You might have several different pewter, brass, or copper items in your house – everything from pots to tankards, jewellery to belt buckles, and coins to candlesticks. How do you clean and polish these metal items?
You can find specialised metal cleaners that can be used to clean copper, brass, and pewter – just read the labels on these products to find the best one for you. Bear in mind that you should be careful when cleaning any valuable or antique goods – you may feel more comfortable asking the advice of an expert in this situation. You can also clean these metals using other cleaning products.
Here is a handy guide on how to clean copper, pewter, and brass.
How to clean copper
Copper products are durable and look luxurious, and copper is used not only for domestic but also decorative purposes. Copper cookware has a good thermal conductivity, which allows you to heat food quickly and efficiently, and copper jewellery looks elegant.
While copper tarnishes over time, fortunately, you can return copper products to their original shine at home. Here are some of the best ways to clean copper pans and other copper items:
- There are commercial copper cleaning products available in shops – when using these, be sure to follow the directions and safety guidelines on the label
- Cleaning copper with lemon is a good method. Simply apply some salt (preferably sea salt or coarse salt) to a half of a lemon, and then use the lemon to scrub the copper surface. This mildly abrasive cleaner should swiftly make your copper bright again. Rinse with warm water and dry with a soft cloth afterwards.
How to clean pewter
Pewter is an alloy made primarily of tin (along with copper, antimony, and small amounts of other metals). It is often used to make tankards, mugs, ornaments, bowls, and flasks, as well as other household items.
Here is some advice for cleaning pewter:
- As modern pewter does not tarnish, it is easy to maintain. However, antique pewter can contain lead, and thus can tarnish
- You can wash pewter kitchenware – like tankards – with washing up liquid and warm water
- After washing, thoroughly dry the pewter item with a soft cloth
- Pewter tankards, mugs, and bowls should not be cleaned in the dishwasher, as this may damage the metal. Also, avoid scrubbing pewter goods too hard or using abrasive products, as this may also cause damage and scratch your item.
How to clean brass
Like pewter, brass is also an alloy. Brass is made of copper and zinc, and is used to make many different items – everything from doorknobs to musical instruments!
Here are some strategies for cleaning brass items.
- First, try washing the brass item with washing up liquid and warm water. Do not scrub too hard – you may scratch the brass