Homeowners are faced with many options when embarking on a kitchen renovation project. Along with selecting flooring, cabinetry and color choices, there are many cabinet hardware decisions to make. One choice for kitchen hardware, that requires very little care and that keeps its beautiful shine for years, is pewter.
Pewter is a tin based alloy that has been used for items such as dishes, jewelry and utensils for centuries. Modern day pewter is composed 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 only platinum, gold and silver.
For the busy homeowner seeking to combine easy maintenance with beautiful hardware, pewter is the most obvious choice. It is durable, long lasting and easy to clean. One 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 market. The more that pewter is handled, the more the warm patina in the pewter comes out and creates a lovely shine and texture. Pewter requires no polishing, as do silver and copper hardware, and it will tarnish very little over time.
While little pewter care is required to maintain the charm of the hardware, it is helpful to do light maintenance on the pewter hardware periodically. To create a home cleaner for pewter, simply use warm, soapy water on the pewter hardware. Rinse each pewter piece and towel dry with a soft cloth.
Should you notice a slight tarnish developing on the pewter hardware over time, there are easy ways to care for this problem. Purchase a commercial, all-metal polish (not one that is used for silver) and gently rub the polish into the hardware with a soft cloth. Use small, circular motions and watch as the black residue fades. Wash each piece and dry it completely. Should you shy away from purchasing a commercial cleaner, a home cleaner can be made just as easily. Mix one teaspoon of salt, one cup of white vinegar and enough flour to make a paste. Spread this paste onto each hardware piece where the tarnish is visible and let it dry for approximately one hour. Rinse the paste off of the hardware pieces with warm water and let each piece dry. Should you be working with a satin-finish pewter, rub the paste into the finish in only one direction.
Pewter hardware is the perfect answer for busy homeowners. It is a hardware that will shine and maintain its beauty throughout the years with very little maintenance. In addition, in homes with heavy foot traffic and constant hardware use, the pewter will actually benefit from the constant handling and will become richer in hue. Enjoy an easy home renovation decision with pewter.