Here are a few tips on how to properly care for and store your fine
sterling silver and silver plated items.
Always use a gentle polish/cleaner made specifically for silver, not the multi-metal polishes or dips.
Do not use fine silver to serve food containing eggs or mayonnaise. Since such foods can tarnish silver, use glass bowls, or liners that may have accompanied such silver pieces.
DO NOT wash your sterling or silver plate in the dishwasher!
When washing with warm soapy water, make sure to use a NON-lemon based detergent, as it can spot the silver. Make sure to dry silver thoroughly using a 100% cotton cloth, such as flour-sack cloths. Tiny water spots may eventually turn into black spots which are very hard, or impossible, to polish off by hand.
Do not use Brillo pads, steel wool, or other abrasive materials that will scratch silver surfaces. Even tissue paper can scratch newly plated or polished silver if handled improperly.
Occasionally, because of the porous nature of old silver plate, small white spots may appear on silver just after it has been replated. These spots are NEVER present when we wrap and ship an item, but they can appear days or weeks after plating as the base metal dries out. DO NOT rub the white spots with the tissue that the piece is wrapped in, use ordinary silver polish and a soft cloth to remove them.
As soon as festivities come to an end, wash silver, or let it soak temporarily in warm water.
Using dips to clean silver can remove the oxidation, or darkness, from the ornate areas which is supposed to be there in order to accentuate the details of a given piece. Dips can also remove large amounts of silver from plated items so be very careful when using it!
Always thoroughly remove salt and pepper from shakers to prevent pitting and corrosion while in storage.
Once clean and dry, wrap silver items in silver cloth for storage.You can also store wrapped silver items in airtight plastic bags. The silver can be wrapped in plain cloth or silver cloth when stored in airtight bags. Use silver bags for flatware.
NEVER store unwrapped silver in plastic bags or wrap and make sure that rubber bands do not come in contact with the silver. Since these are petroleum based products, they break down over time and stain the silver. In fact, rubber bands can leave black imprints almost immediately!
When not in use, the silver that is stored is easy to maintain due to the fact that tarnish develops from exposure to the sulfides in the air.
For silver items in a china cabinet, use a few well-placed, anti-tarnish strips to lengthen the life of the shine! They absorb the sulfides and really keep the silver from tarnishing for months!
For silver items on display, try using Turtle Wax or NON-lemon based furniture polish to seal the surface and prolong the life of your shine between polishings! Yes, we mean the stuff that you use on your car.
When the silver kept on display starts to tarnish, the first stage is a gold-like tarnish which wipes away quite easily with a silver polishing cloth, or a pair of polishing gloves!
To remove built up silver polish from the crevices of ornate silver pieces, use a horsehair brush, NOT A TOOTHBRUSH, the plastic bristles will scratch the silver.
If items are broken or damaged, DO NOT attempt to repair them yourself with glue or torches. We see many pieces that have been melted by the well-meaning “handy-man” who tries to repair things at home. Make sure to send broken pieces to a skilled silversmith for repair.
Silver Polishing Supplies
We also carry a full line of Hagerty & Son's silver care products.