Cleaning Antique Silverplate
Antique silver plate needs a bit of special care. Some of these pieces have been around for a century, meaning that they have been available for some 250,000 meals. But, while durable, they still must be treated with kindness.
The blunt bladed knives must be hand washed and dried immediately after cleaning. If not, the iron blades will start to rust. They are not dishwasher safe as the high temperature wash will soften the compound that holds the blade to the handle. They were created at a time that dish washing was done with only stove top warm water.
The other pieces of silverware can be put into the dishwasher with the suggestion that you do not use a dish washing product that has phosphorous or chlorine. Phosphorous will turn the silverware white while chlorine will turn it brown. Remember, cafes and restaurants do not have time to polish their silverware, the secret to keeping it sparkling is that it is washed within 30 minutes after eating. If food remains on it for a longer time the piece will start to show stains, especially if it is a high sulphur (eggs) or acid (tomato) content. A good dish washing product will read that it is safe for silver.
Another suggestion is that you do not mix metals in the wash water. Stainless steel and silver are OK together but washing copper, brass, or aluminum together with silverware can cause an electrolysis condition which can stain the metals of all pieces.
If discoloration occurs, try a rinse with with a product such as Tarnex (do not soak) which removes instantly all patina or Hagerty products (spray, liquid, or paste) for a lustrous finish.
Note: NapaStyle does not endorse any of the products mentioned, we are simply providing information about the types of products our customers may find useful.
Following these simple techniques you should get another 50 years use from these pieces.