Silver is a lustrous metal and its versatility comes alive, when it adds to the grace of flatware, utensils, household cutlery and jewelry. It doesn’t only appear beautiful, but also depicts the tastefulness of the keeper. Regrettably, this striking metal is comparatively fragile than other frequently used metals given that it is prone to stains, tarnish and scratches. Everybody wants to take special care of their sterling silver, but at times, it becomes quite difficult for us to clean such silver items, as they are special and causing damage to them is the worst terror. However, proper storage and maintenance of silver can surely cut down the time of cleaning it. Check out some easy tips that would help you to keep your precious silver shining and blemish-free.
Tips to Clean Silver
- In case the tarnish is not very hard, simple white toothpaste (not gel) works wonderfully on silver. All you need to have is a soft, dampened cloth or sponge and some toothpaste.
- Apply some toothpaste on the cloth and lightly rub it over the silver in straight, back-and-forth motions. When the cloth turns dark with tarnish, apply more toothpaste to the clean part of cloth and continue polishing the silver.
- Rinse the silver with warm water and dry it thoroughly with a soft towel.
With Baking Soda
- For proper cleaning of silver, baking soda is the best way to remove tarnish as well as stains. However, one must be cautious while cleaning silver with baking soda; they cause a minor chemical reaction when they come in direct contact. At such time, don’t breathe in the fumes occurred with the reaction.
- Baking Soda should not be used, except if you can take the risk of harming the silver. It is considered to be harsh to use on silver.
- Take a bowl and add two teaspoons of baking soda, and warm water to make a paste.
- Apply this paste on a dampened cloth or sponge and rub it gently over the silver, the way you did while using toothpaste. Rinse the silver thoroughly and dry it with a soft cloth.
Homemade Silver Dip
- Silver Dips available in the markets are generally harsh as they contain dangerous chemicals. You can easily make your own silver dip at home and give a bath to your silver wares.
- If you have to wash your silver in bulk, take a big container or use sink, otherwise take a suitably sized container and fill it with hot water.
- Add table salt or baking soda to the water and stir the water so that the salt (or soda) gets dissolved.
- Place an aluminum foil in the container and keep your silver that has been already cleaned with detergent in it.
- Leave the silver for some time in the water. Tarnish would get dissolved. To clean stubborn spots, take a wet soft-bristled brush and mild detergent, and gently rub them.
- Rinse the silver carefully and dry it with a soft towel.
Tips to Maintain Silver
- Silver items should be cleaned regularly, especially every time after use. This way, tarnish problem seldom arises and when there is no tarnish, you can just wash the silver in lukewarm water with a mild, phosphate-free detergent.
- It is always good to wash silver singly and not with your other dishes or in dishwasher, since stainless steel utensils and sinks can scratch silver, and can cause damage to its finish.
- Don’t prefer using rubber gloves at the time of washing silver because it gets corroded by rubber. Instead, make use of a soft cloth to lightly rub the silver and quickly dry it with a soft towel.
- Foods having quantity of Sulphur or are acidic and salty in nature, should be removed just after use because they cause damage to silver. It is better to use plastic or glass utensils while serving such foods. Whatever the case may be, wash your silver immediately, otherwise rinse it well with lukewarm water to remove the food traces.
- As and when tarnish develops on your sterling silver, only hand washing might not be sufficient to remove it. In such cases, polishing of silver could be a better option to go for. Markets are full of specially made silver polishes that are really good to clean silver antiques or intricately designed pieces. Follow the manufacturer’s directions to polish your silver.
Proper storage of silver can save the items from tarnishing or spoiling. The silver that is not used frequently should be stored in a correct manner. It must be completely dry and wrapped in an acid-free tissue paper or anti-tarnish paper. Then the wrapped silver pieces should be kept in an airtight plastic bag. A canister of silica gel, if kept nearby the silver, can facilitate reducing humidity and protect against tarnish.