Cleaning Costello Coastal Knobs

February 26, 2024

© 2024 L McKinney

Since pewter doesn’t rust, but can become dull over time (especially near saltwater environments), Costello Coastal Knobs recommends an annual cleaning:

“The best way to clean them is with warm water and a mild detergent, such as Dawn dish soap, then dry with a soft cloth.

“Be sure you do NOT use bleach, solvent cleaners, [or] silver cleaner. 

“To restore a piece like Dolphin 116, or Sand Dollar 112, to its original look, do the basic soap and water cleaning, dry thoroughly, then use a fine grade Scotchbrite buffing pad (NOT steel wool; NEVER steel wool, because it can leave pieces in the soft metal of the pewter and those pieces of steel wool can rust and mar the appearance of your piece) and follow the grain (buffing lines) of the piece, buff the pulls until you’re happy with their appearance.”
Costello Coastal Knobs Sand Dollar 112 Small, Fine Detail

 Cleaning your Costello Coastal Knobs should be limited to an annual event (barring unforeseen circumstances). Maybe make your cleaning schedule easier to remember by scheduling it around the time of year when you have the most people coming over for a holiday. If you host the Easter dinner instead of Thanksgiving or Christmas, a few weeks prior to Easter, remove all Costello Coastal Knobs and wash and dry them, then return them to their previous place. Of course, you can switch them up and change where they used to be to new places and ask the younger children to see if they can remember where they used to be and the one who gets the most right wins a prize. That should keep them occupied for a few minutes. It would mean you having a list or pictures of where they used to be so that their previous places can be verified, so be sure to do that.

Historically, speaking, there were numerous ways to clean your pewter pieces. According to “The Pewter Society”, you should remove knobs from drawers and doors.

“Washing with hot, soapy water will often remove a surprising amount of dirt and tarnish and should always be the first step.”

On a model train website, I found this pewter cleaning advice:

“A wipe down with vinegar will remove most dirt and grime, and then a light buffing with a soft cloth and some ketchup will restore the finish.  (If it's really dirty, you can soak it in vinegar for a while too.)” Then rinse and dry with a soft cloth."

At “Pewter World” (a British site), they reminded us of the old way:

“They found the best way to clean pewter was simply by dipping some cabbage leaves in vinegar and then salt and scrubbing the item with the mixture. They would rinse with a little soap and water and hey presto, there was a gleaming vase or bowl with little to no effort at all. This is still used to clean pewter today but it is not the best option for all types.”

Cabbage? Yep.

They had other recommendations as well, since there are different looks in pewter and you need to clean them differently.

A maid site, “Maid For” reminds us to dust the pewter first. In kitchens and bathrooms cabinet knobs may get flour, facial powder, or baby/body powder on them. In other rooms they will have dust if not powders. Get that off before you clean them.

Another British site, “” reminds us:

“The most important thing to take away from this blog, is to never put your pewter piece in the dishwasher, due to both the heat (could misshape the pewter) and strong detergents (could dull the pewter). The pewter could also knock into other items in the dishwasher, causing dents.”

At Costello Coastal Knobs, we want you to be happy with our cabinet knobs for years to come. The proper care and cleaning will help accomplish that. An inheritance for your grandchildren will be nicer if properly maintained. If you have questions, or want to order some cabinet knobs, contact us. We’ll be happy to help.

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