Today most people who own any form of silver normally have it on display, away from sticky fingers, and although silver items may be expensive, they need to be used. Left on display, or hidden away, and they will start to lose their appealing looks. A tarnish will start to build up, and a discolouration occurs. There are many ways to remove tarnish from silverware, some which are fairly obvious, and some which seem quite obscure, but do work.
The mildest tarnish on silverware can normally be simply removed with a light working of the silver with a lint free cloth. Gentle rubbing with the cloth will also polish up the silver nicely. In the same way it is also actually better to make use of silverware to help keep it tarnish free. Using the silverware will also ensure that the surface is rubbed, preventing tarnish from forming.
It is though important to remember that silverware, even those items made from Sterling Silver, are relatively soft items. Strenuous cleaning will remove tarnish but could also damage the silverware beneath. This could be especially relevant where tarnish has been allowed to build up.
For built up tarnish on silverware most people will seek out one of the numerous manufactured products designed to clean silverware. These are of course generally good products, and will do the job. There are though alternatives to store brought silverware cleaning products, and a number of products found around the home will do the job, although they may appear slightly obscure.
Toothpaste and a soft bristle toothbrush will help to remove tarnish from silverware, and will help to clean into hard to reach cracks and crevices. Toothpastes are generally mild abrasives and will gently grind away the tarnish. Lemon juice or other acidic juices will eat away tarnish as well.
Probably the most obscure or intriguing method of removing tarnish from silverware makes use of aluminium. Some aluminium foil can be placed within a water bath. Into the water some salt and bicarbonate of soda should be poured. Aluminium is a far more reactive metal when compared with silver, and as a result the tarnish on the silverware will just come away. The silverware of course should then be rinsed off and left to dry.
When it comes to removing tarnish from silverware, no matter what method is used, it is best to make use of some soft cotton gloves to handle the silver. Touching silverware with bare hands will increase the rate of tarnishing due to the chemicals present in body oils.
Regular cleaning can make it relatively easy to remove tarnish on silverware, and in many cases a quick rub will suffice. Tarnish though is nothing really to worry about, as it is a natural process, and will not harm the underlying silver.
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