Cut up the soap in thin slices, and pour on it the quart of cold water. Let it stand overnight till dissolved. Then add the whiting and bring it to boiling-point, stirring all the time. Allow it to become quite cold, then add the hartshorn. This will keep any length of time if put in a well-corked bottle. Before use the bottle should be well shaken, and a little of the contents poured into a basin.
2. Dry, then rub with a damp cloth dipped in either brick-dust, whiting, the above tin solution, or Brooke's soap.
3. Wipe with another cloth, then polish with a soft duster or old leather.
Metal polish should not be used even for the outside of cookery utensils, as it contains poisonous ingredients.
Tins should be washed with strong soda water to remove any grease, as this prevents labels from adhering. If using labels already gummed, either moisten the back of the gummed label with a drop of glycerine (instead of water), or rub the place on the tin where the label is to be affixed with a slice of onion. Either of these methods prevents the labels falling off when dry.
This should be cleaned in the same way as tin, using the solution mentioned on the previous page.
This old-fashioned metal, which is a composition of lead and tin, has once more come to the fore. It is about seventy years since any was made in England. The nearest approach to it is antimony ware. It is a vexed question amongst collectors whether pewter should be cleaned or not; but cleaning certainly preserves it, and if it is to be placed on an old oak dresser the contrast of colour is much more effective after cleaning. For neglected pewter the best treatment is first with Brooke's soap and a little whiskey, then with soap and water, and lastly polishing with whiting. Obstinate stains or dirt may be removed by soaking the pewter a few hours in a bath of pickle composed of freshly slaked lime and soda.
When the metal is thoroughly clean, it should be kept in good condition by the method employed for cleaning tin.
Mention must be made of this material, as it is now so highly prized, probably on account of its rarity. In 1742 the secret of its manufacture was discovered by Thomas Bolsover. It is formed of copper and silver, and yet is not an alloy; the body consisting of copper with a coating of silver. On a bar of copper was placed a thinner bar of silver, the two bound together were placed in a furnace, heated until on the point of fusion, and afterwards withdrawn. It was then found that, however thinly the material was rolled, the silver still formed an inseparable coating. In order to give the appearance of solid silver, both sides of the metal were treated in this way. At one time Sheffield Plate was melted down for the silver and copper contained in it, but during the last ten or twelve years those who value quaint and rare antiquities have diligently collected it. Lady Wolseley has probably the largest collection in England. It is cleaned in the same way as ordinary plate.