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cleaning Silver Plate

  • j

Another cleaning question, sorry all!

I have a collection of silverplate utensils I use for everyday eating (oneida community plate in case this makes a difference). I polished them about 2-3 months ago, but now the tarnish has come back!
I'm relatively new at the cleaning and care of silverplate, so I don't know how often this should be done or which polisher is the best.
I use a dishwasher to clean the pieces, but I have recently heard that putting silver plate in the dishwasher is a bad idea, could this really be causing tons of tarnish?

ideas/suggestions?
thanks!

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  1. You never put any type of silver in the dishwasher. It will dull and spot the silver. Use wrights silver polish. The tarnish will always come back. That is what silver does. The more you use it the less it will tarnish, and the silver gets a lovely sheen that is better than the "new" silver look. Silver plate wears off after time and will need to be re silvered. That will be years from now. But don't rub real hard when you clean it, clean when it starts to tarnish, or you will have hard work ahead. You can store it in silver cloth.

    1. You never put any type of silver in the dishwasher. It will dull and spot the silver. Use wrights silver polish. The tarnish will always come back. That is what silver does. The more you use it the less it will tarnish, and the silver gets a lovely sheen that is better than the "new" silver look. Silver plate wears off after time and will need to be re silvered. That will be years from now. But don't rub real hard when you clean it, clean when it starts to tarnish, or you will have hard work ahead. You can store it in silver cloth.

      1. I polish my silverplate and silver flatware and serving pieces with Wright's Silver Creme, readily available in major grocery store chains in the cleaning product aisle. Don't buy the product where you dip your flatware. It will remove silver every time you use it. I just ordered a new product called *MAAS*, which I have seen featured in several cooking and women's magazines (i.e. Martha Steward Living, Cook's Illustrated, etc.) It claims to clean silver and leave a film to prevent future tarnishing. That would be wonderful! I have two large, heated, silver chaffing dishes from the old s.s. Montery, which sailed for many years from Oakland to the Hawaiian Islands, and they are nasty to clean. Hopefully this product will reduce my cleaning task to a once-a-year event.

        1. Dishwashers are hard on silver because the process and detergents are harsh. In essence-- they clean too much. They cause pieces to tarnish faster and can spot. If you combine silver with stainless in your washer basket the silver can spot permanently.

          The best way to clean silver to wash it quickly after a meal. The more frequently you use and hand wash silver the less tarnish will develop.

          We use our silver at least once a week and only polish it um er well I need to polish it and I am pretty sure it has been almost two years since I have done so.

          1 Reply
          1. re: JudiAU

            BTW- I use Wrights on my silver as well.

            Silverplate or large or cheap items get the tin foil quick soak but I would never do that to sterling or anything I really cared about.

            We have one huge heirloom sterling piece that my MIL cleans at Christmas. =)

          2. Don't use the dishwasher on plate, sterling, vermeil (gilt sterling), gold, hollow-handled knives and serving pieces (typical for precious metal flatware), nor for crystal or gold- or silver-rimmed china, porcelain, et cet. The risks of damage and excessive wear are too great.

            While plate flatware can wear out over decades, depending on its plating thickness, sterling flatware is enhanced by regular, normal use instead of being reserved for a handful of occasions a year: it is more easily and better maintained and patinized when used regularly.

            Also, for precious metal flatware that has dark antiqueing, you don't want to clean that out of it. Another reason never to use the dishwasher for it.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Karl S

              Of course, now that you know this, you can simply inform your housekeeper to make sure your staff follows suit ;<)