Caring for Pewter
Pewter Cleaning & Care
After each use, pewter products, such as goblets, tankards, and platters should be washed with warm water and soap, rinsed well and then dried thoroughly with a soft cloth. Towel drying is important to keep water spots from forming. If you live by the sea or in a smoggy environment, atmospheric salts can dull pewter's luster. If you see this happening to your fine pewter, simply wash it as described above, two or three times per year, to help keep the finish intact.
Keep in mind that:
- The surface of pewter will develop a patina over many years.
- Many owners love the patina, as do many collectors, and do nothing more than hand wash and towel dry.
List of what not to do when caring for pewter:
- Never wash pewter in an automatic dishwasher (the temperature and detergent will ruin the finish).
- Never expose pewter to a direct flame or heated surface
- Never wrap pewter directly in paper (brown paper stains, newspaper may bleed, paper will scratch) when moving or storing in the attic, instead wrap the pieces in thin sheets of foam or in acid-free tissue and then enclose in polyethylene bags, then you can wrap the enclosed pieces with paper.
- Never scrub with a brush or metal object, as this will scratch the finish
- Never store acidic liquids or liquors in pewter
- Never allow your candles to burn into the pewter candle cup of your candlesticks or candelabras.
Cleaning Satin Finish
Pewter with a Satin Finish has a grain from being buffed with a cloth wheel. Using #0000 steel wool, going lightly with the grain of the pewter will take out most mars and some light scratches.
Cleaning Bright Finish
Pewter with a Bright Finish can be polished using either Mish's polish or Sunshine Polishing Cloths. Scratches and scuffs, however, must be polished by a professional. Contact the manufacturer of your pewter, to see if they can rebuff your bright finish.
Cleaning Antiqued Finish
An Antiqued Finish is done to make modern pewter resemble aged pewter and has a grayed, brownish, or blackened finish. Do not use a cleaner or #0000 steel wool on these pieces as it removes the antiqued finish surface. The patina is intended to appear as it does.
Caring for Sterling Silver
The best way to care for your fine sterling silver gift items or service pieces is to store them properly when not in use regularly, or to clean them periodically if on display or used. Over time, the surfaces of sterling silver items can accumulate grime and oils, which can cause finishes to become dull.
The safest way to protect sterling silver surfaces is to polish using a soft cloth and specially formulated sterling silver cleaner, available at most home goods stores. To prevent scratching the surface of any piece, it is recommended that you avoid scrubbing with any type of brush or scouring pad.
Caring for Fine Glassware and Crystal
Fine gifts made from glass or crystal, such as vases and candlesticks, should always be cleaned with a damp cloth. Do not immerse glass or crystal in water, nor use an abrasive material on the surface.
Crystal and glass drinkware may be cleaned, separately, by hand washing in warm soapy water. Rinse your drinkware thoroughly and fry with a lint free cloth, taking care not to twist the bowl or break any stems. Dishwasher heat and friction, along with strong detergents can scratch or dull the surface of fine crystal or glass drinkware.
Avoid freezers, ovens, dishwashers and microwave use with glass or crystal, or any extreme or rapid temperature changes as these could cause damage.