Cleaning kitchen silverware, such as silver forks, spoons, knives and serving utensils, requires special treatment to maintain their shine and prevent tarnish.
It’s delicate work, and excessive or aggressive cleaning can damage the silver surface, so it’s essential to handle it with care in order to maintain its appearance and longevity.
It’s generally recommended to handwash silverware rather than put it in the dishwasher because dishwashing detergents are sometimes very harsh and can damage the silver’s finish over time.
In addition, dishwashers use extra-hot water, which can cause discolouration and leave unsightly water spots on the utensils as well as mar their finish.
How to Handwash Your Silverware
As a first step, fill a basin or sink with warm water and add a small amount of dish soap. Remember to avoid using any abrasive or citrus-based detergents because they can scratch or tarnish the silver surface easily.
After that, gently place the silverware in the soapy water and be careful not to scratch silverware items on each other. Then, wash it carefully with a soft cloth or sponge to remove any dirt or residue.
Avoid using abrasive fabrics, such as steel wool, because they can also cause scratches and destroy the silverware’s glory and pay extra attention to crevices and intricate patterns to ensure the cleaning has been comprehensive.
When you are done cleaning the silverware, rinse it under warm running water to fully remove any soap residue.
After that, pat them dry immediately with a soft, lint-free cloth and avoid air-drying because it might lead to the development of water spots, which will compromise their glow, and you definitely do not want that.
How do You Polish Silverware
In order to restore the shine of the silverware and remove any tarnish, you should polish your silverware occasionally.
You can use a specialised silver polish or a non-abrasive silver cleaning cloth. Just apply the polish following the product instructions, and gently rub the silverware in a back-and-forth movement.
If your silverware is made of sterling silver, use a cloth soaked with lemon juice to remove any water spots and polish the surface.
Afterwards, rinse with warm water and dry the silverware thoroughly with a soft cloth.
Tips on How to Store Your Silverware
Besides proper cleaning, appropriate storage is also very important to prevent tarnish on kitchen silverware.
Store your silverware in a cool, dry place, preferably in an airtight container, a tarnish-resistant silverware chest or a cotton bag. Think about also using anti-tarnish strips or pouches.
Lastly, to minimise tarnish, avoid exposing your silverware to direct sunlight, humidity, and harsh chemicals, such as bleach or ammonia.
Also, do not use silverware when consuming certain foods, such as eggs, mayonnaise, or mustard, because they can cause discolouration.
Last but not least, always remove any food that remains on your silverware as soon as possible to avoid the formation of stubborn buildup or rust on it.
How to Clean Silver Jewellery
Like kitchen silverware, cleaning silver jewellery requires special care to maintain its shine and prevent tarnish.
To clean it effectively and safely, always use gentle cleaning solutions. You can prepare one by yourself using warm water and mild, phosphate-free dish soap.
Another option is to use a specialised silver jewellery cleaner. Nevertheless, avoid using harsh chemicals, bleach, or ammonia because they can damage the silver or gemstones.
For lightly tarnished silver jewellery, soak the pieces in the cleaning solution for a few minutes to help loosen dirt from the crevices and hard-to-reach spots.
Use a soft-bristled toothbrush or a lint-free cloth to gently scrub the jewellery, pay attention to any intricate details and gemstones, and be gentle to avoid scratching.
After finishing cleaning them, rinse the silver jewellery under running warm water to clear away any residue, being careful not to drop small pieces down the drain.
Pat the jewellery items dry with a soft cloth or let it air dry on a clean surface, and make sure they’re completely dry before storing or wearing them again.
How to Restore Jewellery’s Shine
To restore your jewellery’s glow and remove tarnish, use a silver polishing cloth specifically anticipated for jewellery and gently rub the cloth over the silver surfaces, avoiding gemstones if there are any.
If your silver jewellery has gems, take extra care when cleaning because some gemstones are delicate and may require specialised cleaning techniques.
Avoid immersing porous gemstones, such as pearls and opals, in water or using harsh chemicals. Instead, it’s best to consult a jeweller or refer to specific care instructions for those gemstones.
White vinegar and baking soda
If your silver jewellery isn’t some antique, you can also use a cleaning solution of distilled white vinegar and baking soda to cleanse it.
For this method, put your silver items in a bowl and cover them with white vinegar. Then, add 4 tablespoons of baking soda to the bowl for every cup of vinegar you’ve used. Leave it for 1 hour, rinse with warm water and wipe with a soft cotton cloth.
Water and cornflour
If your silver jewellery has lost its shine, you can also prepare a thick paste made of water and cornflour and apply it to the silver item.
Let it dry completely, and after that, gently rub it off with a cloth or a towel to polish the silver surface. As a substitute for cornflour, you can also use cream of tartar.
Another way to remove tarnish from silver jewellery is by using ketchup. Didn’t expect that, right?
This method works best if you only have a few silver items for cleaning, and it’s suitable on kitchen silverware as well.
Squeeze a few drops on a paper towel and gently rub the tarnished items. If the tarnish is old, leave the ketchup on for around 15 minutes and afterwards, clean it with a microfibre cloth and rinse it under running water.
How to Store Your Silver Jewellery
Again, proper storage is essential to prevent tarnish and protect your silver jewellery for a long time. Store them in a cool, dry place, preferably in a jewellery box or a tarnish-resistant pouch and keep individual pieces separate to avoid scratching one another. Think about also using anti-tarnish strips or pouches to minimise tarnish formation.
And if you need to select a jewellery box for your business, we created this article with some valuable tips to help you.
Lastly, to prevent excessive tarnish buildup, it’s recommended to wear your silver jewellery frequently because the natural oils in your skin can help reduce it. However, avoid wearing it while engaging in activities that could expose it to chemicals, moisture, or excessive friction.
Take Good Care of Your Silverwares to Enjoy Their Beauty for Longer
Cleaning and maintaining your silverware and jewellery is not just about aesthetics, but it’s a practice that guarantees the longevity and brilliance of your cherished pieces.
It’s similar to keeping your home in satisfactory condition in order to feel better and in a good environment. Of course, for your home, you can use a reputable cleaning company, which will save you time and effort.
However, ensuring the cleanliness of your precious items will give you internal satisfaction on another level.
By properly storing and maintaining your silverware and jewellery, you can keep them looking as good as new for years to come. And who wants to avoid enjoying the timeless beauty and elegance of any silver possessions while preserving their value and sentiment?