How To Care For A Pewter Flask

Making sure your investment becomes an heirloom

Anyone can buy a stainless steel hip flask for a few dollars. The average joe kicks up his game by spending the extra few dollars on the engraving. But nothing showcases a mark of distinction like an arbiter elegantiae sipping from a flask made from pewter.

So for men of discerning taste who take pride in owning beautiful accessories, a pewter flask is the pick of the litter. But, how do you care for it?

This is the first question usually asked by the intelligent purchaser when procuring his first pewter flask. One might argue that the only man who doesn’t ask this either already knows the answer or is sure to upset when he quickly damages his new prized flask.

Thankfully, it’s relatively easy to take care of them.

how to clean pewter hip flask

5 Tips to Caring for Pewter Flasks

1. Empty the flask every day.

Never let your flask remain full for more than a day. Empty it and clean it when you get home.

2. Stick with the hard stuff.

Putting wine, carbonated drinks, cocktails or garnishes in a pewter flask is a recipe for disaster as it can easily and permanently stain the flask. But, that’s not what flasks are for anyhow. Stick with whiskey: Scotch, bourbon, rye. It doesn’t matter. That or rum, vodka, gin (without the tonic). Whatever pure spirit you enjoy the most. But mix it in a glass, not in the flask.

how to clean pewter hip flask

3. Keep it cool.

I’m not suggesting you put it in the fridge, freezer or add ice and chilled drinks. I just mean don’t heat it up. Never put coffee or any hot beverages into a pewter flask. Don’t put it in the dishwasher and don’t use it to boil water in over a campfire. Pewter doesn’t hold up to heat nearly as well as most metals. Heat can permanently disfigure your flask, stain it, or even burn it.

4. Pewter is not dishwasher safe.

I’ve seen pewter flasks advertised as being dishwasher safe. That’s the first indication it’s not pure pewter. The detergent and hot water from a dishwasher can cause a chemical reaction that can leave the pewter looking more like it was owned by Charlie Chaplin and not by Cary Grant. Instead, wash it by hand in warm water with a mild detergent.

To clean inside the flask, fill it 3/4 of the way with warm water, add a few drops of mild detergent, and secure the flask. Give it a few good shakes and drain. Then repeat the same step using only water to rinse it. You can also use a soft bottle brush to clean inside. Just be sure that the bristles are soft enough so they won’t damage the flask. I especially recommend a baby bottle brush which you can find at most department stores in the baby/children’s section.

how to clean pewter hip flask

5. Maintain the appearance.

Just as you would polish silver, wipe silverware, press a shirt or brush lint from your blazer, pewter flasks need some regular maintenance to keep their shine. The method depends on the type of flask you have. First, I should mention these techniques are for cleaning the outside of the flask only. Not the inside. Try this on the inside, and you’re flask will look as good as new because you’ll end up having to buy a brand new one.

For polished and shiny pewter you can buy mild pewter shine at some specialty stores, or online. You just need to ensure that it’s not made using any toxic ingredients since you likely drink directly from your flask.

The other option is to make a paste at home using half a cup of flour, one cup of white vinegar and about a teaspoon of salt. Mix it to form a paste and apply an even coat all over the outside of the flask. After it’s dried, remove the crust and rinse it with warm water mixed with a gentle soap like Dove or Ivory. You only need to do this once every six months or so depending on how frequently you use your flask.

how to clean pewter hip flask

If your flask isn’t polished and came with a patina on it, don’t worry about polishing it at all. Just give it a good rinse with warm soapy water and dry it.

A pewter flask will get you noticed as a man of impeccable style and great taste. It will also require less maintenance and care than many other materials flasks come available in. So provided you empty and clean it immediately after use, never put anything acidic or corrosive inside it, and don’t treat it like that baseball glove you throw in the trunk of your car, you’ll have a flask that will last for many years – if not generations – to come.

Thanks for reading.

Stylishly Yours,

J.A. Shapira
He Spoke Style


Chime In


    The emptying part is the most fun of the process. :-)

    • Brian Sacawa

      Haha. Cheers!

  • OldManJoe

    I’m curious as to circumstances where you would take and use a flask. I tend to enjoy a Gray Goose on the rocks while relaxing on my patio, but I hardly need a flask for that. I don’t go to Cigar shops or Gentlemen’s clubs and I think it’s illegal to drink in public parks. I love the idea of having one of these, just can’t think of where to use it.

    • Brian Sacawa

      Good to see you! Reading your comment as I’m on a train back from NYC with my trusty flask filled with some of my favorite whiskey earned after a good day’s work.

    • Karen Holcomb

      You could also carry one into a concert hall or other type of festival.

  • Noah Weiss

    What detergent would you suggest? Do you need to use any detergent and just hot tap water?

    • Brian Sacawa

      Something on the milder side.

  • Bryan Wescott

    I see this is an older blog but thought I’d give it a go anyways. What is the harm of not emptying out the flask each night? I have a camping trip where I will be out for 2 nights and would love to bring something for a little night cap each night.

    • Brian Sacawa

      For a couple of nights, you’re fine not emptying it!

  • Karen Holcomb

    So if I have an 1812 FEIN ZINN Pewter Flask that I want to sell, but the cap is stuck on it, what would recommend I use to loosen it? Would Acetone be ok?