Skip to main content

How to Clean Silver Cutlery so it Sparkles

Silverware holds a special place in our hearts, be it a family heirloom passed down through generations or a recent addition to your dining collection.

In this guide, we will delve into every aspect of silver cutlery care, from cleaning methods to storage tips. So, let's dive deep and ensure your silverware sparkles brilliantly for years to come.

How to care for silver cutlery

Your silver cutlery is not just a functional dining accessory; it's a piece of art that adds elegance to your table. To ensure that its beauty endures for generations, proper care is essential. In this section, we will explore the intricacies of caring for your silver cutlery, covering everything from daily maintenance to safe storage practices.

Let's dive into the world of silverware care.

Frequent use

Your silver cutlery is not meant to be locked away in a drawer, only to be brought out on special occasions. Using your silverware frequently is key to preventing tarnish buildup. Silver thrives when it's in contact with the air.

Regular use helps maintain its lustre, so consider incorporating it into your daily dining routine. Whether it's for family meals, casual dinners, or a cosy breakfast, embracing your silver cutlery daily is not just about preserving its beauty but also creating everyday elegance.

Hand wash only

While modern dishwashers offer convenience, they may not be the best choice for your silver cutlery. Dishwasher detergents and high temperatures can be abrasive, potentially causing damage and tarnishing.

To ensure the longevity of your silver, opt for the gentler method of hand washing. This approach allows you to have better control over the cleaning process, safeguarding the delicate surfaces of your cutlery.

Dry promptly

After you've lovingly hand-washed your silver cutlery, it's crucial to dry it promptly and thoroughly. Allowing silverware to air dry can lead to unsightly water spots and tarnish formation. Take a soft, lint-free cloth and ensure each piece is completely dry. This seemingly simple step makes a substantial contribution to preserving the natural shine of your silver.

Avoid harsh chemicals

Silver is a sensitive metal, and it demands gentle care. When it comes to cleaning your silver cutlery, always steer clear of abrasive materials and harsh chemicals. These substances can scratch or corrode the delicate surface of silver. Stick to mild, silver-friendly cleaning solutions and employ gentle cleaning techniques to ensure the longevity of your silverware.

Separate from stainless steel

When it's time to store your silver cutlery, exercise caution in how you do it. Store your silver pieces separately from stainless steel or other metals. Mixing different metals can lead to chemical reactions, which, in turn, can result in tarnish or discolouration. By storing your silverware apart from other metals, you'll prevent any potential chemical interactions and preserve the pristine appearance of your cutlery.


5 ways you can clean your silver cutlery at home

Over time, even the most exquisite silver cutlery can lose its lustre due to tarnish and daily use. But fear not, as we uncover five tried-and-true methods to restore your silverware's brilliance from the comfort of your home. From gentle handwashing techniques to unexpected household solutions, we've got your silver's shine covered

1. Handwashing method

Begin by submerging your silver cutlery in warm water with a gentle dish soap. This step helps loosen any dirt and surface tarnish.

Use a soft sponge or a cotton ball to gently scrub away tarnishes and dirt. Pay close attention to intricate designs and crevices, taking care not to scratch the surface. This method, although simple, can be remarkably effective in restoring the shine to your silver.

2. Baking soda paste

Mix baking soda and water until you achieve a thick, creamy paste. This paste acts as a mild abrasive agent.

Apply the baking soda paste to the tarnished areas and gently rub it onto the silver surface using a soft cloth or a toothbrush with soft bristles. The mild abrasive action of baking soda is highly effective in removing tarnish while being gentle on the silver.

3. Aluminium foil and salt bath

Line a container with aluminium foil, ensuring that the shiny side faces up. This creates a chemical reaction that helps remove tarnish.

Dissolve a tablespoon of salt in hot water and pour it into the container.

Place your silver cutlery in the solution, ensuring that it comes into contact with the aluminium foil. This seemingly magical technique works wonders in restoring the gleam to your tarnished silver. As the tarnish transfers from your cutlery to the aluminium foil, you'll witness your silverware regaining its original brilliance.

4. Vinegar soak

Prepare a mixture by combining equal parts of white vinegar and warm water. The mild acidity of vinegar makes it an excellent tarnish remover.

