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How to Clean Copper in Minecraft 1.19 Update

Copper was introduced to Minecraft in update 1.17, and it oxidizes over time, just like real-world copper. Fortunately, this can be reversed or undone in-game. There are also preventative measures that can be taken to prevent this oxidation process.

Copper is a useful building block in the game, but the unique aging (oxidation) characteristic makes it an interesting block to use. Other blocks in Minecraft do not age. For example, wooden blocks remain the same for entirety when placed, and stone blocks do as well.

I just realized that minecraft oxidation is like real life because that’s how the statue of liberty turned from copper to teal….WOW!!!!!!

Oxidation happens slowly over time, but it can change the look of the build as the color of the block changes. Here’s how to reverse that and prevent it from happening in the first place.


Minecraft 1.19: What to do if copper blocks oxidize

Nine copper ingots can be crafted from a copper block. Ever since the Allay defeated the Copper Golem in the 2021 popular vote, copper remains somewhat underutilized.

Placing these blocks will start the oxidation process in the game. There are four stages of oxidation:

  • Normal
  • Exposed
  • Patina
  • Oxide

Oxidation occurs somewhat randomly and usually enters pre-oxidation after 20 real minutes. Rain does not affect it, nor does placing a block on it.

However, when this happens, players may want to reverse it. Fortunately, it is a simple operation. Pickaxes are the tool for mining copper blocks, otherwise they won’t drop anything. This may lead players to assume that the oxidation removal would come from the same tool.

MINECRAFT BEDROCK: Scratching copper block oxidation and waxing copper block now has in-game sound effects. Additionally, candy cane has a slightly new texture to match Java! https://t.co/Ye0HM5VaMq

However, this is not the case as Axes will suppress the oxidation. Using an ax on a copper block knocks it back one stage of oxidation. This will be the same button/method craftsmen use to strip a log of wood.

Each use can set it back one stage, and Minecraft players may need to use it three times to bring it back to the normal oxidation stage from its highest stage.

In addition, a lightning strike can eliminate oxidation. From the Minecraft wiki:

“Copper blocks are completely deoxidized when struck by lightning, and other…copper blocks nearby are randomly deoxidized.”

Although this is difficult to control, it can eliminate oxidation completely, even if it is at stage four (oxidized copper).

However, if players have a build with lots of copper blocks, relying on lightning or manually deoxidizing blocks one at a time can be time consuming. It can also traverse the axes quite quickly.

Fortunately, all of this can be avoided. Waxed copper blocks cannot oxidize. Honeycombs can accomplish this, but not a honeycomb block, which is another key use of honeycombs.

When a hive is at honey level five, it can be sheared to remove honeycombs. This will drop three honeycombs, which can be used to wax copper blocks and prevent them from oxidizing.

Hive of bees (Image via Mojang)
Hive of bees (Image via Mojang)

Players should keep in mind that this will anger the bees inside. The best way to avoid this is to place a campfire under it or light the block under the hive on fire. This will allow players to collect the honeycombs without fear.


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