This is one of those tasks most people dread doing, myself included. In fact, there was a time when I didn't even want to own any silver because of how time consuming it was and the awful smell of most polishes. Not to mention, it was always one of my assigned chores growing up. But here are some great tips for taking the pain out of polishing.
Southern Living breaks it down into 3 parts:
1.) Polish It: remove tarnish by placing your silver on aluminum foil in your sink, sprinkle with baking soda and pour boiling water over it. Rinse and pat dry.
2.) Use It: Frequent use brings put that rich patina. Rinse right after using to prevent tarnishing from sulfides found in foods like mayonnaise and eggs. Use a gentle dish detergent (avoid anything with citrus). Silver made after 1939 is dishwasher safe, but remove before the drying cycle!
3.) Store It: If displaying in a cabinet, place a piece of chalk nearby- it absorbs chemicals that cause discoloration. Or store in sealed plastic bags. If you have a silver drawer or chest, line it with Pacific Silvercloth, an acid and sulfur-free material that keeps your treasures spotless.
Mr. Ayoub uses this method:
1.) Line a glass or plastic tub with aluminum foil- shiny side up and fill with hot water.
2.) Add salt- he used coarse kosher salt and baking soda.
3.) Put in silver pieces and let soak 10 minutes.
For quick touch ups he uses a bit of Colgate toothpaste and a soft cloth.
For copper pots he says...
Make a paste of salt, baking soda, lime juice, vinegar and flour. Use paste to rub pots with a soft cloth.
And, for the black stuff that inevitably ends up on the bottom of pots and pans he says pop open a Pepsi and soak!
A few months ago, I was noticing some pretty silver spoons my client had out on her counter in a glass vessel. I asked how she kept them from tarnishing quickly and she gave me these from The Container Store:
|After cleaning silver, place one of these strips in the drawer, bag or whereever you store your silver.|
I'm guessing this may have a similar result to using chalk or silvercloth as suggest by Southern Living?
Readers if you have additional tips, please share them, we need all the shortcuts possible this time of year! Also, I would love to kno, besides Brasso (I loathe the smell) what readers use to clean their brass?