Homeowners are faced with many options when embarking on a kitchen renovation project. Along with the selection of flooring, cabinets, and color options, there are many cabinet hardware decisions to make. One option for kitchen accessories that requires very little care and keeps its beautiful shine for years is pewter.
Pewter is a tin-based alloy that has been used for items such as plates, jewelry, and utensils for centuries. Modern pewter is made up of approximately 95% tin with small amounts of copper and antimony. While some pewter used to contain lead, modern pewter does not and is not dangerous to have in the home today. Pewter is considered by many experts to be the fourth most valuable metal today, after platinum, gold and silver.
For the busy homeowner looking to combine easy maintenance with beautiful hardware, pewter is the obvious choice. It is durable, long lasting and easy to clean. An interesting and unusual note about pewter is that it will actually look better the more it is handled. This is certainly not the case with most hardware finishes and makes pewter stand out in the hardware marketplace. The more the pewter is handled, the more the warm patina of the pewter comes out and a lovely shine and texture is created. Pewter requires no polishing, like silver and copper fittings, and will tarnish very little over time.
While little pewter care is required to maintain the hardware’s charm, it helps to do some light maintenance on pewter hardware periodically. To create a household cleaner for pewter, simply use warm soapy water on pewter hardware. Rinse each pewter piece and towel dry with a soft cloth.
If you notice a slight tarnish on your pewter hardware over time, there are easy ways to fix this problem. Purchase a commercial all-metal polish (not one used for silver) and gently rub the polish into the hardware with a soft cloth. Use small circular motions and watch the black residue fade away. Wash each piece and dry completely. If you don’t want to buy a commercial cleaner, you can just as easily make a household cleaner. Mix one teaspoon of salt, one cup of white vinegar, and enough flour to make a paste. Spread this paste over each piece of hardware where the tarnish is showing and allow it to dry for about an hour. Rinse the paste off the hardware pieces with warm water and allow each piece to dry. If you are working with a satin finished pewter, rub the paste into the finish in one direction only.
Pewter hardware is the perfect answer for busy homeowners. It is hardware that will shine and maintain its beauty through the years with very little maintenance. Also, in homes with heavy foot traffic and constant use of hardware, pewter will benefit from constant handling and become richer in hues. Enjoy an easy home renovation decision with pewter.