Copper in Minecraft is a new block that was added in a recent patch from the Caves&Cliffs update. The new block was added in a major update that brought in a new block for the first time since Emeralds were introduced. The ore can be found on many layers, pretty much any chunk layer with Iron on it can also spawn Copper. Copper only needs a stone pickaxe to mine it, just like the very common ore Iron. Once you find it, you can smelt it into ingots that can then be used to make blocks. But unlike other metal blocks, this new block adds oxidation to the game.
Over time, as a block sits, it will start to shift from a brilliant brown color to a more green hue. The block will head through four stages: Copper Block, Exposed Copper Block, Weathered Copper Block, and Oxidized Copper Block. Breaking and replacing the block will not reverse the process, but there is a way to slow it down.
You can also remove oxidation from copper blocks by having them get struck by lightning. This will reset any stage of oxidization, even if it is fully oxidized. This is helpful for when you forgot to wax a block and need to reset to wax it properly. So make sure you take the time to get some Honeycomb and wax your copper in Minecraft.
Adding and removing wax from Copper in Minecraft
You can use beeswax to apply a layer to any block that uses copper, and this applies to stairs and other crafted items too. When you apply wax to copper, it locks it to whatever form it’s currently in. That means a Weathered block will remain Weathered. You will need Honeycomb and can apply or remove it to any block using a few different methods.
You can apply wax with the basic crafting recipe. Place your copper items into any crafting grid with some Honeycomb to get the Waxed version back. Placing a Honeycomb and a Copper Block in a Crafting Square will create a Waxed Copper Block.
You may also apply the wax to blocks that have already been placed. You can apply it by holding the Honeycomb and clicking on the placed block to apply it. The Honeycomb is consumed by this process.
If you have waxed copper, you might want to remove the wax at some point. Maybe you want to let it age a bit for aesthetic reasons. Here’s how you can do that. One method is to use a Crafting Grid to break copper blocks down into their constituent ingots. You can get 4 unwaxed ingots back from each block. This obviously won’t work when it comes to stairs or other crafted items. This only works for Waxed Copper Blocks, not on the waxed Exposed or Weathered blocks.
With an Axe, players can scrape off wax and oxidation from the copper blocks. That’s the other method, and the one that many players prefer. This works for any crafted block as well. It’s much faster too as you don’t need to remove and replace blocks to clean them. So craft a basic Axe of Iron or better quality and get to scraping.