How to Clean Pewter Mugs

Judy Asman

Since the days of ancient Rome, pewter has been a popular metal for creating dishware and decorative items. Made from a tin alloy, modern-day pewter is low maintenance when it comes to cleaning. It's also a safer material for dishware compared to older versions, which contained toxic elements such as lead.

  1. Determine the type of finish your pewter has. There are three types: polished, satin and oxidized. The cleaner you will use depends on the pewter’s finish. When you bought your mug, you might have received some information about the product. If you didn't, take your mug to a pewter retailer who can tell you what type of finish your pewter has.

  2. Buy a cleaning agent. Each pewter retailer has its own solutions for polishing the metal. Shop around for what will be best for your mug. Ask a lot of questions if you’re visiting a store in person. Hagerty Pewter Wash is a popular brand, which you can find at HagertyUSA.com or at Amazon.com for a more competitive price. German Toasting Glasses, listed in Resources, also offers its own pewter-cleaning kit.

  3. Make your own. For polished pewter, you can create a cleaning paste by dissolving a teaspoon of salt in one cup of white vinegar then mixing in enough flour to create a paste. For satin and oxidized pewter, each of which has a rougher texture than polished pewter, you simply need a mild soap and warm water.

  4. Clean your mugs. For pasty cleaning agents, use a soft cloth to apply it to your mug. Some sources recommend rubbing it in circular motions, while others recommend rubbing it on in straight lines. Ask your retailer what he thinks. For store-bought cleaners, use as directed. If you're using a homemade version, apply the paste to your entire mug and let it sit for 15 minutes to an hour. Rinse with warm water. Clean the entire mug to prevent one area from becoming shinier than the rest of it.

  5. If you use soap and water to wash your mug, dry it immediately using a soft cloth.

  6. Tip

    For general cleaning, wash your pewter by hand with hot soapy water.


    Wash your pewter mug by hand as opposed to in the dishwasher.