How to Make Copper Acetate from Copper

Make Copper Acetate and Grow Crystals

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You can make copper acetate [Cu(CH3COO)2] from common household materials to use in science projects and to grow natural blue-green crystals. Here's what you do:


You only need three simple ingredients to prepare copper acetate from copper metal:

  • Copper (e.g., copper wire or pennies minted before 1982)
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • White vinegar


  1. Mix equal parts vinegar and hydrogen peroxide.
  2. Heat the mixture. You can bring it to a boil so that you're certain it's hot enough, but once you reach that temperature, you can turn down the heat.
  3. Add copper. For a small amount of liquid, try about 5 pennies or a strip of copper wire. If you are using wire, make sure it is uncoated.
  4. Initially, the mixture will bubble and become cloudy. The solution will turn blue as copper acetate is produced.
  5. Wait for this reaction to proceed. Once the liquid clears up, heat the mixture until all the liquid is gone. Collect the solid, which is copper acetate. Alternatively, you can remove the mixture from heat, place the container in a place where it won't be disturbed, and wait for copper acetate monohydrate [Cu(CH3COO)2.H2O] crystals to deposit on the copper.

Copper Acetate Uses

Copper acetate is used as a fungicide, catalyst, oxidizer, and as a blue-green pigment for making paint and other art supplies. The blue-green crystals are easy enough to grow as a beginner crystal-growing project.

More Chemicals to Make

Copper acetate isn't the only chemical you can make from common materials.

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Your Citation
Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. "How to Make Copper Acetate from Copper." ThoughtCo, Apr. 5, 2023, Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. (2023, April 5). How to Make Copper Acetate from Copper. Retrieved from Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. "How to Make Copper Acetate from Copper." ThoughtCo. (accessed May 28, 2023).