These alloys are a fairly soft material formed by mixing several metals. The main component of these alloys is tin, which in itself is a very soft metal, respectively, and alloys based on it have a low hardness. They also have a low melting point, so avoid contact with anything too hot, such as a hot dishwasher chamber. Due to the softness and fusibility of these alloys, cleaning and polishing products from them requires adherence to certain precautions.
Step 1. Wipe the items
Most tin alloy items that are not used for eating should be wiped periodically to remove dust. Examples of such items are decorative items and figurines. Use a soft cloth for this.
Step 2. Wash items in hot water and soap
This will remove dirt and dust from their surface. Then rinse them in warm water. Then dry the items thoroughly, otherwise they may tarnish. Wipe them with a soft cloth. Do not use a hard cloth to avoid scratching the surface.
Step 3. Polish the surface of the objects using an agent designed for polishing articles made of tin and its alloys
Silver or brass polish will not work. Products made of tin alloys have a surface of different smoothness, respectively, the methods of polishing them are also different.
- Be careful when handling polished tin alloy items. As a rule, the surface of such products is very smooth and shiny. If it has lost its original shine, get a store-bought tin polish, apply it to a soft cloth, and gently wipe the surface in a circular motion. Work over the entire surface, adding to the fabric as needed. Alternatively, you can make a paste by mixing 1 cup (240 ml) vinegar, 1 teaspoon (5 ml) salt, and 1/2 cup (120 ml) flour as a substitute.
- Glossy tin polishing. Its surface is as smooth as polished tin, but not shiny. It won't shine, no matter how you polish it. Wipe the glossy tin item with warm soapy water. Wipe the surface with a very soft, fine steel wire cloth about once every two years. There are special scouring pads for cleaning pewter items that can be purchased from kitchenware stores. Move along the grain of the tin texture, not across it. Treat a small area first, making sure you don't damage the surface.
- Polishing of oxidized tin alloy. Some tin alloy items are artificially oxidized to give them an antique look. It is enough to wipe their surface with a soft cloth dampened in hot soapy water.
Step 4. Be careful when polishing old pewter items
You can safely eat and drink from modern tin utensils, while old products, especially those with black and gray spots on the surface, contain lead, which is harmful to the human body. If you remove these stains during the polishing process, they will appear again after a while, so do not try to get rid of them by polishing, otherwise you may damage the product.