How To Polish Silver

Friday, March 1, 2013

Silver Plate Flatware
Confession:  I love polishing silver!  
I know this is weird, but for some reason I find it very therapeutic ~ and of course the instant gratification of something going from dull to shiny is pretty great as well!
My collecting of silver plate flatware started long ago while antiquing with my Mom and Grandma and to this day I'll still buy a piece if the price and pattern is right!
Next week I'll put a post up about how to pick out silver plate flatware, but in the meantime, lets get to the cleaning!
Whether your purchasing old and tarnished flatware or yours is in need of maintenance, the first thing is to find a good and reliable silver cleaner. 
One of my personal favorites is Wright's!  I go back and forth between the cream and polish depending on what I'm polishing.  For silver plate flatware Wright's Silver Cream is great because it comes with its own nifty little sponge that easily does the trick!  
You'll also want to wear rubber gloves while polishing.
In shopping for polishes be careful of the cleaners that are pure liquid ~ while they make the job easy, I've learned the hard way that they tend to strip the silver from the utensils!  
I would avoid these! 
If I'm planning on polishing a lot of flatware, I'll separate them between forks, spoons, etc and typically polish in batches of six-eight.  If newly purchased, you'll want to wash them first to get off any initial dirt and grime. Now to the fun part!
Utility sinks are great if you have one, otherwise the kitchen sink is fine!  I'll start with a dime sized amount of cream on my sponge and vigorously scrub back and forth until the sponge is black from tarnish ~ at this point, rinse the sponge and start again on another fork.  Keep doing this until your batch is finished, but be careful not to have the polish dry on the fork itself.  Rinse the batch in hot water, then start again on 2nd coat.  You'll want to keep doing this until tarnish is no longer coming off ~ this can take just one coat, or I've even had situations where it's needed up to eight!
Once you're finished, wash and rinse using a mild dish washing soap.  
Then use a clean lint free towel to dry and buff your newly polished silverware!
Because I love a good before and after:
BEFORE
AFTER
We use our silver plate for our everyday utensils and on a daily basis 
wash them in the dishwasher.  Just be sure not to wash any stainless steel items 
during the same cycle or it will strip the silver!

Do you collect any silver plate? 
Or have any good polishing tricks?
You know we LOVE comments!


9 comments :

  1. This is great, now I just need to get to work, better yet...since you did say you love to polish.....

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  2. To the Silver Queen: When are you coming to my house? I'm glad to know that you like Wright's the best. Have you noticed the house decorating magazines are now using mixed pattern place settings? I think you and your mother started that about 4 or 5 years ago. Grams

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  3. I am thinking about using the silver flatware that belonged to my great-grandparents on a daily basis instead of my stainless. I might as well use the good stuff instead of keeping it in a box, right? I've been using some of the serving-ware for awhile now, and I really enjoy polishing those as well.

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  4. I just looked mine up and realized it's sterling and not silverplate. I'm thinking I'll need to be extra careful with that then, right?
    Here it is: http://replacements.com/webquote/TWSCAN.htm

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    Replies
    1. Meagan ~ LOVE your great-grandparent's sterling flatware! I'm with you on using it rather than keeping it tucked away in a box. However, I personally still hand wash any sterling silver ~ detergents and bleach can yellow and discolor them. I've seen online some people will put them in the dishwasher ~ but be sure not to do that with your knives ~ more than likely the blades are stainless and the handle sterling ~ this just depends on when they were made. The great thing about sterling is exactly that ~ they tend to shine better and of course they don't wear down like silver plate will. But, I would definitely be extra careful with them ~ maybe just use them for special occasions? That's why I use silver plate on a daily basis ~ if they get messed up, it's no big deal :)

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  5. Wow! I love these all stunning collection of silver spoons. The way you explain this tips are so easy to emulate. You can also check antique architectural elements from France including stone fountains, bronze urns, art deco furniture, statuary and fine antique marble fireplace mantels here.

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