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topic 7137

Cleaning Dirilyte Gold-tone Flatware


A discussion started in 2001 but continuing through 2020

2001

Q. I recently acquired a service for 12 of "gold-tone" flatware. It is marked DURALITE. It is discolored and appears spotted. I cannot find ANY reference to DURALITE on the WWW. Do you know of this type of finish/product? Can you suggest how to clean it? My aunt said that I would need cleaner made especially for DURALITE.

Thank you,

Fred

Fred O [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Kirtland, Ohio


2001

A. It's Dirilyte. Make sure you don't store the flatware in a silverware case. It will cause the Dirilyte to tarnish more.

Trish W [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Boston, Massachusetts


2001

A. The Dirilyte Line Company is still in business in Warsaw IN. They make a polish for Dirilyte which is excellent. I have used it on brass candlesticks as well as on my Dirilyte. It was better than any other polish I have ever tried.

Suzanne R [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Burr Ridge, Illinois


2004

A. I grew up with Dirilyte and would very much like to have my own. My mom has all pieces -- flatware, coffee and tea service, serving pieces, and glasses. The stuff made before the 70s was not sealed and requires a special polish made by the company. The stuff made after the 70s is "sealed". Be careful about polishing that stuff. polishing is a pain and I remember spending hours getting the "purple" off. you can have your Dirilyte sealed by the company.

Mel M [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Las Cruces, New Mexico


2004

A. Dirilyte is difficult to polish and EXTREMELY expensive the set for 12 I own is pre WWII Empress set. Last appraisal was $45,000 (complete set including coffee/tea service.) Stuff from the 70's is not the same. DO NOT SEAL, it will only peel and ruin a good meal. I suggest you find some poor young fool to polish it all for you. And do NOT use ANY kind of abrasive. HAND WASH ONLY, running them in the dishwasher will severely tarnish the finish, if it does not stain in the dishwasher it is NOT Dirilyte. Eggs are a pain to remove so don't use them for breakfast.

Stephen T [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]

- Miami, Florida


affil. link
Peek Metal Polish

2005

A. I just tried a product called Peek =>
It also polished silver, jewelry, etc.! It is less toxic than the Dirilyte polish.

Faye S [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Potsdam, New York


2007

A. I just read a response from another person regarding Dirilyte and need to update his information. The former Dirilyte Company in Warsaw Indiana is now Harms Polishing^Hand Industries, Inc.. They used to polish, and seal-coat Dirilyte but stopped seal-coating it in 1994 when the chemical became unavailable. As of October 2006 they have sold off their company that made metal artificial joints. That company was the division that polished Dirilyte, so they no longer will polish or seal Dirilyte. The company suggests taking your Dirilyte to a jeweler or just doing it yourself using their polish-- which they do still make. You can find it on the internet.

Alice Vernon
- Oakwood, Illinois


2007

This is a correction to a typo in my message regarding the former Dirilyte Company in Warsaw, IN. The company who purchased Dirilyte is Hand Industries, Inc. They are still in Warsaw, IN. In my earlier response, I pointed out that they sold off the division that formerly polished Dirilyte for owners in October of 2006. And they know no company who does that now. Their recommendation was to take it to a local jeweler, OR to just do it at home using the Dirilyte polish that is still available online and in some retailers.

Alice Vernon (returning)
- Oakwood, Illinois


2007

Q. What is a safe cleaner for (Dirigold) Dirilyte? I have an 8 piece setting from Sweden purchased by immigrant Swedes who went back for a visit to Sweden in 1922.

Caroline Carlson
hobbyist - Hayward, California


2007

A. You can order polish from the Dirilyte Company at www.Dirilyte.com. I believe it is $21.95 plus $4.95 for shipping (2007 prices).

Dave Hayes
- Westchester, New York


affil. link
Maas metal polish

2007

Q. I own a set of Dirigold flatware and have a problem keeping them spot free. After polishing with Maas =>
it looks great. After one use, and then washing and drying by hand, the bowl of the teaspoons get a round, black tarnish spot which has to be removed with fine steel wool and then repolished. Can you tell me the cause of this problem?

Jacqueline Travis
- Chester, Vermont



June 8, 2008

Q. I just purchased a large collection of Dirilyte from an estate sale, not knowing what I was purchasing. In the dimly lit room, overlooked in a corner, and appearing severely tarnished, this monogrammed collection looked like one of the silver patterns I inherited so I didn't examine it closely. (Okay, I'll admit I left my glasses at home!) Beginning my task of cleaning and polishing this "silver", I put on my glasses and, in the sunlight, discovered I purchased something delightful! The pieces are marked differently, some with Dirilyte or Dirigold only, some with Dirigold and the 3 clovers, and some so worn you can only make out the indentation of the 3 clovers. The condition of the finish ranges from poor to very good. I want to polish and restore this, but, being a novice, don't know how to tell if it is coated on not, the age of the different pieces, and I don't want to ruin this metal. The letters posted seem to indicate that you cannot use a polish on the coated items.

Thank you for your help!

Fran Tribble
hobbyist - Manakin-Sabot, Virginia


affil. link
"Kovel's Antiques and Collectibles"
from Abe Books

or

June 16, 2008

A. Hi, Fran. If the flatware has a bonded clearcoat finish on top of it, attempts to polish it just won't work (the polish won't get through the clearcoat). So I don't think there is harm in simply trying to polish it.

Regards,

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


August 10, 2008

Q. I WAS TOLD SOMETIME AGO THAT DIRILYTE WITH THE BONDED PROTECTION (BP) HAD THOSE letterS BEHIND THE DIRILYTE NAME ON THE BACK OF THE ITEMS. IS THIS NOT TRUE?

