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Removing Coating on Bronze Flatware (cont'd)


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I carefully washed my inherited Dirilyte flatware and stored it in anti-tarnish cloth - DON'T DO IT...I pulled it out to use maybe 6 months later and it was all RUINED or at least it looked ruined. I sent it all in to be replated...Very Expensive.

Pam S [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Austin, Texas


I did not know what metal "Dirigold" was, so I tried a product called Mr. Metal [affil. link to info/product on Amazon] (which works for a variety of metals.) Mr Metal claims that you don't have to rub or buff - wrong! It took some "elbow grease" but the brilliant shine was worth it! The pieces are beautiful! Just for the record, I was polishing holloware, not flatware.

Elisabeth H [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Williamsport, Pennsylvania


The man who suggests Brasso [affil. link to info/product on Amazon] and "0000" 0000 steel wool [affil. link to info/product at Rockler] and a soft cloth for the cleaning and shining of Dirigold is using common sense; most likely gained while in the military in the pre-volunteer era where BRASSO was a component of how one spent free time. It does require a lot of rubbing and enlisting the services of a "young fool" as suggested by another contributor is a good idea. Better yet is having a youngster, either son or daughter, perform the task. You can think about things when polishing flatware [just like when ironing] and there is practically nothing we do where such a satisfactory and reasonably short outcome is within our control.

Ken L [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
heir - Newport Beach California


Eve M stated to try white vinegar, hot water, and salt.I didn't know anything about this flatware until I happened on this site.I decided to try her method on some Dirigold that was my in-laws.I have to say it worked like a charm . I had no idea this flatware could shine so beautifully and it really was easy.I will add I added a drop of dove dish soap to the mixture and dried it with a terrycloth dish towel. Now I have to find something else to store it in since my mother -in-law always kept it in a no tarnish silver safe box. I guess I will try the flannel .Thanks for helping me enjoy this beautiful gift left to us by Mary . Does anyone know how to date this flatware? Is it all from the thirties? Was it made in the USA or somewhere else?Just wondering. jgk

Joan K [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania


History of Dirigold/Dirilyte - the 'romance' story? I understand product originated in Sweden - who did it, where and when. When did it come to the U.S. (Kokomo, Indiana I'm told)? I find the product interesting, attractive and am curious, but find nothing in library or online except a lot of it for sale!
Thank you.

Carol P [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
consumer - Fort Wayne, Indiana


This is a condensed version of a history of Dirilyte that used to be posted on the company's web site.

Dirilyte, as it is known today, was originally called Dirigold. The Dirilyte metal was originally developed by Carl Molin, a Swedish metallurgist, in 1914. While presenting his Dirigold items at the New York World Fair, Molin experienced such tremendous acceptance that he decided to return to Sweden to earnestly manufacture and develop the Dirigold line.

After weeks of planning and experimentation, the company started production in 1919. It was at this time that Mr. Molin was joined by Oscar Von Malmborg and the Dirigold Company was formed. At the conclusion of the Golhenburg Exposition in 1923, during which a large quantity of Dirigold was sold, the young company was approached by Swedish-Americans who proposed that the company move to America.

In 1924, Mr. Von Malmborg moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota and formed a selling company, while Mr. Molin stayed in Orebor, Sweden and continued manufacturing the golden-hued tableware. In 1926, the decision was made to manufacture the Dirigold product in America.

1935 saw the Federal Trade Commission bring suit against the company, charging that the "Dirigold" name was misleading to the public, as there was no gold in the product. As a result, the company was forced to change its corporate and product name. The company was renamed The Dirilyte Company of America, and the product was called Dirilyte.

Dirilyte is a handcrafted item with the warmth and beauty only hand work can achieve. The pieces are individually finished by skilled craftsmen with years of experience.

Dirilyte metal is a very hard and durable bronze alloy, much harder than sterling silver. Its rich, warm golden color extends all the way through each piece. Dirilyte flatware, holloware, and awards are solid. There is no plating used. Production of flatware and holloware stopped in 1986.

Alfred M. Baggett
- Memphis, Tennessee


I have just acquired a flatware service of Thai nickel-bronze that needs polish. We didn't know if the dishwasher was appropriate to clean this stuff. Its tarnished and I'm not sure if it has lacquer on it or not. Thanks for your help....

Charles Callender
- Selbyville, Delaware


Dear Dirilyte Users,

While working on the interior design of an antique cape over the course of 2 months, I became rather addicted to estate sales, antique shops, and consignment stores!

