Pewter is primarily formed of tin and can develop a dark patina. Pewter combines metals to create a unique look in jewelry, dishware, and other household items. Pewter, you will find, doesn’t tarnish in the same way as silver. Silver can appear shiny, while pewter has a dull appearance on most occasions.
Pewter is available in a variety of finishes, including polished pewter, which includes no lead and is brilliant and light gray.
Satin pewter, which is not shiny and has a grainy texture; and oxidized pewter, which is darker and contains more lead or has been treated to look ancient.
Pewter collects stains and develops discolorations over time, which are known as a patina. This dark patina is expected and even desirable and removing it could lower your piece’s value.
Further, the proper way to clean pewter depends on the pewter type and finish your pewter has. Pewter has these finishes, and each requires certain care for cleaning. You may ask, does pewter rust, and luckily, it should never rust like other metals with care.
In our guide, you can learn all you need to deal with any tarnish on your jewelry or any other type of pewter. By the end, you’ll know much more about how to keep your pewter looking its best and how to deal with any slight scratches it could have. (Learn How To Clean Silk Flowers)
Can I Use Toothpaste To Clean Pewter?
If you want to bring back the luster and shine of your pewter, a simple scrub with toothpaste and a soft cloth. There are, however, better ways to clean your pewter, as you could find toothpaste sticking in corners and adding to the tarnish that requires additional cleaning. (Learn How To Clean Gum Off Shoes)
Can You Restore Pewter?
Pewter is primarily formed of tin and develops a dark patina. The cleaning method you use will depend on the type of pewter you have. Antique pewter is oxidized, satin pewter, and polished pewter, are the other two that make up the three kinds of pewter.
Here you can see ways of cleaning pewter to restore it to its original appearance.
How to Clean Polished Pewter
The most prevalent type of pewter is polished pewter, which has a gleaming appearance. Regular polishing is required for both polished pewter and silver pewter. You must first wash your pewter pieces in hot soapy water before polishing them. In a sink or bucket full of hot water, drop a few drops of mild dish soap.
Gently massage the object with a clean sponge or soft cloth immersed in mild soapy water. After you rinse with warm water, pat your pewter dry with a clean, soft towel. Once the piece is thoroughly dry, buff polish according to the directions below. (Learn How To Clean Gold Chain)
Make Your Own DIY Pewter Cleaner
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 cup of white vinegar
- 7/8 cup of all-purpose flour
To make a paste, combine the salt, one cup of vinegar, and flour. Apply the flour paste to the pewter and let it dry. Gently rub the flour paste into the pewter in circular motions.
Let it sit for 30 minutes so the mixture can work. Gently dry the pewter with a soft towel after a thorough rinse.
How to Polish Pewter
Making the following homemade pewter polishing paste after cleaning pewter will thoroughly restore the luster on items or jewelry.
Homemade Antique Pewter Polishing Paste
- ½ cup of Rottenstone
- ¼ cup of linseed oil
Polishing pewter is a straightforward procedure. In a small saucepan, bring the linseed oil to a boil. Mix the warm but not boiling linseed oil with the Rottenstone to make a paste.
Apply the paste to the pewter, then let it dry.
Rub the polishing paste into the pewter with a polishing cloth in small, circular motions to remove faint scratches. Rinse well to clean residue off your metal piece, and then pat dry with a soft towel to restore the pewter finish.
How to Clean Satin Pewter
Satin pewter has a rougher appearance than polished pewter. It will need to be cleaned with a light cleaning method because of its gritty surface.
Wash the pewter in warm, soapy water to begin. To avoid damaging the pewter, use mild dish soap. Using a damp sponge, gently rub the pewter items’ surfaces, then rinse the suds away with warm water.
After that, lightly buff the surface with fine steel wool, rubbing in the grain’s direction and not pressing too hard. Only buff the pewter once every couple of years to avoid damaging it.
Cleaning Antique Pewter
Pewter with an antique or oxidized finish is darker than pewter with a polished or satin finish. It would help if you never polished oxidized pewter because it is supposed to look antique. Instead, wash it in warm water with mild soap. This will help you preserve your antique pewter in good condition.
Can You Clean Pewter With Soap and Water?
If you don’t wish to carry out the above, you can resort to just soap and water. Just be wary that washing and cleaning with dishwasher detergent aren’t advised as it is too harsh. (Learn How To Clean Mold Off Walls)
Here’s all you need about washing your jewelry or pewter pieces in a bucket with nothing more than soap and water.
Method 1: Washing with Soap and Water
Step 1: Dust all your pewter pieces. Even if you aren’t washing or polishing the pewter, this should be done regularly. Remove all dust from the pieces using your duster or soft cloth, such as a microfiber cloth. The more you do this, the longer the finish will last, and the fewer times you’ll have to wash and polish the pieces.
Step 2: Fill a bucket half full of hot water. Warm water will suffice, but hot water will make
grime removal easier. You can also use running water from the tap or fill a sink.
Step 3: Toss in some soap. Select a gentle dishwashing liquid. Avoid using abrasive products, as they will wear down the finish and scratch the pewter. In your bucket or water container, squirt some soap. Pewter can also be cleaned with baby shampoo, which is a non-abrasive detergent.
Step 4: Remove the pieces and wash them. Squeeze out any surplus water using a sponge dipped in soapy water. To remove your pewter, use a soft cloth to wipe away the grime. You can also spread the soap to the stains with a soft cloth and work it in.
Step 5: Remove any remaining grime and soap with warm water. Food plates and other small objects can be placed beneath a running faucet. You can alternatively remove the excess with a clean, soft cloth to avoid damaging the pewter.
Step 6: Wipe the surface of the pewter piece with a clean, soft cloth. Before you stop, be sure you’ve removed all the water and soap. All the grime, as well as the soap and water, should have been washed away.
Polish Pewter the Right Way
Here are the steps to keep pewter looking its best for years. A traditional method for cleaning pewter used cabbage leaves dipped in vinegar and then into one teaspoon of salt. However, vinegar is acidic, and if you use vinegar too often, it could erode any pattern on your polished jewelry pewter finish.
Step 1: All you need is a little of the oil to make a second, optional paste. Place it in a pan or pot on the oven and leave it until it is hot and ready to be mixed to form a paste. This paste serves as a stronger cleaner to remove stains.
Step 2: Rottenstone is a powdered limestone. Add equal amounts of rottenstone to linseed oil. All you need is a small amount to spread in circular motions across the surface of your pewter.
This paste is great for dull and matte finishes but should never be used on oxidized pewter and will not deliver a shiny finish like silver.
Step 3: Turn off the stove and remove the pot with the paste if you wish. Let the paste sit until you can use it without it burning your fingers, or damaging the pewter. It’s better to let the paste cool rather than applying it hot.
Step 4: Apply the paste using a soft cloth to pick up the paste and transfer it to the surface of your pewter. With gentle circular motions, wipe with your rag and spread your paste over the entire surface of your object. (You can use fine steel wool if you follow the direction of the grain to remove scratches, note, push too hard, and steel wool can make its own scratch marks).
Step 5: Move your pewter item to a faucet of warm water. Using water, rinse off any trace of the paste. Alternatively, dip your soft cloth in warm water and wipe away the paste. The paste has to be removed so it doesn’t scratch the pewter.
Step 6: Get another soft, clean cloth for drying. Rub the cloth all along the surface of the pewter, removing every bit of water. This will ensure the water doesn’t do damage and the paste is removed.