How To Care For Your Cutlery
Silverware is for daily use, and typically silver is used for making the most valuable tableware – cutlery, flatware and holloware – the latter means drinking vessels, tea and coffee services etc. All these products need a visibly clean, attractive, strong and inert metal for contact with food and mouth, and silver has always been and remains the best and most durable choice.
The best treatment for properly made silver is constant use. With this it takes on a patina from the myriad of scratches that scatter the light that falls on its surface in all directions. You get a depth of blue-black colour from the sanding, polishing and extensive preparation given to the best silverware and cutlery during production processes, and the patina which develops from constant use enhances its appearance.
Felt lined drawers, cutlery cabinets and felt storage rolls are the best way of storing silver cutlery that is in constant use. These separate the knives, forks and spoons from each other and most of our cutlery cabinets hold each piece separately – this makes it easier to rotate the use of the pieces. Stacking cabinets, where pieces are stacked on top of each other, are not recommended for silver and silver plate but are fine for stainless steel cutlery.
All good quality silver cutlery – and all cutlery sold by us – is dishwasher safe. However, dishwashers sometimes leave water stains on metal and crystal surfaces, this is more likely in hard water areas. If this offends, check that your dishwasher salt reservoir is regularly topped up, and buy lemon-free dishwashing tablets or powder. If it still occurs you can overcome the problem by hand washing and drying.
If food obstinately adheres to cutlery soak it in warm, soapy water for a while, never use scouring pads or powder. Knife blades should be wiped dry immediately after washing to avoid water stains, if washing and drying by hand.
Whether washing by hand or dishwasher, the best results are always obtained by drying immediately. In the case of dishwashing machines, this means removing the cutlery from the machine as soon as it completes its task. Cutlery will not harm by being left unwashed after a meal, simply leave it soaking in warm soapy water until it is convenient to wash and dry it.
Tarnishing, caused by foodstuffs which contain sulphur, can be best and most quickly removed by – when necessary – washing the cutlery by hand and, while it is still wet, wiping it over with a proprietary silver foam. Goddards, Hagerty and Town Talk are all good brands and can be purchased in a supermarket or hardware store. The foam, which comes in a tub, is supplied with a sponge for the purpose. Once the foam has been applied to all the cutlery pieces, rinse and dry them. It is by far the easiest and quickest way of removing any tarnish. If we supply silver cutlery in a cabinet, we will have enclosed some Cutlery Strips to keep with your cutlery – these inhibit tarnishing occurring during storage.
Proprietary silver polishes also work well, but more effort and time is required. Silver dips are preferred by some people, but not by us. It is important to avoid getting any dip on the knife blades – or on a stainless steel sink and draining board. Stale silver dip can stain the silver, though not irreversibly, it can be polished off with effort and a good silver polish.
Overall, silver and good quality silver plate are very practical and hard wearing, and of course, stainless steel cutlery is perhaps the best choice if you never want to clean silver! Many of our patterns are available in sterling, silver plate and stainless steel, so choose the one that suits your lifestyle the best!