How to Clean & Polish Pewter & Aluminum Serving Pieces

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Pewter and aluminum serving pieces have become popular gifts, and many people have vintage collectible pewter and aluminum pieces. Owners use these pieces on special occasions, but many worry that everyday use will stain or damage them. With the right cleaning and care, your pewter and aluminum serving pieces can last for years and look great.

Things You'll Need

  • Mild dish soap
  • Warm water
  • Soft cloth
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Cotton swab
  • Steel wool
  • Soap pads
  • Machine oil
  • Flour
  • Vinegar
  • Salt
  • Silver polish
  • Cream of tartar
  • Lemon
  • Apple peel
  • Wash your serving pieces by hand as soon as possible after you use them. Use warm water and mild dish soap.

  • Buff the pieces with a soft cloth. Aluminum dulls quickly and pewter shouldn't be over polished or buffed because it's not meant to be shiny.

  • Dip a Q-tip in rubbing alcohol and wipe away any smears that are still on the pewter after you buff your pieces.

  • Shine the surface of the aluminum with a steel wool pad, or a soapy scouring pad like Brillo or SOS. To remove tarnish on the pewter, dip an ultra-fine steel wool pad in machine oil and rub the tarnished surface.

  • Apply a paste of flour, vinegar, and salt to tarnished pieces. Let it set for an hour, then rinse the serving pieces in warm water.

  • Fill a discolored aluminum serving piece with a quart of water. Add some lemon, apple peel, or 2 teaspoons of cream of tartar. Bring it to a boil, then rinse and dry the piece.

  • Use silver polish to keep pewter and aluminum serving pieces looking like new.

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