How to Properly Clean & Polish your Quadruple Silverplate, Silver Flatware, Sterling Silver and Silverplate Holloware
Is your family silver flatware, silver piece or silverplate holloware tarnished, dull or tarnished?
Are you concerned about damaging your silver flatware, silverplate or sterling silver by doing the wrong thing?
Then Abe's got some silver cleaning and silver polishing information and tips for you!
Polishing quadruple silverplate, sterling silver, silver and silverplate is actually a very simple process. The initial time you clean and polish your piece may involve a large block of time and a lot of elbow grease, but with regular care and maintenance, it will take less time and become a more enjoyable chore. By regularly using, cleaning or polishing your silver, you will come to appreciate the craftsmanship and beauty of your sterling silver, silver holloware or silverplated items.
Don't confuse a silver piece which is yellow or black as having "patina" or age - It's TARNISH! A chemical change which occurs when sulfur and other airborne pollution begin to ad hear and make your silver dull, dark and dirty.
A silver piece which is severely tarnished may need the services of a professional for cleaning, buffing or even silver re-plating - which can be quite expensive, and done incorrectly, can damage your silver heirloom - so be sure to use a reputable silver firm which offers a long-term guarantee. on their work and has been in business for a long time.
Here's how we at Abe Silverman's Antique Silver Shop take care of our silver, both at home and for the shop:
- #1-Rinse each silver piece in warm/hot water to remove dust and dirt. In heavy repousse or or deep carvings, we may have to resort to using a baby's soft bristle toothbrush to GENTLY brush to loosen the dirt.
- #2-Once all accumulated dust, dirt or food particles have been removed, it's time to begin removing the tarnish and in the process, reveal the beautiful polished silver underneath. We exclusively use Wright's Silver Cream to then begin to remove the tarnish buildup and to polish the silver. We highly recommend Wright's Silver Cream, but any name brand quality silver polish will suffice.
Completely coat the silver piece then GENTLY begin rubbing in a back and forth or circular motion in a small area until the tarnish is gone. Rinse the sponge frequently and continue until the piece is no longer tarnished, both inside and out. Don't forget those handles!
- #3-Once the piece is completely tarnish free and polished, we then rinse again and wash in a warm/hot water bath of Ivory Dish Soap to remove all traces of the silver polishing agent and rinse completely.
- #4-Using a very soft and fluffy100% cotton towel, completely dry and buff your silver.
- #5-Store properly! For best long-term results, store your silver in special flannel bags which have been treated with a chemical to retard tarnish on your stored pieces. These can be found in jewelry and department stores, usually in the silver and china section.
For your fine sterling silver and silverplated flatware, store in a wood silverware chest with felt dividers. These chests, though sometimes pricey, are well worth the investment. Wood species and designs are now made to compliment any decor.
If you wish to display your newly polished silver, sterling silver or silverplate, keep from damp or high humidity areas, as this, too, will hasten the development of tarnish. Displayed in a china cabinet with a desiccant will retard the development of tarnish and keep your piece beautifully bright longer.
Keep your silver, sterling silver and silverplated items away from acidic food items which will discolor your beautiful silver. Some of these acidic foods are salt, lemon, mayonnaise, egg, and mustard.
Keep your silver, sterling silver and silverplated items away from acidic food items which will discolor your beautiful silver. Some of these acidic foods are salt, lemon, mayonnaise, egg, and mustard. If you must use your valuable silver flatware with these items, wash as soon as possible when finished.
The absolute BEST advice is to USE your silver - on a daily basis as intended! And NEVER wash your silver in the dishwasher!
If you have silver pieces that are damaged, bent, broken, or have missing parts, contact one of the many firms that specialize in silver repair, silver re-plating, and silver restoration. Most silver pieces can be repaired to like-new condition, then re-silverplated, buffed, and polished. You'll end up with a new treasure fit for use at your finest holiday celebrations.