Don't Ruin Your Pewter

Have you received an item made of pewter this year for the holidays and want to keep it looking new for years to come? Pewter is a prized alloy manufactured from tin, with a small amount of copper and antimony added to give it strength. Considered the world's fourth most precious metal after platinum, gold, and silver, its ability to withstand time and its shiny brilliance gives it great value, particularly so when shaped into plates, goblets, figurines, etc. Unlike silver, pewter does not require polishing or any other special care. It does not rust, tarnish, or deteriorate in any way over time. The good news is pewter does not tarnish like silver, so periodic cleaning with an all-purpose metal polish will keep it looking bright. Pewter polish can be found at most hardware stores or specialty craft stores. Do not use any other kind of polish like silver or brass polish; this can ruin the finish on your pewter. There are some things to watch out for and keep in mind when cleaning your pewter. 1. Pewter can be pitted or stained from certain foods such as citrus juice, types of salad dressing etc., so please remember to wash your items immediately after use in warm, soapy water. Do not use bleach or harsh detergents. 2. Always hand wash rather than placing in a dishwasher. 3. Do not place it in the oven, on a hot plate, or near hot flames because pewter melts easier than other types of metal. Pewter melts at only 450 degrees. 4. When polishing, use a very soft, non-abrasive cloth. Don't want to run out to the stores to purchase your pewter polish? You can make some at home from simple ingredients you may have around the house. Combine a spoon full of vinegar, salt, and flour. Rub it in gentle, circular motions to shine up your pewter. This should not have to be done very often, just when needed. Brian Evans