Tips on taking care of your silver: cleaning, storing, and selling it

If you have sterling silver flatware, serving pieces, ice buckets, or even jewelry, there’s one thing you certainly know: tarnish is your enemy. But it doesn’t have to be difficult. And the warmth and elegance that silverware brings to your table can’t be beat. Here are some simple tips:

How to clean your silverware

  • Every time you use your silver, wash or rinse it right away with hot water. Be sure to dry the pieces thoroughly.
  • Don’t leave the sterling soaking in water; this can damage the metal.
  • Wash it by hand with a mild detergent. But if you do put it in the dishwasher, take it out before the dry cycle and dry the pieces with a soft cloth.
  • Polish your flatware once or twice a year, whether you’ve used it or not during that time.

How to take care of your silver jewelry

  • An occasional swipe with an anti-tarnish cloth or a paste specifically made for silver jewelry will do the trick.
  • Make sure that your jewelry is wiped down before you store it.
  • Avoid wearing silver rings and bracelets when you’re cleaning…the harsh abrasives can mar the finish. (That includes chlorine, so never wear your silver jewelry in a pool.)

How about toothpaste? It’s great for teeth; not so much for your silver jewelry. Most silver experts caution against it. A lot of current toothpastes contain abrasive elements that can leave scratches that will dull your shiny pieces. 

Tips on storing silver: Fight that tarnish

  • Make sure the silver is totally dry before you put it away.
  • If you use it every day, store it in a dry drawer.
  • If you don’t use it that often, use those flannel flatware bags or wooden storage chests that you got with the silver. This will keep it dry with less tarnish.
  • Some people think wrapping sterling in plastic wrap will keep moisture out—DON’T! This could leave permanent marks on the silver.

Ready to sell? Don’t go it alone!

Maybe you’re downsizing, or don’t need your flatware any more. You’ve probably seen ads from people buying silver, but how do you know if you’re getting a good deal? Call me! An updated appraisal can give you an idea of your silver’s value…and I can help advise you on your options.

Silver can warm up a table and bring elegance to your special events. Enjoy! And let me know if I can help.

Sparklingly yours, Aimee

 

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