how to clean pewter safely

How to Clean Pewter Jewelry to Make it Shine Again

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So how to clean pewter at home? It is easy, and I will share some homemade ideas that you can apply almost immediately.

Although, you have the option to buy a metal cleaning liquid. But this homemade formula will work just fine.

Normal pewters are made of tin, but they can be made from other metals like steel, copper, silver, gold, or other metals you like.

Over time they can get a dark layer. You have to remove that layer to make the pewter shine again. 

I will also share how to keep it safe from nicks and scratches. So it can maintain its beauty for generations.

If you have a high-value pewter like gold or silver, please consult your jewelry expert for better pewter cleaning.

Different Types of Pewters People Use

Before you start the cleaning process, you need to know the type of pewter you have in your house and then learn how to clean pewter naturally. Below there are the most common pewter people use in their houses.

Also, read: How to frost glass at home

pewter pot
See page for authorCC BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

1. Polished Pewter

Polished Pewter

Polished pewter is the most common type of pewter in a household for its shiny finish. It almost looks like silver unless you come close to it. Because it’s made of tin and super shiny, you should clean and polish it often to maintain its shininess. 

On average, you should clean your pewter once every three months to maintain its beauty and shininess. That is a recommended timeline, not a rule for cleaning.

2. Satin Pewter

Satin Pewter

Satin pewters are rougher than posited ones and look like an old antique piece if you have it in your house. It looks like a grainy finish. That is why you should clean it carefully and with salt. I will explain how to clean it. 

3. Oxidized Pewter

Oxidized Pewter

Oxidized pewter is very unique and comes in a tarnished style. For this type of style, you should never clean or polish it with any chemicals. Just clean those dust off on a weekly basis, and it will look fine.

How to Clean Pewter Jewelry and Mug Quickly at Home

How to Clean Pewter at Home

The best way to clean pewter properly is by using a store-bought metal cleaning liquid. Although, you can use dishwashing soap for the same purpose. Here is how to clean pewter at home.

  • Boil some hot water and fill a small bucket with it.
  • Mix some dishwashing soap or cleaning liquid with it.
  • Dip your cleaning sponge and squeeze the excess water from it.
  • Then slowly wipe the surface of your pewter.
  • Now rinse off and dry with a lint-free cloth or soft cloth.

Never use any hard cleaning scrub, as you use it on your dishwasher. It may damage the metal. Use something soft, like a sponge. Then you have to polish it to make it shine again, as just cleaning it may not be sufficient. 

pewter tea pot
Tiia MontoCC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

How to Polish Pewter to Make it Shine Again

How to Keep the Pewter Safe from Nicks and Scratches

Again to polish, you have two options, either you buy a metal polisher which is the easiest way, or you can build your own polishing cream at home using some vinegar.

Here is how to build the cream at home for your pewter polish.

  • Mix one cup of vinegar with a half cup of white flour and create a creamy paste. (use a little salt for satin pewter only).
  • Use a soft cloth to apply the cream on the surface.
  • Rub it on the surface of the pewter.
  • Then wait for a few minutes, about 20 minutes.
  • Rise off with warm water and let it dry.
  • Do not clean or polish Oxidized pewter as it may damage the surface. Just clean those dust, and it will look fine.

If your pewter is very valuable, consult a professional as you do not want to damage it. But this process will work for all the pewters if you do it properly.

How to Keep the Pewter Safe from Nicks and Scratches

pewter glass
Cornell University Library, No restrictions, via Wikimedia Commons

Now you know how to clean pewter. It is time it keep it safe, as cleaning the pewter might not be enough to keep it shining all the time. You also have to take care of it, and here are a few tips to protect your pewter in the future. 

  • Get a feather duster: Use a lightweight feather duster to clean your pewter regularly. It will help you remove the dust and debris from the pewter and keep it safe for years.
  • Avoid the heat: You can keep your pewter for display anywhere you want but do not place it near a heat source or use it near your oven, furnace, a window where sunlight is available, or in a humid storage facility. Heat and humidity in the air can quickly damage the pewter.
  • Wrap it with paper: If you want to store it somewhere, wrap it with tissue paper or newspaper to avoid scratches and damage. Also, use more than one layer of paper for better safety.

Never place it downward. Always place it upward straight when storing your pewter, as it will help prevent further damage.

My Recommendations

Get one of these pewter cleanings and make your precious jewelry like new again.

Pewter Jewelry and Mug Cleaning FAQs

Pewter cleaning FAQs

How do you clean pewter?

I use boiled water with dishwashing soap and clean the pewter surface slowly with a sponge. Then with a soft cloth, I dried it up.

How to make pewter shine again?

Mix one cup of vinegar with a half cup of white flour. Then use a soft cloth to apply the mixture and slowly rub it to make the pewter shine.

How to care for pewter jewelry?

Get a feather duster and clean it often, avoid the heat, and wrap it on paper when not in use. That way your pewter will be protected for life.

Last Words

So this is how to clean pewter naturally at home using homemade formula. First, identify what type of pewter you have, then use the formula to build a mixture and softly apply it to the surface to clean it and then polish it to make it look like new. I wish you the best of luck. 

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Nazim Ali

Nazim Ali is an engineer who loves fixing things at home. He loves to try new things and share the knowledge with the world.