Hello, Everyone

Does anyone know about “Dirilyte”?

I inherited some salt & pepper shakers - - they are metal, gold in
color and stamped “Dirilyte” on the bottom.

They screw apart to fill. One of them won’t unscrew and I’m
wondering how to get it unstuck without damaging the metal. There is
still salt inside. They are also rather tarnished and I’m wondering
what to clean/polish themwith.

Any insight will be greatly appreciated - - they have sentimental
value for me.


Hi Nan -

I googled “Dirilyte” and found a couple of pages that might answer
your questions.

The first: http://pages.tias.com/stores/jjt

Includes this paragraph:

The metal alloy used to manufacture these items is much harder than
silver and has the same color and tone of gold, yet much more
durable. Dirigold originated in Sweden in the early 1900s. The
company later moved to America and was forced to change the name to
something other than Dirigold, as they claimed that name was
misleading to the public. They renamed it Dirilyte. The product was
manufactured in Kokomo, Indiana and ceased operations in the 1980s.
Dirilyte has graced the finest tables in the world, from European
royalty to the White House.

Another page responds to a reader’s question about how to how to
polish this product by pointing to other discussions asking the same

One respondent said: “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.”

And another said, “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.”

And another: “I just tried a product called “Peek”. It also polished
silver, jewelry, etc.! It is less toxic than the Dirilyte polish.”
[following the link takes you to a page on Amazon.com where you can
order the product.]

Anyway, that gives you some ideas. You can follow the links from the
page above to the rest of the discussions.


Seems to me the first thing you could try is to soak it in water to
dissolve the salt.

Janet Kofoed

I don’t know alot about the product, however it used to be
manufactured in my city- Kokomo, Indiana. In the 80’s, I moved to
this city to run a store for an Indiana-only chain of jewelry stores,
and we carried a huge giftware department. When I assumed management
of this store there was a large number of pieces of Dirilyte in the
backroom. Having not dealt in it previously, I didn’t know much about
the brand, but many people were almost cultish in their behavior
about the stuff. My job, as a company axe man, was to clean out
unprofitable stores of personnel, inventory, whatever stood in the
way of profitability, and set a new course. When I ran a sidewalk
sale of Dirilyte, Noritake china, clocks, etc… that we had in the
back room, we nearly had a riot in the mall. In speaking with people,
I learned that Dirilyte had gone out of business just a few years
before I arrived in this town. So many people were trying to complete
place settings of it before the last of the supply ran out.

Ed in Kokomo


I do not know what Dirilyte is but my best guess would be that this
is a company or pattern design name.

As for opening the frozen top on the salt shaker my suggestion would
be to soak it in hot water. The water should be kept warm until it
has a chance to dissolve the hardened salt that has worked it’s way
into the threads of the top.

As for polishing, if they are tarnished they may be Silver Plate so
start with something like a Sunshine Cloth from Rio. Work in an area
that is not obvious such as the bottom. If this shows signs of
working you could complete the project with this cloth or move on to
some of the silver polishes or dips or even something like Baking
Soda rubbed on as a paste.

Good Luck
Greg DeMark
Custom Jewelry - Handmade Jewelry - Antique Jewelry

Yes I know about dirilyte. It was a flatware option mid 20th
century. I had a set of flatware with the salt and pepper shakers
that you have. The material was a rosy bronze, and originally was
coated to retard tarnish. I got rid of it when it became obvious that
it couldn’t go in the dishwasher. Who want to hand was flatware?

Your problem is the salt has corroded the interior. First I’d try to
shake all the salt out, and then soak the shaker in hot water for a
while to dissolve what’s left inside. Then because the silly things
are shaped so you really can’t get a grip on them, use a couple of
the thin rubber jar opener helpers to try and open it. If that
doesn’t work, squirt some LPS - from any ACE hardware store on the
seam that screws together to loosen it.

If all else fails, drill a hole in the bottom, and use a rubber plug
to fill and empty the shaker. And don’t leave salt in it. You will
need to make a jig to hold it to drill, again the bullet shape is
hopeless to grip.

Judy Hoch

Thanks, everyone, for your replies about Dirilyte. I was able to open
that one shaker after soaking it in hot water. Also, I’ve ordered the
Dirilyte polish from the company - - Thanks, Linda, = for finding
those web pages! I had searched on Google but didn’t find that info.
Anyway - - thanks much= for your help in insight!


About Dirilyte: it’s bronze.

Christine in Littleton, Massachusetts