how to keep sterling flatware from developing dark spots before cleaning
the last time i used my sterling flatware i kept the service out with the dishes, in the sink until after the guests had left for the evening. by the time i got to them, small black spots had developed on some of the pieces. no amount of rubbing would remove them. i later found that a simple paste of baking soda and water would do the trick, BUT what is the best way to "hold over" sterling silver before cleaning, so this doesn't happen again?
No mustard. Mustard created spots on some of my stainless that I have been unable to get out. Everything else, no problem.
If you use mustard, wash your stainless implement immediately.
When we're using the silver, I keep a plastic basin with warm just slightly soapy water in the kitchen, and plunk the silverware in there when guests leave the table. They're easier to rinse off and wash thoroughly when I get to them, and it seems to prevent the darkening that can be formed on sterling from a whole host of foods -- things containing sulfur (eggs, cabbage), mustard as Jay mentioned, acids.