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Tips On How to Keep the Silver Sparkling and in Good Condition

Aug 17, 2007
There are some tips on polishing the silver to keep them sparkling and in good condition. In this article you will learn on how to polish the silver and what polish shall you use.

How to clean the silver pieces with the gold linings or lacquer finishes? Here are some tips that can be helpful for you.

FOR BEST RESULTS IN POLISHING SILVER, wash it first in hot water with a detergent or soap. Then use a good silver polish, based on whiting or jeweler's rouge, or use either of these two substances with ammonia or denatured alcohol. Avoid polishes that contain harsh abrasives such as silica. The electrolytic method, which involves aluminum and zinc, plus baking soda, or salt and soda, is harmless but jewelers frown upon it. It removes the oxidation completely, leaving the design flat and the finish dead. Also not recommended by silver authorities are the "dip and shine" polishes. These are not only expensive but require great care and caution in use. They remove the oxidation from designs and have a tendency to "burn" the finish. This does not mean that these polishes eat into the silver, but that they can cause a discoloration that is not attractive.

IF YOU USE A COMMERCIAL POLISH, or one of the treated silver-polishing cloths, read the directions and follow them carefully. Polishes made with whiting will be white in color, while those containing jeweler's rouge will be pink.

IF YOU WANT TO MAKE YOUR OWN POLISH get a fine grade of gilder's whiting at a good paint store it is very inexpensive and apply it with a damp cloth, soft brush, or sponge moistened with ammonia. Go over the silver carefully, in straight even strokes, and wipe off the tarnish. Let the powder dry on the silver, then polish it with a soft flannel cloth or piece of chamois leather. This is how England's famous silver is cleaned, in a matter of minutes, however tarnished it may be. If you want a brighter polish, use alcohol with your whiting instead of ammonia. Last of all, wash the silver to remove every trace of polish, rinse it in hot water, and wipe it dry. Polish left on silver causes it to retarnish more rapidly.

SILVER PIECES WITH GOLD LININGS should never be polished inside. The lining is a mere wash and gold is a soft metal. It can be removed by just plain rubbing. New linings, of course, can be put in by your jeweler.

THE CARE OF SILVER PLATE is the same as for sterling or solid silver, but don't rub it too hard or too often, or it will have to be replated. Actually, silver does not need to be polished vigorously each time you remove tarnish. Just wipe the tarnish, wash the piece carefully, and it will be lovely when you wipe it dry.

LACQUER OR PLASTIC FINISHES are sometimes applied to ornamental silver pieces so that they will not require cleaning or polishing. Lacquered pieces need only dusting or an occasional washing in mild lukewarm suds. Lacquering silver is a job best done by a jeweler.

IF POLISHING SILVER IS A CHORE, clean and polish the little-used pieces, wash them carefully, wrap them in tissue paper or special cloth from your jewelry store, and put them away until needed. They will remain bright because air is excluded. A camphor mothball or two in your silver chest or drawer helps keep tarnish away too.

Wash the silver in hot water with detergent or soap before polishing, use only good silver polish based on jeweler's rouge. You can use a commercial polish or treated silver-polishing cloths. You can also use fine grade of gilder's whitting.

When you polish the silverware or silver piece, do not polish the inside of the silver piece with the gold lining. Silver doesn't need to be polished every time. Silver with lacquer or plastic finishes can be only dusted.
About the Author
Mitch Johnson is a regular writer for http://www.kitchen-plans-n-designs.com/ , http://www.mycollectablestips.info/ , http://www.ezcollectablesresources.info/
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