Friday, 27 November 2015

5 Tips for Cleaning Silver Cutlery

Meet Mr Town Talk, The Polished British Gentleman, whose knowledge and experience of cleaning and polishing fine jewellery, precious metals and household items is second to none.


"I've been lucky enough to attend and host fine dinner parties. If you're like me, you'll want to use your finest cutlery at such events; nothing sparkles as impressively as a well-dressed dining table!

Cleaning and protecting your precious silver cutlery doesn't have to be a chore; dirt can be put in its place and treasured possessions maintained with minimum fuss, time and effort - and a few simple rules.

Of course looking after your cutlery with some straightforward measures will ensure you have many years' faithful service, life-long lustre and a valuable heirloom for the family!

Here are my rules I advise you follow:


Since time immemorial, the acids present in a number of foods have had a nasty habit of pitting silverware. Cutlery and salt cellars are particularly vulnerable. I recommend you always wash and rinse items immediately after use.

If you really want to look after your silver cutlery, by far the best option is to use a special silver-cleaning product. My Excellent Anti-Tarnish Silver Foam is designed to be used over the sink and will remove food, clean and polish all in one!

Should you really wish to put your silver cutlery in the dishwasher then there are a few points to remember. Most silver is dishwasher safe but it's important remember that liquid dishwasher detergents are always preferable to any other kinds. Never put stainless steel and silver cutlery in the dishwasher at the same time. If you do, your silver cutlery will turn black or develop unsightly spots that are terribly hard to remove. Be sure to remove your silver before the machine starts its drying cycle and dry each item by hand to prevent water spotting. Remember silver is a soft metal that’s easily scratched or damaged and can be tarnished by other metals. If you're in any doubt I find a simple rinse with a mild soap and warm water in a plastic washing up bowl, followed by a gentle buffing with a soft cloth works wonders!


I implore you not to wear rubber gloves to wash and handle your silver cutlery. Rubber gloves contain sulphur, which reacts with the silver and creates more tarnish. Take care when drying too, avoiding brand-new linen cloths as the starch in them is, surprisingly, too abrasive. Choose a lovely soft cloth and dry cutlery immediately after washing to prevent it developing water stains. Under no circumstances should you ever let your silverware come into contact with bleach. It will leave a permanent, ugly stain that you’ll never see the back of.


Believe it or not, silver is a relatively soft metal, softer than, for example, Stainless Steel or Copper, and so does not require the same hard abrasives to clean it - and you really won't want to scratch such beautiful items! Using the right products means you can enjoy smooth surfaces instead of ones covered in scratches which will be hard to obliterate.


You’ll often find it’s only the tines, or prongs of your forks that become tarnished. But, if you dip the tines into my Silver Cutlery Rinse for just a moment or two, then buff them up with one of my Silver Polishing Cloths, you’ll get a wonderful result. Choose your silver cleaner carefully - many on the market are remarkably abrasive. Mine have been used in the best households in the land for over 120 years and have stood the test of time.


I'm sure you're not the kind to toss your fine cutlery into the nearest drawer, heaven forbid; it's worth considering what happens to silver while it sits patiently waiting for its next dinner party engagement. Careful, here comes the science:

Silver has the ability to combine with other elements in the air, such as sulphur. When this occurs, a new compound forms on the surface of the silver, which we all know as "tarnish". Tarnishing is a natural process for silver, but the industrial pollutants found in today’s atmosphere, and traces of sulphur from gas appliances such as cookers, fires and boilers, can speed up its formation.

To protect your precious silver cutlery from the elements I recommend three things, i) Avoid storing silver on wooden surfaces as the wood often contains acids that react to the metal, ii) Never use rubber bands when you wrap silver for storage, even over a layer of tissue or plastic, because they contain substances that can tarnish the metal, iii) Store cutlery in specially designed Silver Cutlery Storage Rolls. Mine are super soft and impregnated with a secret anti-tarnish ingredient which protects the silver to keep it super sparkly.

Finally, remember that the easiest way to prevent tarnish developing on your silver cutlery is to use it regularly. Any excuse for a party I say! Cheerio!"

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Mr Town Talk’s Gleaming Polished World was established in Lancashire, Great Britain in 1895, to supply the finest Polishes, Cleaners and Accessories for Silver, Gold and Precious Metal Jewellery, Cutlery and Cutlery Storage. More recently, Mr Town Talk’s range of unparalleled products has been expanded to include Household Cleaners and Laundry Requisites.

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