Washing and cleaning silver cutlery

Good silver cutlery is usually only taken out of the drawer when a special family occasion is coming up. The valuable cutlery therefore often rests in the drawer for a long time until it is used again. In the drawer, however, it turns black over time and must first be cleaned before use. Learn here how to rinse and best clean silver cutlery.

What is special about silver as a material?

How can you tell if it is silver cutlery?

If you have inherited silverware or would like to purchase some at a flea market, for example, the question often arises as to whether it is genuine, valuable silverware. But you can quickly find out. All you need is a magnet and a magnifying glass.

With the magnifying glass, you can search the cutlery for an embossed stamp, also called a hallmark. If it is high quality silver cutlery, you will find a number between 625 and 925. The higher this number, the higher the silver content. The rest is made of other metal, often copper. Pure silver in the form of cutlery does not exist, because it is much too soft. Two-digit numbers such as 90 silver indicate that it is silver-plated flatware only. Likewise, a 120 or 150 means that only one layer of silver, albeit solid, has been applied here. Underneath the silver layer is a different metal. 90 silver flatware is commonly found, but 925 sterling silver is less common.

If you can’t find a stamp or are still unsure, you can hold a magnet to the flatware. Consequently, since silver is not magnetic, the cutlery should not be attracted.

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Advantages and disadvantages of silver cutlery

It should be emphasized that silver has a high antibacterial effect. In addition, it conducts heat poorly. As a result, cold food stays cold longer, hot food stays hot longer. Silver cutlery is particularly popular because it is usually very decorative and fits well on the festive table on special occasions. Many silver cutlery are nobly decorated and thus also visually a real eye-catcher. In addition, the festive cutlery is a small value investment, depending on the amount of silver of course.

But silver does not only have advantages. Unfortunately, it tarnishes quickly and then becomes unsightly black. This is due to a chemical reaction with the hydrogen sulfide in the air. But if the cutlery is also cleaned incorrectly, discoloration can also occur.

  • High antibacterial effect
  • Low heat conduction
  • Particularly decorative
  • High-grade silver as an investment
  • Silver tarnishes and requires care

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Can you prevent silver from tarnishing?

There is certainly something that can be done to prevent silverware from tarnishing black. One or two tricks in storage can prevent discoloration.

Tip #1: Store silverware wrapped in silver cleaning cloths.

If you store silver cutlery wrapped in silver cleaning cloths, for example, the reaction with the room air is contained. Likewise, you can place chalk or salt in the silverware drawer, which will bind the hydrogen sulfide from the air.

Tip #2. Use silverware more often

If silverware is used frequently, it usually does not discolor as much. However, this is simply because it is cleaned regularly.

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How to clean discolored silver cutlery?

If the cutlery is tarnished, a simple trick helps to quickly remove the discoloration: fill the sink with water and dissolve a few tablespoons of table salt in it. Now place a sheet of aluminum foil in the sink with the shiny side facing up and place the silverware on top. The dark discolorations will now come off on their own, you only need to polish again.

You can also use baking soda or baking powder to make a paste with water, which you can then use to rub off the silverware. Afterwards, however, it must be rinsed again. A bath in diluted citric acid or vinegar also helps to remove discoloration. However, this will take at least an hour. Alternatively, you can of course also use special cleaners for silver.

David Shaw

David Shaw

Dishwashers expert with over 10 years of experience. He writes articles and shares his knowledge on many sites. Helps you choose the best (portable, countertop, built-in) dishwashers on this site.

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