Copper is mobilized in soil by dissolved organic matter (DOM) but the role of DOM quality in this process is unclear. A one-step resin-exchange method was developed to measure the Cu-Mobilizing-Potential (CuMP) of DOM at pCu 11.3 and pH 7.0, representing background values. The CuMP of DOM was measured in soil solutions of 13 uncontaminated soils with different DOM extraction methods. The CuMP, expressed per unit dissolved organic carbon (DOC), varied 10-fold and followed the order water extracts > 0.01 M CaCl2 extracts > pore water. Soil solutions, obtained from soils that were stored air-dry for a long time or were subjected to drying-wetting cycles, had elevated DOC concentration, but the DOM had a low CuMP. Prolonged soil incubations decreased the DOC concentration and increased the CuMP, suggesting that most of the initially elevated DOM is less humified and has lower Cu affinity than DOM remaining after incubation. A significant positive correlation between the specific UV-absorption of DOM (indicating aromaticity) and CuMP was found for all DOM samples (R-2 = 0.58). It is concluded that the DOC concentration in soil is an insufficient predictor for the Cu mobilization and that DOM samples isolated from air-dried soils are distinct from those of soils kept moist.