How to Care for Polished Pewter


Pewter is used for many items, from ornamental goblets to jewelry. When polished, pewter resembles its more expensive cousin, silver. Caring for polished pewter is different from caring for silver, however. Namely, you shouldn’t use silver polish on pewter, according to unless the polish label states it is fine to use on pewter. In addition, pewter is softer and more easily scratched than silver.

Polished pewter is by no means difficult to clean and care for. You must simply follow some basic rules.

Things You'll Need

  • Mild soap
  • Cloths
  • Pewter polish
  • Wash your polished pewter as necessary if it is covered with grime or has lost its luster, for example. Begin by mixing 1/2 to 1 tsp. of a mild soap or detergent (hand soap or dish soap) in a qt. or 2 of water. How much cleaning solution you’ll need depends on the size of the pewter piece.

  • Wet a soft cloth in the solution and wipe it over the polished pewter. Rinse the pewter with clean warm water and dry with a soft, dry cloth.

  • Bring the shine of polished pewter back by using pewter polish. Apply a dime to penny sized amount of polish onto a clean cloth. Rub the polish over the pewter and then buff it with another clean cloth.

  • Store polished pewter in a soft-lined case or on a shelf. advises storing pewter away from other metal items as these may scratch pewter.

Tips & Warnings

  • suggests cleaning polished pewter at least twice a year. Obviously this is true if the polished pewter is used for decoration only--if used regularly, you may need to clean and polish it more frequently.
  • warns you should not wash pewter items in a dishwasher.

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