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Pewter is a pearly, silver-white metal that has been popular for centuries. It’s often used in decorative items like ornaments and teapots. However, when pewter teapots get tarnished, cleaning these antique-looking beauties can be challenging to clean.
But do you know how to clean pewter teapots? Fear not — we’re here to help! In this blog post, we’ll teach you our best tips and tricks, so they look good as new. So read on!
What Is Pewter?
Pewter is a metal alloy commonly mixed with other metals to create a more durable product. Pewter alloys are most often composed of tin, antimony, and copper.
Pewter was first recorded in the English language around 1350, but its origins are much older. Traditionally, pewter comes from Germany or Scandinavia via France and the Low Countries because, by the time of Edward I, there were many highly skilled German tinsmiths in London.
Pewter is a soft metal so that it can be easily molded and shaped. It also has a beautiful luster. However, pewter items are also prone to tarnish over time, making them look dirty or aged.
How Do You Clean Pewter Teapots?
There are several ways to clean pewter teapots, depending on the type you have at home. Remember that our cleaning tips vary for antique, modern, and polished pewter teapots.
Be very careful with cleaning teapots as the wrong methods can cause damage. For example, never use an abrasive cleaner on antique pewter items as it can remove the finish. Use the most natural ways possible to prevent stains and discolorations.
Check out the easy guides below on how to clean a pewter tea set.
How to Clean Antique Pewter Teapots
You will need one cup of white vinegar, one teaspoon of salt, and half a cup of flour. Follow the instructions below.
Step 1: Create the Paste
Add flour and salt to the vinegar to create a thick paste. It’s best to make a little more than you think you’ll need, just in case.
Step 2: Apply the Cleaning Paste
Apply the paste to all of the tarnished areas on your old pewter teapots. Be sure to cover every stained area. Let it sit on your pewter piece for at least fifteen minutes.
Step 3: Rinse and Dry Your Teapot
Next, rinse the teapot with warm water and dry it using a soft cloth. Dry thoroughly to prevent any water spots from forming.
Step 4: Polish With a Soft Cloth
After drying, you need to polish pewter teapots with a soft, lint-free cloth. Gently rub in one direction until it is thoroughly buffed.
How to Clean Modern Pewter Teapots
If you have a modern pewter tea set, you can clean it with just a little bit of dishwashing liquid and water.
Wet a clean cloth with warm soapy water and wipe down your pewter pieces until all the dirt and grime are gone. Rinse with clear water and dry off with another cloth.
How to Clean Polished Pewter Teapots
Pewter teapots that have been polished should be cleaned just like you would clean antique teapots. However, since they already have a shiny finish, you need not overpolish them.
You can also use polishing agents like Brasso or Silvo. Simply apply the product to a clean cloth and rub it all over your teapot until it’s shiny and clean. Rinse with water thoroughly and polish dry with a soft cloth as usual.
How to Clean Satin Pewter Teapots
When your pewter is looking a little worse for wear, you can quickly bring them back to life with a bit of elbow grease and some good ol’ baking soda. It’s just as simple as that! So here are the steps:
- Mix equal parts lemon juice, salt, and cornstarch into a paste or thick liquid.
- Dip a soft toothbrush into the paste and gently scrub the tarnished areas.
- Rinse off with clean, warm water and dry with a soft rag.
- If you have any stubborn areas of tarnish, use a tiny bit of silver polish on a Q-tip to help remove it.
How to Clean Oxidized Pewter Teapots
The best way to clean pewter teapots that have oxidized is with the help of baking soda, lemon juice, or vinegar.
Mix two parts of water with one part baking soda or lemon juice in a bowl. The resulting solution will be very runny, so you may need up to four times more of the mixture. Apply this paste onto your teapot with a sponge and gently scrub using a circular motion.
Essential Tips for Cleaning and Polishing Pewter Naturally
If you are uncertain about the best methods to clean pewter, several simple techniques can help. Pewter is an alloy composed mainly of tin and lead, with some copper added in for hardness. This means that it has properties similar to both metals, making it relatively easy to clean and polish.
The following tips will help you clean your pewter teapot naturally and restore its original shine:
- Pewter marks easily, so a periodic clean is necessary.
- If your pot is filthy, you can gently remove grime and dirt build-up with a soft-bristled toothbrush. Never use an abrasive cleaner or pad such as steel wool, as it can damage the surface.
- Use warm water for rinsing. Never use boiling water on pewter as it can damage the surface.
- If your pewter has started to tarnish, you can remove the unsightly marks with a paste made from baking soda and water. If it is only very lightly stained, this should be enough to restore its sheen.
- If your pewter has started to rust, it is best to take it to a professional for restoration. They will be able to assess the damage and decide on the best course of action, including re-plating or lacquering the piece.
You can keep your pewter teapot clean and looking its best by following these simple tips. Enjoy your next cup of tea!
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is Lead-Free Pewter?
It is a type of pewter that does not contain any lead. It is safe for food and drinks containers, such as tankards and teapots.
How Do I Clean an Oxidized Pewter Tankard?
If your pewter tankard has turned black or dark brown, you can clean it using toothpaste. Apply a little paste to the tankard and let it dry for about 30 minutes. Before rinsing with clear water, use a soft cloth dipped in water to wipe away the dried toothpaste residue.
Is Cleaning Pewter with Coke Safe?
No, cleaning pewter with Coke is not recommended. The acid in the soda can strip away the protective coating and damage the finish of your teapot. Use a gentle cleaning solution instead.
Can You Put Pewter in the Dishwasher?
You should never put pewter teapots in the dishwasher. The heat and harsh detergents can damage your teapot and strip away the protective coating.
Maintaining Pewter Teapots
There you have it! We’ve taught you how to clean pewter teapots in just a few easy steps. Be sure to use the cleaning method that corresponds with your type of pewter teapots, or you may end up causing more damage than good!
Do you have a pewter collection at home? Which of our tips above did you find helpful? Let us know in a comment.