Now that the holidays are over, people are returning their family silver to storage. I thought this would be a good time to address the proper care for silver. Contrary to popular belief, silver does not need constant cleaning and the need to do so can be reduced by regular dusting with a soft cloth or washing with warm soapy water, rinsing and drying well. Some other things to keep in mind:
- Silver should not be put in the dishwasher
- When not in use or on display it will tarnish less if kept wrapped in acid-free tissue paper or undyed cotton or linen and kept in airtight conditions.
- Tarnishing is caused by a number of factors including humidity, sulphurous foods such as egg yolks and fingerprints which can leave deposits.
- To remove tarnish it is best to use cloths impregnated with silver foam or polish (never use polish intended for copper or brass).
- Silver dip, which can be wiped on large objects, should not be used too many times.
- Rinse after cleaning and dry carefully.
- Never use wire or abrasive cloth to remove stains as they will scratch the surface.
- Polish plated objects as seldom as possible as a small amount of silver will be removed over time and eventually wear away, exposing the metal core.
- Silver will corrode as a result of being in contact with salt. Salt cellars should be gilt or glass lined and the salt should be removed from them after use.
If you have any other topics you would like addressed, feel free to let usknow!
photo credit: Alex Hitz