I'VE BEEN BUYING DIRILYTE RECENTLY AND ALWAYS LOOK FOR THE PIECES THAT *DON'T* HAVE THOSE letterS, MAINLY B/C I UNDERSTAND THAT THEY ARE EASIER TO POLISH WITHOUT THE PLASTIC COATING. I'VE NOT YET TRIED TO POLISH ANY OF THE ITEMS THAT I'VE ACQUIRED. THEY ALL LOOK QUITE NICE AT THIS POINT, BUT I DID PURCHASE SOME Maas metal polish [affil. link to product info on Amazon] FOR WHEN I NEED TO DO SOME POLISHING.

THANKS IN ADVANCE FOR ANYTHING YOU CAN TELL ME ABOUT THE PLACEMENT OF THE LETTERS "BP".

janie_eilers
JANIE EILERS
- MINNEAPOLIS, Minneapolis


December 3, 2008

A. I have a 12 place setting set of Dirilyte that I never have used because of the polishing problem, but recently I experimented and used vinegar and Bon-Ami [affil. link to product info on Amazon], and although it is not a mirror finish, it is beautiful, and has nothing harmful to my health to use it. Now I can use it without taking hours to polish it first. After using it you can finish it off with MAAS for a mirror finish, but it looks great to me without doing that.
Hope this helps someone.
A.I.

Anne Ishiguro
- Desoto, Texas


January 31, 2009

Q. I have a few questions: 1) If the Dirilyte is sealed, is it okay to remove the seal? 2) If I remove the seal, I assume it will just tarnish and require polishing more often than unsealed? 3) Is the Dirilyte composition the same for the old unsealed and the newer sealed pieces? 4) I recently bought a set of creamer-sugar bowls, and when I received them they did not have Dirilyte engraved on them anywhere. They appear more "brassy" and less gold colored. In addition, when attempting to polish with Dirilyte brand polish, there was absolutely no effect. Did Dirilyte ever make pieces without engraving?

Tom Hummert
consumer - Hendersonville, North Carolina


June 7, 2009

Q. I put hot food on a coated Dirilyte platter. It is now uneven in color. What can I do. If I need to have it refinished, where do I do that?

Deanna Miller
- St. Charles, Missouri


November 14, 2009

A. I simply put my Dirilyte in a glass loaf pan and soak in brasso....as many flatware pieces as will fit..remove those pieces and repeat with all your flatware this works as well as anything I have tried...you still have to polish, but this really cuts down on the elbow grease....

Carolyn Dennis
- Virginia beach Virginia


December 1, 2009

A. As owner of Dirilyte flatware service for 8, I polish with a cut lemon rubbed in salt. Thank you Martha Stewart -- this is the method she recommends for copper cookie cutters and it works on my flatware if only minimally tarnished.

Ruth Waller
- Northridge, California


January 14, 2010

A. I just want to let all of you know that I tried the Brasso poured in a glass dish. I have used Brasso for as long as I can remember to clean Dirilyte. THEY CHANGED THE FORMULA. It is now an ammonia based product and made a big mess of the pieces I soaked. The best cleaners I've found are the Dirilyte cleaner and Maas metal polish [affil. link to product info on Amazon]. I use the MAAS first to get most of the tarnish off and then follow up with the Dirilyte polish which gives the pieces a beautiful mirrored finish. I also use my Dremel [affil. link to product info on Amazon] on stubborn spots. I use a plastic brush attachment, put a little MAAS or Dirilyte Polish on the piece, and then use the Dremel Tool.

Vicki Torres
- El Paso, Texas


March 13, 2010

A. I have used Dirilyte since 1948. Immediately after the meal, I soak the Dirilyte in a solution of hot water with suds of Dreft [affil. link to product info on Amazon]. Then rinse with very hot water and dry with clean towels.
Let Dirilyte rest on dry towels to air-dry before storing. I have also used the Dirilyte cleaner. My Dirilyte looks wonderful after 60 years.

Alice Danielson
- Palo Alto, California


June 2, 2010

A. I nearly went nuts trying to figure out how to clean some Dirilyte flatware I have. Then I found out that it is not plated but that the color is solid clear through! I had read all these warnings about what and what not to use. This is what I found. I am talking about the Dirilyte that is NOT marked BP on the back. I am talking about the Dirilyte that was made before 1961, that is not plated.

I use Wenol [affil. link to product info on Amazon] for all my stainless flatware, so I decided to try it. SUCCESS! You can rub and rub and rub out stubborn stains, and your goldware will shine and look like liquid gold when you are through. The more you buff it, the greater it looks. Be sure to wash them in soapy water by hand, and then dry them well.

If you maintain it by lightly polishing when needed, after your first polish, it will continue to look great. The gold never rubs off. REMEMBER ... MAKE SURE IT IS NOT MARKED BP ON THE BACK.

Nena Whitten
- Glendale, Arizona USA


September 10, 2010

A. Clean dirilyte flatware the easy way, CLR or Lime Out type products are safe to clean most appliances. To clean flatware I used a damp rag with Lime Out and immediately wipe away years of tarnish. cleans like new. Test first.

I used "Lime Out" then put in a bowl of fresh water, when finished I dried each piece of flatware.

Larry Eisman
Hobby - West Covina, California


October 31, 2011

Q. I have my grandmother's Dirilyte. What is it made of? Does it contain brass, or gold, or both?

Alice Derbyshire
inheritant - Fort Worth, Texas, USA


November 1, 2011

A. Hi, Alice

Dirilyte is bronze, it contains no gold. We have many other threads here about Dirilyte. Just use the search term 'Dirilyte' in the search engine. Good luck.

Regards,

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


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