How To Clean Silverware

Spring Cleaning Tips

This article on how to clean silverware is aimed to ease your homemaking workload. Follow the upcoming tips and make your silver sparkle and shine.

As well as providing you with alternative methods on cleaning your silverware I will tell you how not to clean it and also how it should be stored too.

N.B. The following tips should not be used for expensive heirlooms or anything of sentimental worth. As continuous cleaning in this way may damage items. Always consult an expert if cleaning anything of value.

Aluminium foil - Grab yourself a container that is large enough to fit the object that is to be cleaned in. Into the container place a sheet of aluminium foil and add hot salt water. Now dip the piece of silverware into the hot solution. After a few seconds the tarnished silver will begin to shine. This works because the presence of the aluminium causes a reaction to take place. This reaction removes every that is in the way – except for the silver of course.

Tomato Ketchup - For this tip on how to clean silver grab yourself a bowl and pour a decent helping of tomato ketchup into it. Next depending whether your piece is smooth or has detailing, you do either one of these two things. In the case of the former just place the item in the ketchup and leave to soak for about 10 minutes. Where the latter is concerned dip a soft toothbrush (old toothbrushes usually fit this billing) in to the sauce and gently scrub the item paying attention to the contours and grooves of the detailing. When you have done this rinse and thoroughly dry the silver. This silver cleaning tip is down to the natural acid that is found in the tomatoes.

How not to Clean Silverware

  • Don't use abrasive materials or hard brushes to clean your silver. Silver is sensitive and easily scratched.
  • Store silverware properly and away from anything that is stainless steel the silver will react to it and tarnish. The same can me said about rubber. Rubber contains the chemical sulphur which is corrosive to silver.
  • Don't leave your silverware exposed to air. The chemicals which occur naturally in the atmosphere such as nitrogen and oxygen will damage and tarnish it.
  • Do not attempt to clean your silverware by placing it in the dishwasher. The soap used in dishwashers is extremely harsh and will certainly damage your silver items.

    How to Store Silverware

    To reduce damage and tarnishing to your silverware you need to store it correctly.

    All silver items should be stored in a cool, dry place; free from the elements, dust and grime. A good idea is to get hold of some desiccated silica gel packs (you see these often found in a box of new shoes and available from many retailers) and place in and around the area of storage; this will draw moisture away from the immediate vicinity of the silver. Alternatively you can use charcoal to draw moisture and harmful gases from the atmosphere.

    For tarnish free silverware use specially treated cloth bags. If you can't get hold of these then wrap items individually on cling film.

    Finally, before putting silverware – that has been in contact with food – away ensure all food debris is removed before storing. Dried on food will damage and corrode the silver.

    I hope you found this article on cleaning silverware useful.

    Got any tips of your own? Why not submit them using the form below?

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