Antique silverware is both a fascinating piece of history and a valuable and luxurious heirloom, holding both sentimental and monetary value. Properly caring for your pieces is crucial to preserving their exquisite beauty for generations. Follow these expert tips on how to best care for your cherished antique silverware collection.
Handwashing Is the best option
While you can put your antique silverware in the dishwasher, many people prefer handwashing their pieces. Dishwashers can cause an electrolytic reaction between the silver and other metals, causing damage to the silverware. However, you can take precautions and remove other metals and cookware.
If you want to avoid the fuss of dishwashers, handwash your antique silverware with mild soap and warm water and dry it thoroughly with a soft cloth.
Remove tarnish regularly
As tarnish is a natural occurrence, it’s essential to remove it regularly to care for your antique silverware. That way, you can maintain its appearance and value.
There are many commercial silver polishes available, but you should take a gentler approach. Mix a quarter cup of baking soda with a tablespoon of salt and enough hot water to make a paste. Rub the paste over the silverware with a soft cloth, rinse in water, and dry thoroughly.
Handle with care
When using your antique silverware, make sure to handle it with care. Avoid using abrasive materials like scouring pads, as they can scratch the surface. Always use a soft cloth to clean it.
Furthermore, avoid eating acidic foods (i.e., citrus fruits) with your silverware, as the acidity can react with the material. This chemical reaction may cause your pieces to tarnish or develop a blackish discoloration.
Finally, it’s essential to store your silverware carefully. You can use an airtight container, tarnish-proof cutlery roll, or acid-free tissue paper to avoid damage. Remember to place pieces in a clean and dry environment.
Antique silverware: Professional care
Understandably, properly caring for antiques is time-consuming. Therefore, you should seek a professional if you require assistance. Antique specialists offer care and restoration services for your silverware. They have the expertise to clean, repair, and restore your pieces, ensuring they stay in excellent condition.