Friday, October 12, 2018

You inherited it! Now What!

Silverware Forks Metal Cutlery Silver Dish  When my grandmother died, she passed it on to my parents and I suspect when they pass on, I'm probably going to inherit it.  What is it?  The family silver, passed down through the generations.  This is the real stuff, the stuff you do not throw in the dish washer but carefully wash by hand and when it tarnishes, you have to clean it.

Its beautiful but high maintenance and not something I know how to really clean.  I just remember helping to clean them with some sort of polish you put on, let set and then wiped off.  When done, the silver looked really cool again and it was promptly wrapped in some sort of cloth and put away until the next fancy meal.

I found 13 different things you can use to help keep silver shiny and beautiful and they are so easy to use. 

1. Bring one liter of water, one tablespoon of baking soda, and a piece of aluminum foil to a boil. Drop the silverware into a pot for 10 or more seconds depending on the amount of tarnish, pull out using kitchen tongs.  If the tarnish still remains make a paste of 1/4 cup baking soda and two tablespoons of water, apply to the silver with a damp sponge and wipe off.

2. Line a medium sized bowl with aluminum foil before filling with hot water.  Add a tablespoon of your powdered laundry detergent and then add your silver.  Let set for a minute before removing and rinsing with clean water and air dry.

3. For persistent tarnish, pour a small amount of ketchup on a paper towel and gently rub over the tarnished area.  If that doesn't remove the tarnish, let the ketchup sit for 15 minutes before rubbing with a soft cloth and rinsing clean.

4. Make a paste out of equal parts of water and cornstarch.  Apply the paste to your silver, let dry, then rub off with a rough towel.  If you do't have cornstarch, you can use cream of tarter.

5. Do you have some hand sanitizer around?  Add a some to a dry soft cloth and rub the silver with it.

6.  Try soaking the silver in lemon-lime soda for an hour to remove tarnish.  After an hour, remove the silver, rinse, and dry completely.

7.  Another household item you can use to clean silver is toothpaste.  Put a small amount of it on a cloth, rub the silver, then rinse.

8.  If you soak your silver in a mixture of 1/2 cup white vinegar and 2 tablespoons of baking soda for two to three hours before rinsing under cold water and drying, it can make your silver sparkle.

9. Finally, another way to make your silver shine is to soak it overnight in a mixture of 1 tablespoon lemon juice,  1 1/2 cups water, and 1/2 cup of instant dry milk. 

If you've inherited the family silver and its looking a bit tarnished, give one of these methods a try to get them looking nice again.

Have a great day and let me know what you think, I'd love to hear.


  1. Lee, the easiest way to keep silver shining and cut waaaayy down on how often you need to polish it is to USE it. Just use it *every* day. Yes, you'll have to wash it by hand, but hey, it's the *family* silver, it's worth it! :-)

    1. True but my grandmother believed it should only be used for special occasions as many did. Thanks for that advice, I appreciate it.