How to care for Antique Silver
You might think that antique silver will constantly need the tarnish removed but if you follow some useful tips on cleaning the silver and then keep the silver away from sulfur, use the silver regularly and keep away from acid based products you will be able to greatly enjoy the beauty of your silver.
First of all use it regularly. Silver is best off if you actually use it. But if you eat something like peas or eggs or onions you might want to use something else for a utensil for these meals. The reason is there is sulfur in those foods.
Second when you wash your silverware don't wash it in the dishwasher because the detergent is harsh and the heat is too high for silver. However, washing in mild soapy water is ok if you wash quickly and rinse in clean hot water. Then dry immediately.
** A note about eating eggs and such...If you do want to use the silver cutlery anyway for eating peas, mayonnaise, brussel sprouts, and eggs then after washing as mentioned in number two dip the silver briefly in a silver dip. But make sure you then rinse the silver in warm water thoroughly and dry with a soft cloth.
Once you have clean silver it is easy to maintain with a quick dusting using a warm soapy water wash and a soft cloth. Rinse well and quickly dry the silver.
What about silver you are not going to use regularly? Well it can be a good idea to put it away in a tarnish proof felt or acid free paper. Place that in a cupboard or drawer and keep as air tight as possible. When you take out the silver if you find that it has tarnished no problem because tarnish is not truly harmful to silver. It is ugly but not corrosive. So when you need to use it again just use one of these simple methods to remove the tarnish from the silver.
Method one: converts silver sulfide into silver but does not remove the silver so no harm comes to the silver pieces. The recipe is as follows:
You will need:
* baking soda
* aluminum foil
Now you will line a glass pan or sink with the foil then
heat water until it steams and add:
* 1 tablespoon baking soda
* 1 tablespoon of salt for each quart of water then
pour it into the glass pan or the sink
You will need tongs to place the silver on the pan and you will need to make sure the silver touches the aluminum foil. What you will notice is that the tarnish will disappear almost immediately.
If you have a greatly tarnished piece of silver you might have to repeat the process with a reheated solution.
If you would rather just buy from the wide assortment of cleaners available at the grocery store or the hardware store then try to get the least abrasive cleaner possible. No matter what you buy, most of these products remove a slight layer of silver so buy one for your antique silver that is the long lasting kind.