February 18, 2021

Cleaning and Polishing Silver

This month, while many of us are in the throngs of winter with below-freezing temperatures and another storm expected to drop several inches of snow here in the Northeast, it's good to be indoors where we can tackle some of those time-consuming chores that often get pushed aside for more important tasks - like polishing the silver.

Recently, my housekeepers took on the job of cleaning and polishing some of the silver platters and trays, so they're ready for that time when we can once again gather and entertain safely. There are several ways to clean silver. One nontoxic method is to fill an aluminum pan with hot water, salt and baking soda, stir until it is all dissolved, and then soak the pieces until a chemical reaction occurs that removes the tarnish. This technique is faster than hand cleaning, but may cause pitting and remove the more desirable tarnish called patina. Experts recommend using a good-quality, non-abrasive commercial silver polish. Silver cleaning cloths made especially for removing tarnish from precious metals are also available.

Here are some photos, enjoy.