How to Restore Bakelite Pan Handles

Chrissie Reinhart

Bakelite is an early form of plastic that was used to make everything from handles on silverware and pans to clocks and telephones. Over years of use it can become scratched, stained and clouded.

An early plastic-like handle might be made from Bakelite.

If you have a pan with Bakelite handles, a little bit of care and attention will restore the bright glossy finish and have your pan looking like new.

  1. Wipe down the handle with warm soapy water to wash away as much of the grime as possible.

  2. Rinse with warm water and dry with a clean cloth.

  3. Buff away deep scratches gently with fine gauge sandpaper.

  4. Apply liquid metal polish in a tight circular motion with a clean cloth. Rub with as much pressure as needed to polish away the accumulation of stains and dirt. Wait for the polish to haze over.

  5. Rub with a clean, dry cloth to remove the polish.

  6. Tip

    You may need several applications of the liquid metal polish before the Bakelite attains its original shiny finish. It's normal for a yellowish residue to appear on the cloth after washing and buffing.