Copper is required as a catalyst to remove sulphur odours during distillation. These are essential for high alcohol washes, typically over 16% ABV.
To wash your saddles: Remove them (both ceramic and copper, but keep them separate for ease of reassembly) from the column and soak them in vinegar. Once finished give them a thorough rinse 3 or 4 times before putting them back in the condenser.
You only have to rinse your column and saddles every 5-10 distillations.