How to clean tarnished silver?

Silver cutlery and silver cutlery are indispensable parts of table culture. The problem is that silver cutlery oxidizes over time and black spots can appear. How do you clean tarnished silver cutlery? Discover some tips that will make your everyday life easier.

Why Does Silver Tarnish? 

Deposits on silver cutlery consist of silver sulphide. This is a solid black salt formed when silver comes into contact with oxygen and hydrogen sulfide. It is in the air and in some foods. Tarnishing is therefore a classic oxidation process

How to clean tarnished silver?

Tarnishes usually deface silver objects. It can be removed by polishing or other techniques, but this cleaning is very labor intensive. In addition, a small amount of silver is removed with each polishing. In the case of silver-plated objects, the process can damage or even remove the thin layer of silver. 

Therefore, it is best to prevent tarnishing as much as possible. To this end, silver objects should be protected from tarnishing. 

Conventional household products or detergents can be used to clean tarnished silver. However, it is highly recommended to use specific, professional cleaning wipes and products.

Purification of silver with bicarbonate

Baking soda or baking powder are indispensable products in every household. They remove red wine stains from fabric sofas and clean silver items.

Mix baking soda with water to make a paste. Then apply the paste to your jewelry or silver plate and cutlery by rubbing gently with a toothbrush. Rinse with clear water after half an hour, wipe off with a silver polishing cloth and polish.

This technique can help, but is not ideal. Instead, it is advisable to use a professional product specifically for silver.

Cleaning silver with white vinegar

To clean silver cutlery, you can also soak it in a mixture of hot water and white vinegar. For dosage: Put a cup of crystal vinegar in 1 liter of water, put your silver cutlery in it and wait 15 to 30 minutes.

If your silverware is covered in black spots, try soaking it in undiluted, hot white vinegar for fifteen minutes.

After the bath, take out the cutlery and wash it in soapy water with a sponge to stop the white vinegar effect.

Vinegar gives off unpleasant odors and is not particularly suitable for cleaning silver cutlery. Therefore, use a professional product that has been developed and tested for cleaning silver objects before opting for this solution.

How to prevent the silver from being tarnished?

To keep your silver lustrous and avoid having to polish it too often, there are several suitable storage methods, combined with regular use and careful washing.

1 - Store your silver properly

Store your silver cutlery in a dry place and away from high temperatures. Both moisture and heat accelerate silver tarnishing.

To keep your silverware and silver jewelry shiny, you should store them in spaces that meet these requirements.

Porcelain cabinets are ideal for storing fine silverware as they regulate airflow to maintain a constant temperature and not retain excess moisture.

Do not pack or store silver cutlery with materials that encourage tarnishing. Many household items can be harmful to your silver by containing chemicals or creating an environment conducive to tarnishing.

- This includes newsprint and other common wrapping paper. The ink on it is acidic and can damage the silver.

- Plastic bags can also promote tarnishing; they also retain moisture and prevent ventilation, which is not good.

- Cardboard boxes are not recommended for storage as they retain moisture and do not provide adequate ventilation.

- Finally, don't tie your silver with rubber bands. They contain sulfur, which causes tarnishing.

Maintain your silver regularly

Take your silver out of storage and use it! A good way to prevent your items from tarnishing is to use them. Most people clean their silverware after use, and you should too.

When storing your silverware, make sure you rotate plates and cutlery so that they are all used evenly. Otherwise, the less used parts will start to tarnish.

2 - Wash your silverware after each use

Clean silverware with hot, soapy water. It is advisable to clean it immediately after use, as skin oils or food residue can chemically react with the silver and damage it.

We recommend that you have clean hands when handling silver. You can also wear cotton gloves.

Do not put your silver cutlery in the dishwasher. While this won't cause tarnishing, cleaning silver in the dishwasher can leave marks. It is therefore best to always clean it by hand and with care.

Do not allow silver to air dry as water droplets can leave stains. Using a soft flannel or cotton cloth, gently rub the surface of the silver in small circles.


How to protect and clean silver effectively?

Hagerty offers various anti-tarnish care products that effectively protect and clean your silver. If you want to protect and shine your silver, here are some products that will satisfy you:

Hagerty Silver Bath: 

Silverware cleaning bath The bath thoroughly cleans and restores the shine of tarnished forks, spoons, knives and other silver objects. Silver Bath protects against oxidation and does not cause micro-scratches or marks on the metal. Your silver cutlery will shine sparkling again.

Hagerty Silver Bath for personal use (580ml) 116077 101140 EAN 7610928075450
Cleaning immersion bath for silver cutlery - cleaning and care of silver and silver-plated.
15,40 EUR
26,55 EUR per l
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Hagerty Silver Care:

Silver polishing paste Clean and care for silver and silver-plated items with Silver Care Paste. It conditions, restores shine and polishes oxidized metals without damaging the surface.

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Hagerty Silver Guard: 

protective cover for silver cutlery Hagerty offers 8 different sizes of impregnated cases that protect and care for your silver cutlery. They protect your silver cutlery from oxidation caused by sulfur in the air and prevent it from turning black too quickly. Each pouch can hold up to 12 pieces of cutlery.

0,00 EUR
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