Taking Care of Silverware
You purchased some silverware and it is time to start thinking about cleaning it, but you have no idea how to take care of it. This question concerns to anyone who owns silverware. If you have just a little time and the right materials, your silverware will be looking like new in no time. Just take a little time to care of the silver pieces to avoid having to have your silverware repaired, which can be quite expensive, if you need to have your piece professionally cleaned or re-plated. This is a process that requires a professional whose work takes several weeks.
Silverware with a Peacock Image
Silver is a beautiful, versatile metal, and its soft luster adds a touch of elegance to dishes, flatware, and jewelry. Unfortunately, silver is also pretty fragile compared to many more commonly used metals and it can quickly develop tarnish, stains or scratches.
Silverware is typically found in fine dining establishments or in the homes of people who host elegant dinner parties. Most homes have an everyday set of flatware made of stainless steel. The knives, forks, and spoons in this type of flatware are designed for long-term use and require minimal care. When you choose silverware, consider some factors: silver quality, weight, design, and manufacturer. This type of flatware tarnishes over time and must be polished and cleaned on a regular basis to maintain the same sheen and shine.
Cleaning and Washing Tips
- Silverware can seem a bit daunting to try to clean, because it is often special to us and we do not want to damage it. Wash your silverware often and promptly after use. Silver that is frequently used rarely has problems. When silver lightly tarnishes, clean it immediately. What happens so many times is that a silver item is tucked away in storage in a box and many years later it’s rediscovered. By then, the tarnish has penetrated so deeply that the silver is permanently scared. Make sure you use a non-lemon based cleaner, as lemon-based products can spot the silver.
- It is very preferably not to wash your silverware in a dishwasher. Dishwashing detergent can contain heavy chemicals, which can either directly discolor silver, or interact in solution with the hot water and chemicals and other metals to permanently discolor your silver. Silver is chemically active, which means it oxidizes when exposed to chemicals in the air. Its surface tarnishes to certain gazes in the air. Therefore, if air is kept away, the tarnish is diminished.
- It is better not to wash your silverware with other dishes, do it separately because metal sinks and utensils can scratch silver, and stainless steel can damage the finish if it comes into contact with your silverware.
Take time to polish your silverware but do it carefully. To protect your hands wear gloves if you like.
- Rinse each silver item in a hot water to remove surface dust.
- While the silver is warm, use a moistened foam sponge to spread the silver polish.
- Spread the cream quickly over the silver piece to cover it completely.
- Gently rub each tarnished area. Move around the piece, inside and out, until the tarnish is gone.
- Wash with mild dish soap and rinse in warm water.
- Dry with a very soft cotton flour-sack towel to remove water.
The best way to preserve your silverware is to store it correctly.
- Make sure each piece is completely dry before storing it.
- Wrap each piece in acid-free tissue paper or anti-tarnish paper. You can also wrap pieces in flannel.
- Seal the wrapped silver piece in an airtight plastic bag.
- Never store silver where it can contact rubber, stainless steel, or paint.
- Store polished items in drawers or containers lined with flannel treated with anti-tarnish protection.
- Do not wrap silver in felt or chamois leather. Both are sources of hydrogen sulfide, a strong tarnish inducer.
- Best not to have rubber in the same drawer or container.