink that is indestructible. I'm thrilled to have sinks that I don't have to worry about chipping, cracking or staining. Oh, and don't freak out if you get scratches in your sink! Those will repair themselves and completely disappear in a few days.
Best of luck and enjoy your new kitchen!
These are some quotes from emails I have
received from past customers:
" I love your sinks because they are EASY to take care of (yes- I am lazy). I used to have a stainless steel sink in my kitchen and the smudge marks used to drive me crazy. I really don't do much to keep my sinks looking beautiful now- I simply rinse them out with soap and water while washing my dishes. Nothing else!!!!"
" The sinks are beautiful, functional, super easy care and I couldn't be happier with them."
"Dino, you simply make the best sink ever. We've put them in each of our last two houses, and will be putting one in our new house soon (we really need to stop moving.) These two houses each sold within a few days, and the buyers loved the sinks." Greg Jackson
"I love the sink and faucet! The plumber who installed it was so impressed that he called his business partner to come and take a look at it. It is so easy to clean. I have extremely hard water, and it hasn't water-spotted at all. All of my friends have admired it as well."
"Wow, where to begin....the sink is amazing, beautiful, unique in material and design, extremely practical, a joy to use, requires no special care, durable, an ever-changing piece of art. It was a delight to work with Dino on the design. He was pathologically accessible (24 hours a day!!), and a bright spot in a huge remodeling job. I believe the joy that he has for his products is embedded in the sinks. Oh and it looks gorgeous in our kitchen."
"Dino, you were right... I was nervous in the beginning about scratches and marks in the sink. I have now realized there is nothing I can do to hurt my lovely copper sink. I am in love with it. Thank you and your workers for such wonderful quality and customer service. My husband and I have never experienced customer service like this before. If we ever move, I am going to take the sink with me!"
We only offer a naturally weathered patina on the interior of our copper sinks. We do not artificially color the copper with heat, chemicals or colored waxes. Our method allows the copper to heal back to it's original coloration no matter what you do to it. That is why we are the only company that offers copper sinks with a lifetime transferable warranty with NO disclaimers regarding what you can and can't do inside the sink. We are one of a handful that do not require drying the copper sink after every use. Just to prove that our sinks heal by themselves, I did an experiment and recorded it with a camera for you to see for yourselves. The sink bottom shown is the one we use in our office kitchen. It does not get nearly as much use as a household kitchen sink, therefore the patination process will be slower in our office than would be expected in an average home. To begin the process, I took sandpaper and sanded through the patina on the sink. Then, I took a very sharp knife and made as deep a scratch as I was able to make. I did this to prove that even the deepest scratches become invisible over time and that the patina that we apply before the sink ships to you is the same coloration that copper will naturally weather to. Click on the images to see the close up detail. The second photo is between two and three weeks old. The last photo is 5 weeks old. There is no sign of the missing patina nor the scratch. Keep in mind, this sink hardly gets used. In a normal kitchen environment, the process would have resolved in a matter of a week or so.
As you can see, there really is no way to ruin the interior of our sinks unless you try very hard! By the way, when that sink was in our showroom, I had a challenge. If anyone could find the scratch in our sink, I would have offered a free one! Yep, I have offered that to quite a few visitors. Nobody was able find the deep scratch. Update March 2013: I sold this sink for $1500 to a customer who came in to see the sink. The sink looked brand new. How many sinks can you sell, that have been used daily for over 9 years, for $1500? Rachiele copper sinks hold their value. The last photo was a snapshot I took just before our client came to pick up the sink. I am not exaggerating when I say the sink looked brand new.
Just a note here... When someone leaves something in my copper sink at home and it leaves a mark that I don't care for, I have two options. I can leave it and it will vanish in a few days or I can take one of those green and yellow sponges with the ScotchBrite pad on one side and go over the entire bottom of the sink. Non-copper pots and pans may leave a dark ring in the bottom of the sink. Don't worry. That will vanish on its own or you can remove it with a scrubbie. I don't ever worry about scratches, as they will vanish quickly. I just lighten up the entire bottom of the sink to the point that the marks are not very visible. The entire bottom will now patina back naturally in short order. Remember, there is nothing you can do to damage the inside of the sink unintentionally. The reason my sink is different is that that patina is "natural" not fake. When the patina is disturbed, it will always come back to the general color it was when new. Also, my sinks drain properly, so you don't have to dry the sink after each use. Relax! We have over 100 Five Star Reviews on Houzz.com. We must be doing something right.
Take a look at the photos below of my sink after a party! Whew. Things were left in there without rinsing for sure. So, I took my sponge and went over the bottom of the sink. The process (I timed myself) took 1 minute. The bottom will patina and darken up nicely in a day or two. EASY! I also did a video for you to see how easy it is.