The Care of Silverware

I am Kathleen Raskin, and I’d like to welcome you to Kathey Jo’s Kitchen. Today we’re here to chat about the care and maintenance of silverware. As an heirloom set, silver can provide years and years of a fine dining experience that will support your family for generations. The maintenance of such fine pieces can be intimidating, so let’s make it easy for you. You’ll be happy to hear that a light tarnish and the luster of soft polishing adds to the attractiveness. Silver is one of those things where you want to see the age of it. Ideally, there should be some tarnish, because there’s high value in antique silver.


How to Clean and Maintain

1.       Place silver in a disposable aluminum tray. Avoid using something you would cook with daily, because the process may stain and leave odors or smells that could transfer.

2.       Make sure you’re in a well-ventilated area. Cover your silver with a thick layer of baking soda, and completely submerge in boiling water for 5 minutes.

3.       Put the silver on a clean cotton cloth to drain, using disposable tongs and cotton gloves. Use additional dish cloths to buff with small, circular motions. Up and down the handle will suffice for longer pieces. Use Q-Tips for a deeper clean.

4.       If you feel your silver needs more attention, repeat the steps as necessary.


How to Prepare for Long-Term Maintenance

  1. Air is the primary enemy of silver. Hopefully, your silver came in a lined box. An airtight seal is not necessary, but it should prevent the free flow of air.
  2. If you need to furnish your own box, use Sulphur free tissue. There are anti-tarnish bags readily available too.
  3. Don’t allow chlorine, fruit juices, latex, rubber, salt, wine, or wool to interact with your silver. You risk damaging the valuable patina.
  4. Wash it soon after usage with a non-abrasive dish soap that does not contain lemon, and dry with soft dish cloths as soon as you’re able. That’ll help avoid having to perform steps 1-4 every time you plan to use your silver.

That’s it! If you have a different way of caring for and maintaining your silver, let me, Kathleen Raskin, know in the comments, so that your fellow readers have plenty of options to choose from.