The decorations of the house are incomplete if the tableware is not presented well. The common material used for tableware during gala dinners is silver. Due to the nature of silver, it tends to look dull and requires polishing to regain the glitter and shine. The oxidation of the upper layer of silver leads to tarnishing which is faster when exposed to humid air. Silver also tends to tarnish when it comes in contact with salt, eggs, vinegar, olives, fruit juices and salad dressing. In order to avoid tarnishing of silver, it is advisable to avoid contact of silver with such substances and to keep silver in a dry place away from humid air. Though the tarnishing of silver can be slowed down, it cannot be completely avoided. Silver can be cleaned as easily as it tarnishes. There are many ways to polish silver.
Some of the important tips for silver polishing are as under:
- Clear the surface dust with the help of hot water. Silver should be placed in hot water for removing the dust.
- The hot water makes the silver warm. The silver polish should be spread across the surface by using a cloth or foam sponge.
- Once covered completely, the tarnished area should be rubbed gently till tarnish is gone.
- The silver should then be washed with mild soap and it should again be cleaned with warm water.
- Cotton cloth should be used for removing water from the surface.
- There are a number of toxic chemicals available in market for polishing silver. Avoid using such toxic chemicals that are harsh on skin.
- Silver tarnish can also be avoided as it leaves a yellow residue on silver.
Apart from the silver polish, there are a number of other natural products that can be used to clean silver ware. They are:
Use of aluminium foil, baking soda and common salt for cleaning silver: This is an easy way to clean silver. You can put aluminium foil in boiling water with added salt and baking soda in equal proportions. You can now add silver ware in the water so that the silver ware is fully covered in water. Allow it to boil for three to four minutes. You can now remove the silver and clean with a dry cotton cloth. The silver will be shining new. This is one of the easiest ways for cleaning silver as it does not require much rubbing and water cleans even the difficult corners and places.
- Use of toothpaste: Toothpaste is also commonly used for cleaning silver. Silver can be covered with toothpaste and with the help of warm water froth can be created by rubbing the items with brush or hand. Once the entire surface is thoroughly rubbed, the silver can be rinsed with warm water. Cotton cloth can be used for removing the water droplets and drying the sliver. Some toothpastes are abrasive and therefore, appropriate care should be taken that the toothpaste is not rubbed harshly on the silver surface. Use light hand to clean the silver ware while using toothpaste to avoid scratches on the surface.
- Use of wood Ash: Silver can be cleaned by using wood ash. Just as baking soda or washing soda, wood ash is also alkaline in nature. Silver should first be cleaned with the help of lemon and hot water before wood ash is applied to it. The wood ash should be rubbed on silver with the help of a brush or cloth. Once the entire surface is rubbed, silver should be washed with warm water. Cotton or sponge can be used for drying the surface.
In order to maintain silver and avoiding cleaning or polishing it every time before use, it is advisable that silver should be cleaned well before storing. You should use warm water to clean silver and then use cotton or sponge to dry it completely before storing. Also, avoid storing silver in damp places where it can be exposed to moist air. You should store silver in a dry place to avoid tarnishing. There are a number of tarnish resistant products such as pouches and bags available in the market that can be used to store silver.