Caring for your silverware

Caring for your silverware

For so many of us, our silver is a investment. Even if you have a collection of silver items, each one is special and purchased with the intention of it lasting the test of time.

But just like any item worn on your person, or kept in the home, silver is at risk of becoming tarnished. When this happens to a much loved item, and the damage looks beyond repair, it can be quite upsetting. Thankfully there are ways and means to protect your silverware, and ways to fix it up when it’s looking a little sorry for itself. Read on to find out how...

Why does silver tarnish?

In its purest form, silver is one of the most non-tarnishable precious metals around. However, pure silver is far too soft to be used for jewellery or within the home. That’s why since medieval times, sterling silver has been the standard choice for manufacturing silverware, as it has the luxurious appearance of pure silver while being altogether far more durable (although it is still made up of 92.5% pure silver). The material reacting with chemicals in the air (from perfume, for example) or even the air itself is what causes the tarnished effect.  

What can I do to stop it happening?

Most tarnishing is the result of unavoidable wear and tear, but there are certain things you can do to prevent the early onset of such damage. Avoid wearing silver jewellery when taking a bath or cooking, and try not to spray aerosols around your silver items. You can also protect your silver by polishing it regularly with a professional polishing cloth, which is designed to lift dirt and grease.

What should I do when tarnish has already occurred?

Once your silver has already become marked, consider using silver polish along with your cloth to remove the black tarnish. If your item has become seriously damaged to the point that polish will not get rid of any stains, you can get your silver re-plated - but this is still only a temporary measure.

Take good care of your silver and there’s no reason why it can’t last you a lifetime and beyond.

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