Submerge your silver cutlery in this vinegar and water mixture. After a few minutes, you'll notice the tarnish gradually dissolving.

Once the tarnish has lifted, remove your cutlery from the vinegar solution, rinse it thoroughly with water, and pat it dry with a clean, soft cloth. Your silver will emerge sparkling and refreshed.

5. Lemon juice and olive oil

Mix lemon juice and olive oil in equal parts to create a powerful cleaning solution. The acidity of the lemon juice works as a gentle tarnish remover, while the olive oil provides a brilliant finish.

Apply this solution to the tarnished areas of your silver cutlery using a soft cloth. Gently rub and buff the silver to remove tarnish and restore its shine. The lemon juice will work its magic, while the olive oil leaves a protective sheen. Your silverware will regain its dazzling allure, ready to grace your table once again.


How to polish silver cutlery

Polishing silver cutlery is like giving it a rejuvenating spa treatment. It's the final touch that elevates your silverware from clean to captivating. In this section, we'll explore the art of silver cutlery polishing – from choosing the right polish to mastering the techniques that make your silverware gleam.

Selecting the right polish

Selecting the right silver polish is paramount to successful silverware maintenance. Ensure that it is non-abrasive and suitable for your specific type of silver. Always follow the manufacturer's instructions for optimal results.

Some polishes are formulated for sterling silver, while others are best suited for silver-plated items. Choosing the right polish will enhance the longevity and beauty of your silver cutlery.

Apply the polish

Place a small amount of silver polish on a soft cloth or a designated polishing cloth.

Gently rub the polish onto the tarnished areas, following the contours and patterns of the silverware. Use a circular motion to work the polish into the surface, paying close attention to intricate details and stubborn tarnish spots.

Buff it out

After applying the polish, use a clean and dry cloth to buff your silver cutlery. This final step not only removes any excess polish but also enhances the shine. Take your time with this step to achieve the desired level of sparkle.


How to store and maintain your silver cutlery

Tarnish-resistant storage

Invest in a lined drawer or a tarnish-resistant chest designed specifically for silverware storage. These storage options create a controlled environment that shields your silver from air and humidity, two factors known to accelerate tarnishing. By providing a protective barrier, tarnish-resistant storage significantly prolongs the time between cleanings and keeps your silver cutlery looking its best.

Anti-tarnish strips

Consider placing anti-tarnish strips in your silverware storage area. These strips release compounds that neutralise tarnish-causing gases, providing an additional layer of protection for your precious pieces. Anti-tarnish strips are especially effective in enclosed storage spaces, such as drawers or chests.

Gentle handling

Always handle your silver cutlery with the utmost care. Avoid using harsh chemicals, abrasive materials, or excessive force when cleaning and handling. A gentle touch is the key to preserving your silver's beauty. Treat each piece as a work of art and handle it accordingly to prevent scratches, dents, or other forms of damage.

How often should I clean my silver cutlery?

Maintaining the radiance of your silver cutlery involves not only storage and handling but also regular cleaning. However, the big question is, how often should you clean your silverware?

One of the primary factors that determine how often you should clean your silver cutlery is how frequently you use it. If you enjoy using your silverware regularly, it's less likely to accumulate tarnish. In this case, a monthly cleaning routine or even less frequent may suffice.

For silver cutlery that's brought out for special occasions or gatherings, consider giving it a gentle cleaning after each use to remove fingerprints and food residue. A light wipe-down with a soft cloth can work wonders in maintaining its shine.

Ultimately, how often you clean your silver cutlery can come down to personal preference. Some people enjoy the ritual of caring for their silver and may clean it more frequently. Others may be more relaxed in their approach, opting for deeper cleanings less often.

Remember that regular handling and use can help prevent tarnish build-up, so don't be afraid to use your silver cutlery as often as you like. The more you enjoy it, the less time it spends in storage, and the more it can gleam on your dining table.


The range of cutlery at Briscoes

By following our tips, you'll not only keep your silver cutlery in impeccable condition but also enjoy the timeless elegance it brings to your dining table for generations to come.

Explore Briscoes’ exquisite cutlery collection today.