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Jun 14, 2006 05:23 PM

Silverware to keep or to return?Need Advice Please!

  • v

I just got married and registered (on for Pillar style Reed & Barton Silverware. I mostly went with them because I liked the look and it said it was 18/10 stainless steel and completely dishwasher safe.

Well when I recieved them each outside bag had a warning that they are dishwasher safe but washing in the dishwasher is not reccommended and if you do put them in the dishwasher take them out promptly to avoid spotting and not to leave sitting in water. I have never had good silverware and haven't had problems with my cheap stuff leaving it in the dishwasher and soaking in water. And I am sure that I won't be putting my dishes away right after the cycle is done and I can see my husband soaking in water sometime in the course of the rest of our lives!!

So the question is do I return these, is this simply a warning to cover themselves? I thought 18/10 was totally safe and quality? Is there a better brand of silverware that is a definite that it won't have problems? I want it to look good and use for a really long time. Help!

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  1. First, I think that you need to define your terms. Silverware is made of SILVER. 18/10 stainless steel eating utensils are made out of...stainless steel, and are properly referred to as flatware.

    So, is your service really "silverware"? Please bear in mind that I am not asking this out of any desire for "snob appeal", because I do not personally own silverware, as it would not fit my lifestyle. However, I do have an everyday set of flatware, and also a good set of flatware. Naturally, I treat the good set with much more care. In order to get a response that is adequate to the task, you have to use the correct terms in your question!

    If the set is, in fact, silverware, then, no, it should not be put into the dishwasher. If it is, in fact, stainless steel, then I would advise you to use the dishwasher (with the addition of a good rinse agent), and to remove the utensils promptly after the drying cycle is over, or perhaps before the drying cycle is finished. Final drying with a good linen towel should produce a good finish, and should avoid spotting on stainless flatware.

    2 Replies
    1. re: JB

      I will not have an everyday and a nicer set I wanted something that could be both and will only have one set. It states on the back that it is 18/10 stainless steel which is the reason I bought them so I wouldn't have to be extra careful with them. If I did have two sets it wouldn't be such a bother to me to be careful, but when I get busy which will be happening a lot in the next 20 years, I tend be less than careful. Am I right in thinking if a product is truely 18/10 stainless steel there shouldn't be a problem with spotting?

      1. re: VBeatso

        Hello, short answer, no, the manufacturer cannot unconditionally assure the user that s.steel won't spot, because of the variations in everyone's water supply, dishwasher, detergent, and combinations thereof. Soaking presents similar issues with water and chemical combinations(tap water hardly being chemical free on its own, especially in some areas). That's why folks are helpfully advising to keep detergent to a minimum and air/towel dry. You're stuff will be fine unless you go to extremes of caustic or residue-depositing washing. enjoy

    2. With some of the better quality stainless flatware, often referred to as 'dining room quality" and what you have falls into that category, the knive blades are the same blades that would be used on sterling or silverplate. They can pit and develop spots if left soaking for too long. Go ahead and put them in the dishwasher, use a good rinse aid and I like the Cascade with shine shield, yes and gasp, I even put my sterling in the dishwasher. That I take out the minute the dishwasher is through and rub dry. In less expensive stainless flatware the knife is often all molded in one piece and there for is less "delicate".

      There is a rumor out there that the lemon scented dishwasher detergent is more prone to promote pitting in the dishwasher but I have never done a test to verify it.

      Keep it and enjoy.

      1. I've had a set of R & B stainless flatware for almost 20 years and believe me, those knives go right into the dishwasher. Eventually the cement holding the blades into the handles will begin to disintegrate, as it will on all stainless, silverplate or sterling knives that are made in two pieces. But the key word is eventually, since it takes a long time for that to happen. For example, my mother-in-law's sterling knives began separating after 40+ years of serious use.

        One thing that will help is to shut off the heated drying cycle on your dishwasher and let things air dry. It will save energy and unless you need the stuff right away, you won't be unloading it immediately anyway.

        1. I think you will be fine. 18/10 is the highest grade of stainless and yes, it can pit and spot, but it doesn't generally.

          Use the least amount of detergent possible in your loads and use the air dry feature to reduce harshness. "Modern" dishwashers and detergents focus on very harsh, very powerful methods which aren't needed for many daily uses.

          2 Replies
          1. re: JudiAU

            I completely agree with use advice of using the least amount of detergent. I really needed do to a load but only had a small amount of detergent, approx. 1 tsp., I used the higher temp wash cycle and my dishes can out clean as a whistle and spotless. I use a lot less detergent now with the normal cycle and it works out great.

            The liquid rinse stuff that was mentioned earlier is a life saver as we have really hard water. The flatware and wine glasses come out spotless no matter if I air or machine dry them.

            1. re: Tracy L.

              I've used *JetDry* for years and it produces spotless glassware, dishes and flatware. I've had a large set of Oneida flatware for 30-plus years and it looks brand new. Once a month I fill the little dispenser inside my dishwasher with JetDry and just let it do its thing. I recommend it highly.

          2. I suggest getting a good set of flatware (I like Dansk) that has a matte finish. Then I don't think you'll need to worry about spots like you with a shiny finish.