Pewter is a versatile metal used to create beautiful trinkets, stunning jewelry, decorative cups, plates, and much more. Pewter is easy to recognize because it’s deep gray in color, and pewter is quite heavy. Not many people realize what pewter actually consists of. Pewter is an alloy of antimony, tin, and copper, and old pewter may also contain lead. These components give pewter its unique characteristics.
Pewter is easy to care for, but occasionally pewter requires cleaning. Newer pewter is easy to clean because it doesn’t tarnish like old pewter. Although old pewter sometimes becomes tarnished, cleaning tarnished pewter is actually quite easy. After cleaning old tarnished pewter, your old pewter will look as good as new.
The following tips and suggestions for cleaning and caring for pewter will help make your beautiful pewter items sparkle and shine. Cleaning pewter on a regular basis will keep it looking lovely, and cleaning pewter to restore the natural colors and shine will bring back the former glory and beauty of items made from pewter.
Consider buying old pewter items from flea markets and garage sales. After buying old pewter items, use the following tips and suggestions for cleaning pewter, and you just might find a treasure beneath layers of dust, dirt, tarnish, and grime. After cleaning pewter items and restoring their former beauty, you’ll find that cleaning the items was well worth your time and effort.
You’ll be amazed at the brilliance and shine of old pewter after following these cleaning and polishing instructions. Cleaning your pewter, whether old or new, will bring out the natural beauty of this amazing and versatile metal.
Precautions Regarding Pewter
Antique pewter cups, plates, and utensils should never be used for eating or drinking. The lead contained in pewter can be harmful to your health.
Cleaning Tarnished Pewter
Since pewter contains lead and tin, old pewter items may require deep cleaning in order to restore their former color and natural beauty. Tarnished pewter items will appear to have a brown tint and can be cleaned using the following method.
Washing soda is great for cleaning and removing the tarnish from old pewter items. Washing soda is similar to baking soda, but this effective all-purpose cleaner has a higher pH level. You can find washing soda in the laundry section of your local grocery or discount store. Follow product label instructions to make an all-purpose cleaner, and clean the tarnished pewter using a soft cloth. After cleaning the tarnished pewter items with washing soda, rinse and dry them thoroughly, and polish the pewter with a soft cloth.
Polishing and Cleaning Pewter
To keep pewter items looking clean and shiny, simply dust the pewter items, wash them in warm soapy water, and polish the pewter to with a clean dry cloth. This method of cleaning and polishing is great if your pewter isn’t very dull or dirty, but sometimes pewter items require more extensive cleaning. Older items aren’t as tarnish resistant and require a little more care and cleaning.
If your pewter items require more extensive cleaning and polishing, you can try the following method for cleaning and polishing pewter. Different pewter finishes require different cleaning and care methods, so keep this in mind when choosing a method for cleaning your new or old pewter items.
Cleaning Matte Finish Pewter
Pewter items with a matte finish can be cleaned with a mixture of ground pumice and water. Simply make a paste, and use the paste for cleaning and polishing your matte finished pewter items. Rinse the pewter items thoroughly after cleaning, and dry and burnish them with a clean soft cloth.
Cleaning Flat Finish Pewter
Pewter items with a flat finish can be cleaned and polished with a paste made from cooking oil and rottenstone. Simply use the paste as you would any cleaning product, and gently rub the dirt and grime from the pewter items. After cleaning your flat-finish pewter items, rinse the pewter thoroughly, and dry and polish the pewter with a soft clean cloth.
Cleaning Glossy Pewter
Pewter that has is supposed to have a glossy finish can be restored to its former shine by cleaning it with car polish. Simply polish high-gloss pewter items as you would polish the finish of a car. Rinse the polish from the pewter, dry the items, and buff them to a brilliant shine with a clean soft cloth.
Another cleaning method for pewter with a glossy finish involves whiting and rubbing alcohol. Simply mix powdered whiting with rubbing alcohol to make a thick paste. Apply the paste to a soft clean rag, and use the paste for cleaning and polishing your glossy pewter. Rinse the pewter thoroughly, and polish the pewter to a brilliant shine with a clean dry cloth.
Commercial Pewter Cleaning Products
You can also buy commercial products for cleaning and polishing pewter, but these products really don’t work any better than the cleaning methods listed above. If you opt for cleaning your pewter items with commercial pewter cleaning products, simply follow product label instructions.