1 Another big project is underway in the Winter House basement - polishing my collection of silver.
2 Over time, silver develops a tarnish - a thin layer of silver sulphide corrosion that forms on metals as it undergoes a chemical reaction.
3 Both the inside and outside of silver pieces tarnish when it comes in contact with sulphur compounds, such as the hydrogen sulphide gas in the air.
4 These pieces have yellowed with tarnish.
5 Tarnish ranges in color from a yellowy gold to almost black, depending on how long it has been allowed to develop.
6 These pieces are very lightly tarnished - it is always a good idea clean silver regularly, so it doesn't develop a thick coat of tarnish that is harder to remove.
8 After washing the piece with soap and warm water, apply a small amount of silver cream using a soft foam sponge. Use non-coated rubber gloves when doing this chore.
9 Completely coat the piece with the cream.
10 The silver will start to brighten as it is rubbed.
11 Use silver polishes that are non-abrasive, and opt for formulas, such as creams and gels instead of sprays.
12 After you've rubbed the entire piece, wash it with soap and water again to ensure all the cream is removed. Place a terry cloth on the bottom of the sink, so the metal doesn't bang against the porcelain or steel surfaces.
13 Look at the difference - it is so much brighter and true to its silver color.
14 The piece is then dried very well, and placed back on the shelf.
15 It may take a little longer when cleaning a piece with more intricate designs, crevices, or indentations.
16 Here is the base of this candle holder - it is yellowed with tarnish.
17 Carlos washes it, and then rubs it with the sponge and cream.
18 The silver returns to its original luster quickly.
19 After it's cleaned, Sanu dries it thoroughly with a soft cloth, such as an old cut up tee-shirt.
20 Look how beautiful it is now.
21 A slightly tarnished tray
22 And, the same tray after it was polished.
23 Notice the yellowing on this piece of silver.
24 Here it is after a good cleaning.
25 Another tarnished silver base
26 It is washed and cleaned with the silver cream.
27 It is now beautiful again.
28 I have a pretty expansive collection of silver, so this task took a few days to complete.
29 Many of my bigger silver pieces are stored on large shelves in one room of my basement. I am very fortunate to have a lot of storage space at the farm.
30 Upstairs in my servery, silver flatware, or eating utensils, such as forks, knives and spoons, also went through a thorough cleaning.
31 So many spoons of all sizes and types were washed and polished.
32 Utensils with mother of pearl handles need a little extra care, and if dirty may require a different type of cleaner - just keep away from acids, so they do not disintegrate.
33 Mother of pearl, also known as nacre, is formed by the inner lining of the shells of oysters and similar marine creatures such as abalone.
34 Bakelite is an early type of plastic. It was developed by the Belgian-American chemist Leo Baekeland in New York in 1907. These can also be carefully cleaned using special plastic polishes.
35 Cleaning silver definitely takes some elbow grease, but it is well worth the effort.