Cleaning Partyware by Type

Silver party platter with cheese and nibbles.

Cleaning partyware by type. Your partyware - brass, copper, pewter, silver, and stainless steel - requires special care to look its best on your festive table.

These tips for cleaning partyware by type can help you restore the lovely finish of your unique party pieces.

Cleaning Partyware By Type: Brass Basics

To clean brass, place the tarnished item in a pot, pan, or plastic container. Cover with ketchup, Tabasco sauce, or Worcestershire sauce. (Seriously!)

If you don't have these ingredients, try vinegar or lemon juice, which has the acidity to remove oxidation or tarnish. Allow the brass to soak for two hours. Then scrub it with mild dishwashing liquid and a soft fingernail brush or toothbrush under cool running water. Dry the with a smooth, lint-free cloth.

To retard future tarnish, rub the bass with a cloth moistened with olive oil.

Cleaning Partyware by Type: Copper

Wash copper with soap and warm water, and polish it with a commercial copper polish such as Wright's Copper Cream following the label's directions.

Or, make your own polish by moistening salt with vinegar or lemon juice to make a paste for a bright finish, or a paste of Rottenstone, (a soft, decomposed limestone that is used in powder form as a polishing material) and olive oil for a dull finish.

An important tip: Never use your copper utensils or pans with copper interiors to store acidic foods such as fruits, salad dressings, tomatoes, or anything containing vinegar. 

Cleaning Partyware by Type: Pewter

Cleaning partyware of pewter with rubbing alcohol will get rid of most of this metal's grime. And it's a cinch to care for: It's supposed to look aged! The only caveat for this fragile metal is to avoid serving acidic foods on your pewter because they eat away the metal.

Spotless Silverware

Silverware under running water in soapy sink.

Place a clean cotton tube sock on your polishing hand. Dampen the sock slightly under cool running water. Squeeze a pearl-size drop of toothpaste on your "gloved" fingertip. Apply the toothpaste to the silver using up-and-down rather than circular strokes until the tarnish is gone.

Use a twisted bit of rag or a toothbrush to get between silverware tines and other tight spaces. Rinse the silver thoroughly, and polish dry with the clean, dry side of the sock.

Store silverware in an airtight plastic bag or a chest lined with tarnish-resistant flannel. Avoid serving sulfur-containing foods such as mayonnaise and eggs from your silver platters - they'll cause tarnishing. 

Making Stainless Steel Shine

This material is aptly named, thankfully. It resists stains, but it can retain oily fingerprints. You can throw (or even gently place them) into your dishwasher.

If marks persist, wash stainless steel silverware by hand with phosphate-free dishwashing liquid to remove stains, or use club soda to remove streaks or heat stains.

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