Pewter is a soft metal that’s easily scratched and dented, but it can also be really durable since it doesn’t deteriorate or tarnish easily. Pewter is easy to clean and keeping it clean is important to improving its longevity. If you want your pewter wares and delicately crafted pewter decor to last, you need to keep it polished and clean. We want to share with you a few different methods you can use for cleaning pewter.
Soap and Water Method
This is probably the simplest and most straightforward way to clean pewter, and it uses cleaning supplies you probably already have at home. Start by filling a bucket with hot water and then adding in a few squirts of liquid dish soap. Make sure you choose a mild soap and not something with a strong citrus formula that could damage the pewter. Liquid soap woks better than detergent since it tends to be milder.
Take a sponge or cloth and dunk it in the soapy water, and then squeeze it out to get rid of the excess water. Use that soapy cloth to gently wipe down the pewter. This will get rid of dust and dirt on the surface of the pewter without damaging it. Finally, dry the pewter down with a dry cloth.
Homemade Linseed Pewter Polish
You can make pewter shine using a polish you put together at home. Mixing together a quarter cup of linseed oil and half cup of rottenstone, you can make a handy pewter polish. You need to boil the linseed oil first, and once it is warm, you can add it to the rottenstone and create a paste from that. Rub the paste over the pewter in circular arcs and then rinse it all off gently. Finally, dry the pewter with a soft towel.
Vinegar and Flour Paste
You could make a pewter polish from flour and vinegar, if you don’t have the other ingredients handy or you don’t want to pay for a commercial polish. You can create your paste by mixing together a half cup of flour with a full cup of white vinegar. Mix them until they make a paste and then apply that to the pewter just like you would the linseed paste according to the directions above. Remember to work in a circular motion as you apply the paste polish, and once you have worked it over all the pewter, you can rinse it off and then dry the pewter. For a more effective and brighter polish, leave the paste on the pewter for 30 minutes.
How to Clean Grainy, Satin and Oxidized Pewter
Not all pewter is the same, and some of it has a rough, grainy surface. Traditional polish won’t work for this pewter, but you can make a homemade paste like what we gave you above and make some alterations to ensure it cleans grainy pewter well. The flour and vinegar paste formula works best, and then you just add a teaspoon of salt to the formula. This makes for a more abrasive formula, and you can follow the same procedure to work in the polish and clean the pewter.
Satin pewter is a little rougher than polished pewter, and you’ll have to clean it lightly so that you don’t damage it. Start by cleaning with a mild dish soap and warm water solution. Use a cloth or sponge to run warm soapy water to the satin pewter, and then rinse the soapy water off. Afterwards, you can buff the pewter, working lightly and in the same direction as the pewter grain. Buffing only needs to be done once in a great while, about every two to three years.
If your pewter is very dark, you may have what is known as antique or oxidized pewter. It should not be polished but should instead be cleaned with a mild dish soap and warm water. Use a soft cloth or sponge nothing abrasive when you clean this kind of pewter. Work in circular patterns and wash off the soapy water with warm water and then dry the pewter completely.
The final cleaning method we want to share with you that will beautify pewter is submersion cleaning. For this, you’ll make a mild warm water and dish soap solution, filling a sink or large bowl. You want to make sure there’s enough water so that you can submerge your pewter pieces in the water. Rest them in your soapy water for a few minutes to allow the soap and water to work away debris, dirt, and stains and then take a microfiber cloth and rub gently at the pewter pieces. After you clean each piece, rinse it down with hot water and then dry it off completely with a dry cloth.
Be sure your pewter pieces are fully dry before you finish with them.
If you use these cleaning methods appropriately, using the right cleaning option for each type of pewter, your pewter can last for generations. If you are finding that this cleaning task or others are too much for you, give the experts at Cleanzen a call. We can help you with all of your household cleaning work, and you’ll love our friendly service and affordable rates.