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Clean and store the silverware

Published : 02/20/2015 11:31:39
Categories : Things to know

It should be noted immediately that not all schools of thought agree that the objects in silver, antique silver  or valuable, should be restored to their original splendor, as they may lose the characteristic signs of weathering, which help to identify their 'importance.

Attention instead to the frames and objects defined in "silver ballasted"! These can only be cleaned with a soft cloth lightly because they are protected by a film easily removable by detergents or abrasives.
Even the only partial removal of this film causes oxidation of the object that would lose its splendor.

However, ..... we decided to remove the patina that is turning gray our silverware (no frames!) and return it to the best possible gloss, avoiding recourse to those specific commercial products.


Before proceeding further, however, it is appropriate to distinguish between the two methods applicable in a normal home environment.
The first involves the removal of the oxidation of silver by means of a procedure nonetheless abrasive, the second by means of a galvanic procedure redox easy, non-abrasive.

It must also discern between smooth surfaces shiny and those decorated or embossed as handles or legs of silverware.

Procedure abrasive.
You have certainly heard of procedures involving the use of toothbrushes with bicarbonate almost dry, or, maybe, moistened with lemon drops, or the (dangerous) in boiling water and salt, as well as the rubbing with toothpaste

We reduce all these possibilities, to one, to apply only in the case of particularly high oxidation:
prepare a mixture of 3 parts of bicarbonate and 1 of water and apply it, by wiping with a cotton swab or a toothbrush limited to the surfaces decorated or embossed, such as handles or the legs of the tableware.
Proceed with the same method on the smooth surfaces of pottery may result in the formation of a web of scratches difficult to remove in the home!

Procedure redox - note (1)
The procedure is not recommended if the silver is combined with other materials that may not be compatible with immersion in saline.

After applying the procedure "abrasive", if deemed necessary, proceed to that of "redox".

E 'sufficient to have a bowl "plastic", of sufficient size to contain the object in silver, which will be lined with the normal household aluminum foil, taking care to leave the opaque part facing the interior.

Alternatively, you can also directly use an aluminum container.
The silver object will then be lying inside the container, in contact with the aluminum itself.
We Add warm or hot water (not boiling!! It would be useless and dangerous!!), Preferably demineralized, which were previously dissolved a few tablespoons of baking soda and table salt (a tablespoon each, per liter of water).


The dive time is variable; in any case the result is evaluated visually and eventually the bath may be prolonged or repeated.
Then rinse in warm water and dry.

There are other methods, including chemical, which is not worth talking about, because we believe they are totally inadvisable.

Before proceeding to one of the two methods, it is certainly appropriate to carry out the preventive cleaning of the object, to remove the dust or the oily traces.
This can be done by washing with warm water and soap powder (to avoid abrasions), followed by rinsing

Do not forget however, the possibility of using specific products, and in particular to the specific and practical "cloth" that, when used regularly, you will avoid annoying procedures cleanup (if you can not find it, let us request and I will ship it!) .

The silver jewelry.
Both methods can be adopted to silver jewelry, as long as care is taken with stones or inserts that may not be compatible with the treatments in question.

The preservation of silverware.
The oxidation is obviously caused by exposure to air and certain atmospheric environments can be more aggressive than others, for example, the proximity of a thermal park or the sea.
In such cases, in particular, is sufficient to deposit on the object in silver few drops of a common oil that stops and prevents corrosion.
These drops will be then be extended on any subject with a clean cotton cloth, to appear completely dried.
This will greatly extend the cleaning intervals of silver, with no special effects.

The only drawback might be represented by the residual light scent of these products, which are available at any hardware store, packed spry, and defined "unblocking oils and corrosion."


As regards the cutlery in current use, the best solution is to use non-aggressive soaps, and hospitalize in the specific cloth that avoid contact between staid and staid.
If the cutlery is rather ancient and very oxidized, given that very often has resin handles, ivory or other materials, should use its gielliere confidence.
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Note (1)
In the presence of a salt solution, the two metals, aluminum and silver, generate a potential difference that triggers the electrochemical reaction defined as "redox" during which activates a flow of electrons that "reduce" the silver oxidized patina that will be transferred to aluminum.

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