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How to Clean Pewter

How to Clean Pewter

The metal can oxide with time, but while pewter doesn’t really tarnish in same way that silver does, the finish can become dull due to this process. The beauty of pewter objects may be preserved for years if you know how to wash it correctly and make it secure from harsh temperatures.It is common for pewter to produce a dark patina over time due to the high concentration of tin in the alloy.

Remove this dark patina as it may subtract from the value of your work, that is why it is desired and even desired. In addition, the right approach to clean your pewter may differ depending on the sort of finish that your pewter has been finished with.

Hot water method to Clean Pewter

When it comes to general pewter cleaning, a bowl of hot, soapy water will do. For things made entirely of pewter, such as ornamental figures or plates, this technique is ideal. Working around the non-pewter areas of an item made of pewter with other decorative additions, such as wood or glass, is a good idea until you’re certain they can withstand the soap and water used to clean it.

  • Using warm tap water, fill a bowl half with mild dish soap and stir well.
  • Using a sponge, drain away any surplus liquid from the water after twirling around a bit.
  • Then, using a sponge, wipe down the pewter.
  • Rinse and ring out the sponge again before wiping the pewter down again.
  • Use a microfiber or cotton cloth to dry the piece once it has been washed with really no lint or scratches. Because dyes have the ability to transfer to metal and damage it, one should use a cloth that really is dye-free.

Cleaning Polished Pewter

It is necessary to have the following materials.

  • Dishwashing liquid
  • Sponge
  • A supple hand towel.
  • Flour
  • Salt
  • Vinegar
  • Linseed oil
  • Rottenstone
  • Gently wash your pewter with a sponge as it is still warm and contains a few drops of dish soap.
  • Using warm water, rinse thoroughly before drying completely.
  • Combine 1 teaspoon salt, 1 cup vinegar, and little less than 1 cup flour to form a paste.
  • Apply the paste to the pewter and carefully rub it in with a delicate cloth in a circular motion.
  • Allow for 20 to 30 minutes of contact time with the paste.
  • Rinse well with a soft cloth and pat dry.
  • Application of paste on pewter with a soft polishing cloth in circular motions.

Cleaning Satin Pewter

Pewter with a granular finish has a coarser look than polished pewter. Like polished pewter, it does not have a high sheen.

  • Gently wash your pewter with a sponge while it is still warm and contains a few drops of dish soap.
  • Wash off the suds with warm water and pat dry completely.
  • The steel wool must be used to lightly buff the surface of the pewter. This polishing should only be done every few years, doing it more frequently than that may harm the finish of your pewter plated metals.

Cleaning Oxidized Pewter

When compared to smooth or polished pewter, oxidized pewter has a darker finish. It has a vintage appearance in most cases, but not always. Cleaning with warm water and a light dish detergent is all that is required to keep your oxidized pewter at its best, and polishing is neither essential nor advised.

Cleaning Corroded Pewter

In the course of time, corrosion can form on the surface of pewter, causing a layer of build-up to appear on the metal’s surface. To remove persistent corrosion, apply a tiny amount of mineral oil to a piece of fine-grade steel wool and very carefully rub it off the metal. Keep in mind that the steel wool can harm the pewter if you press too hard on it.


  • Pewter should never be washed in the dishwasher since the chemicals and the rough wash process will ruin the finish on it. Aside from that, pewter has a melting point of 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Cleaning and polishing your pewter can be accomplished with the use of certain pewter products that are available. Simply ensure that the product is intended for pewter and not silver before purchasing.
  • Pewter plates and bowls should not be used to serve acidic dishes such as the acid in the food can corrode the pewter.
  • To clean your pewter goods in a hurry, consider using cabbage leaves. Apparently, this old-fashioned approach leaves the pewter in pristine condition.

Homemade Pewter Polish

Using common household items like vinegar, flour, and salt, you could make your homemade non-toxic pewter polish in a matter of minutes. Specifically for polished pewter, which is the shiniest sort, this polish has been specially formulated. It also works on satin pewter, which has a somewhat duller and grittier look than that of the regular pewter version.

Oxidized pewter, which has a dark tint, should not be polished because doing so could alter its appearance significantly. Polishing and washing antique things that may lose their value if cleaned should be avoided at all costs, including cleaning and polishing antique objects.

  • Add 1 teaspoon salt to the paste, if desired, to make it somewhat abrasive.
  • Indent the paste with the sponge or white cloth.  The paste should be rubbed into the pewter object completely.
  • After that, gently soapy hot water should be used to clean the pewter. Use a white lint-free cloth to dry the artwork.

Commercial Polish is used to polish pewter

Additionally, a store-bought polish developed specifically for pewter or most metals will work just as well. Precautions should be taken before using pewter product. First, thoroughly clean the pewter with soap and water before drying it. Upon using the polish, apply a small amount to a sponge and rub it over the pewter item as indicated on the label of the polish.