This morning I discovered a complete set of Dirilyte at my favorite neighborhood antique shop, service for 12, with incredibly designed serving pieces, butter knives, and iced tea spoons! Something about it was compelling and I purchased it. What is the value of this kind of set? I had never heard of Dirilyte until today!

donna lee k
hobbyist - Cambridge, Massachusetts

Ed. note: What you paid is one element in determining what this stuff can be bought for, Donna Lee, so please post that; e-bay prices are another indication.

February 1, 2008

I have inherited a 100-piece set of Dorling goldtone flatware. There is a polishing cloth in the heavy wooden box that says Dorling Company of America, Jenkintown, PA. I have tried to google to see what relationship Dorling has to Dirilyte-Dirigold and can find nothing but sales of Dirilyte. Does anyone know about Dorling? and what the connection is? There is Dirilyte paperwork in the box with this Dorling flatware? I'm confused and shocked that Goggle has nothing to explain. Thanks.

Linda South
- New Egypt, New Jersey

February 1, 2008

I don't think Google comes up empty, Linda; the results are just buried under so many other references. Try "dorling flatware -Kindersley" "dorling goldtone -Kindersley" and "dorling silverware -Kindersley" (to get the millions of pages about publisher Dorling Kindersley out of your google hit list). Good luck.

Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey

February 26, 2008

I was given a set of Dirilyte starting when I was 13 and completed when I married in 1957. I agree it is a pain to polish but the beauty of it is worth it. I have a 12 place set. I can tell anyone how to get the BP finish off. My youngest daughter decided she was going to polish the Dirilyte and the pieces without the BP polished nicely and fairly quickly. She then came to a tablespoon with the BP and it was partially off from wear so she went ahead and rubbed & rubbed with the official Dirilyte polish and with elbow grease and patience she removed the BP from all the remaining pieces that had it on them. (She will be the one to inherit the whole set when the time comes) But now my problem is: I need more of the polish. I have tried Brasso [affil. link to info/product on Amazon] and it sort of works and I have tried SimiChrome [affil. link to info/product on Amazon] and it sort of works but nothing works as well as the original so can anyone tell me where I can get it? Karen

Karen Krumpelmann
- Minneapolis, Minnesota

April 3, 2008


After reading the wonderful information on this page, I chose to clean my Thai bronze flatware in vinegar and salt with tin foil in the bottom of a loaf pan. It did not produce the shine I desired, so I polished each piece with Brasso. It turned out beautiful and shiny. It took about an hour to polish 6 place settings while watching a movie.


Alice Ray-Overstreet
- Lakeland, Florida

Dremel Kit

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April 12, 2008

I purchased my first place setting in the mid 1960's, it originally was very expensive. I regret buying it with the Bonded Protective coating as those pieces have that lacquer coating that cannot be polished over, but needs to be removed before you can bring back that original beautiful gold color and luster. Over the years I've found many pieces at swap meets, etc. and I've tried every trick in the book to clean and polish. I have come to the conclusion that a small investment in a Dremel [affil. link to info/product on Amazon] or similar roto-tool is the best and easiest way to clean and polish. I use a littleWenol [affil. link to info/product on Amazon] metal polish (SimiChrome [affil. link to info/product on Amazon] is similar) on a felt buffing wheel and years of tarnish comes right off. It takes time, but no hard rubbing; the tool does it all.

Carole A. Walton
- Lake Elsinore, California

April 14, 2008

To all the Dirilyte owners. Information on the Dirigold/Dirilyte Company can be found on many websites.
My great-grandfather and grandfather worked with Carl Molin at the Dirigold/Dirilyte Company in Kokomo, IN. My father
was the general manager until the 1980's. Treat the Dirilyte carefully and it will last forever. If I tried to
remove the bp the way others have mentioned my dad would roll over in his grave.

Dirilyte was used in the White House until Nixon was president. It sold in the finest jewelry stores, etc. The flatware always had the dirigold/Dirilyte stamp. Holloware (trivets, compotes, etc) were sold to other companies and were identified by the letter "G". Today it can be found in lots of antique shops, etc.Most people are not aware of Dirilyte and the fact that at one time it sold for more than silver.

Mary Boodt
- Indianapolis, Indiana

July 27, 2008

Question for Mary B -

I have some pieces with the BP and they are tarnished. Do you know how to clean those?

Linda Bonnel
- Novato, California

September 2, 2008

TO: Karen K - Minneapolis, MN

janie eilers
- MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota

October 22, 2008

I am recipent of my aunt's Dirigold small goblets she rec'd as wedding present (probably 1920s). I keep them in an armoire (fitted as a bar). Use them for after dinner drinks i.e. Baileys, B&B, etc. Every once in a while I just use Wright's Copper Cream [affil. link to info/product on Amazon]. So easy.

Wynne Gensey
- Twin Falls, Idaho

November 25, 2008

I purchased my service for 12 set of Dorling tableware in 1956. At the time I lived in Fort Wayne, Indiana. It does need polishing about twice a year if used regularly for company. Never put it in the dishwasher! I was a new bride, my husband was in the US Army in Korea. The $195.00 that I paid was for table ware, 4 holloware pieces and serving pieces. It is still lovely and worth the work of polishing.

Darlene Hyndman
- Stuart, Florida

December 21, 2008

Has anyone tried using an electric wheel buffer? I'm going to try it, seems it would be easier on the hands and quicker too, than brillo pad torture.

Catherine Werner
- North East, Maryland

February 24, 2009

I purchased 2 sets of bronze ware in Thailand in approx. 1965. It has been stored in a
shed in Miami Florida for about 30 years. Needless to say it has turned green etc.
The pieces have wooded handles which look ok.
What can we use to clean and restore this flatware to service?

Tom Pritchard
hobbyist - Cape Coral,, Florida

March 29, 2009

My parents handed down their collection of Dirilyte to me and thought they were doing me a favor by wrapping each piece in plastic wrap! Now the wrap is melted on. Some will peel off, but some is stuck. Any suggestions to getting it off without damaging the finish?

Sue woodman
- south berwick, Maine

May 14, 2009

Because Dirilyte is solid brass, you can use a sharp knife to carefully get under the plastic wrap and peel or even scrape lightly to remove the plastic. Putting the pieces in the freezer first for an hour or two may help the process too. (Any scrapes will polish out by a professional polishing firm.)

R. C. Fischbach
- Ann Arbor, Michigan

December 24, 2009

I also had dirilyte that had coating. I used paste type paint remover [affil. link to info/product on Amazon]. I tried it on one piece first, it dissolved the coating in a couple minutes. I had rubber gloves on wiped it off and washed it. A quick polish with Brasso or the Dirilyte polish makes it almost like new.

Marti Hause
- Vista California

February 20, 2010

Someone used the term nickel bronze. I do hope this was an assumption and not a fact. Some here are allergic to nickel. Does this flatware contain nickel? Normally bronze contains copper, tin and zinc.

Also mentioned was Thai nickel bronze. Does this contain nickel?

I clean the lacquer of copper pots with a solution of ammonia, baking soda salt and a squeezed lemon. Soak it for an hour or so and it comes right off. The I clean them with wright's copper polish. It is pretty easy. All of this turmoil is needless.

Tom Green
- Apopka, Florida

May 13, 2010

I made the tragic mistake of putting my Dirilyte I inherited in the dishwasher. It has spots on that I have tried to buff out, but it still has black on it. What's my next step?

Marcia Salerno
- Westmont, Illinois

May 28, 2010

When I inherited my Grandmothers Dirilyte back in the 1960's a chemist told me it was listed in his "book" as an anodized aluminum with a bit of bronze in it. Has anyone else out there heard this?

Gail Renneker
- Cleves, Ohio, USA

September 2, 2010

For the salt shaker that the top would not come off: I sprayed WD-40 into the crack between body and lid and let this sit for a while. I even poured some into the salt holes into the shaker to swirl around at where the top meets the body. When I came back about 15 minutes later, I picked it up and tried again to unscrew it - the shaker slipped out of my hands and fell onto a tile floor. Good news: it wasn't dented and the lid came off easily. Its worth a try because if you can't unscrew it to fill it, what good is it. I would imagine the liquid wrench would work also but the hard hitting the floor or some other way to tap the shaker at the corroded area should help.

Diana Young
- Sun City Center, Florida, USA

December 30, 2013

Q. I just bought a 12 place setting, 20 pieces per setting of Dirigold Regal, about 255 pieces. It is probably from the 1930's. I've tried polishing with the Dirilyte polish. It just does not shine up very well. Also, after 10 pieces my hand is killing me. Does anyone know if I could purchase some kind of power buffer and some jewelers rouge to really polish it up? If so, what kind of buffer and what kind of rouge? Thank you for time.

Linda Noble
- Midvale, Utah, United States

December 2013

A. Hi Linda. Please review the earlier postings, particularly the one from Carole W of April 12, 2008 -- it sounds perfect for you. Good luck.


Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey

February 15, 2016

thumbs up signI have a large AB DIRIGOLD place setting that was recently passed on to me, and I am in the process of cleaning the individual pieces. This set could have been brought from Sweden in the 1920s, which makes it quite old? There is a good chance that the set was never used considering the condition of the individual pieces.

Engraved on one spoon is "Good Templar Park Swedish Day". The set may have been picked up in America. There is a salt and pepper shaker with the set. The salt shaker will not open which is something I will be working on. My hands are getting quite a workout and I am using a lot of Brasso.

Dennis Helm

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