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How to Clean Silver Cutlery


The task of cleaning silver cutlery may seem laborious, but the outcome is indeed rewarding. Prior to commencing, it’s crucial to confirm that you possess all the essential supplies required for the chore. Items you will need include a soft cloth or sponge, silver polish, hot water, a mild form of dishwashing liquid, and toothpaste. Verifying that you have all the necessary equipment prior to starting will enable you to complete the task swiftly and efficiently.

Gather the necessary materials

Before you start the cleaning process, make sure you have all of the necessary supplies. You will need a soft cloth, hot water and a mild dish soap or detergent, and silver polish (optional). If you choose to use a polishing cloth, be sure it is silver-safe. Also use gloves if possible.

Mix together two or three drops of the dish soap and a half liter of hot water in the sink. Use this mixture to soak your silver for about 10 minutes. This will remove any food particles or salts from the surface of your silverware that may still be present even after prewashing with soap and warm water.

Subsequently, gently scrub each piece of cutlery with some additional soapy water and rinse it thoroughly, making sure there is no food particles stuck to it nor any trace of the cleaning solution on it afterwards. Dry all pieces carefully with a soft cloth and store them in a dry location away from direct sunlight when finished. Silver polish can then be used if desired, however note that using this polish too frequently may actually damage your silverware depending on its quality – refer to manufacturer instructions before proceeding in this case. 

Lay out the silver cutlery

Before beginning to clean silver cutlery, it is important to lay out each piece and identify the type of cutlery. This will allow you to determine which cleaning method will be best suited for the items. Be sure to also separate any wooden or mother-of-pearl handles from the silver utensils, as these materials require a different cleaning technique.

Once all of the pieces have been identified and separated, spread them out on a thick towel in preparation for cleaning. This will make it easier to apply any necessary product and will also help protect against scratches or damage as you work. You should also double check that none of the pieces have cracks, chips or other imperfections that may cause them to break further if handled roughly during cleaning. If you find any damaged parts of the silver cutlery, you may need to take extra care with these delicate items when cleaning them in order avoid further damage. 


Silver cutlery can become tarnished over time but with proper cleaning and care, it can last for decades. There are several different techniques that you can use to clean silver cutlery, and each of them will have different results.

This article will discuss the best ways to clean silver cutlery and get it looking as good as new: 

Dip silver cutlery into a solution of baking soda and water

You can clean silver cutlery by dipping it into a solution of baking soda and water for several minutes. Be sure to wear rubber gloves and goggles to protect your hands if you have sensitive skin.

To make the solution, mix one tablespoon of baking soda with one cup of warm water. Stir the mixture until all of the baking soda is dissolved. Submerge the silver cutlery completely into the solution and let it sit for approximately 10 minutes before taking it out to rinse it off with cold running water. Pat the cutlery dry with a soft lint-free cloth or paper towel and lay it out flat on a towel to air-dry completely before storing them away. 

Use a soft cloth to scrub the silver cutlery

 To clean silver cutlery, it’s best to use a soft, non-abrasive cloth. This will help to prevent scratches and dents in your cutlery. Dip the cloth in warm water and a little mild dish soap and lightly scrub each piece of silverware, being sure to get into the creases of the handles. Rinse with warm water and dry each piece thoroughly before putting it away.

Be careful not to use abrasive sponges or scouring pads when cleaning your silver cutlery, as these can cause scratches that will be difficult to remove once they are on the metal.

Also, avoid using ammonia-based cleaning agents if possible, as this could strip away some of the silver plating from your cutlery over time. If you find that more intense cleaning is needed for stubborn stains or aggressive tarnishing, you may want to consider using special silver cleaning products available from most stores such as:

  • Polishes and solutions made specifically for restoring shine and luster in silver items. 

Rinse the silver cutlery with hot water

Before cleaning silver cutlery, it is essential to remove any food debris, such as bits of food or grease. Rinse the silver cutlery with hot running water to remove these particles and use a soft brush if needed. It is important to ensure all surface area on the item is washed in order to thoroughly clean the item, including hard-to-reach areas such as crevices and grooves on the handles. Make sure that no food residue remains on the silverware so it can be properly cleaned.  


 After washing the silver cutlery, you need to make sure the pieces are thoroughly dried. This is an important step for two reasons. First, if the cutlery is left wet, it may tarnish or rust. Second, you want to make sure that no water residues remain on the surfaces, which can cause staining or leave residue when you use the cutlery. Therefore, it is important to take your time to carefully dry the cutlery after washing. 

Dry the silver cutlery with a soft cloth

Once you’ve finished cleaning the silver cutlery, it’s important to dry it thoroughly. To do this, use a soft, lint-free cloth. Microfiber is perfect for this task as it won’t scratch the surface of the cutlery and allows for an even drying.

Start by patting the wet pieces dry with the cloth to remove any remaining moisture. Then, use circular or back-and-forth motions to buff away any residual tarnish or paste residue. Lastly, flip the cloth over and rub each piece until it is completely dry and free of any streaks or watermarks.

For added shine and protection from future tarnish, you can also apply a thin layer of silver polish or wax before storing your silver cutlery. 


Cutlery made from silver will naturally tarnish over time, but with a bit of effort, the silverware can be returned to its former glory. Polishing silver cutlery is the most important step in cleaning silver. To properly polish silver, you will need a soft cloth, a silver polish and a bit of elbow grease.

Let’s look at the steps you can take to ensure your silver cutlery is as good as new:

  1. Prepare the silverware by rinsing it in warm water.
  2. Dry the silverware with a soft cloth.
  3. Apply the silver polish to the cloth and use it to polish the silverware.
  4. Rinse the silverware in warm water.
  5. Dry the silverware with a soft cloth.
  6. Buff the silverware with a clean cloth. 

Apply a silver polish to the cutlery

Once all the tarnish has been removed from the silver cutlery, you will need to apply a silver polish for a deep shine. Silver polish is specially formulated to protect silverware and add extra shine. It also contains compounds to help slow tarnishing in the future.

To apply the silver polish, dip each piece of cutlery separately in the liquid, or if using a cream polish, spread it across each piece of silver with a soft cloth. Then make sure you gently rub the entire surface of each item until all the polish is gone. Wipe away any excess with a separate clean cloth or paper towels before putting it down; any excess residue can cause staining on surfaces or clothing.

You should repeat this process as often as needed (usually every few months) to keep your cutlery looking like new! 

Buff the silver cutlery with a soft cloth

Buffing silver cutlery is an essential step in the process of properly cleaning and polishing your silver items. In order for your silver to be restored to its original shine, buffing the cutlery is required to remove any rubbing marks and polish out scratches. There are various tools that you can use to achieve this, so it’s important to familiarize yourself with a few before beginning.

When buffing your silver cutlery, it’s important to use a soft cloth or chamois cloth as a protective buffer between the silverware and rough surfaces which could scratch the gleaming sheen. You will want to use gentle strokes in small circles with very light pressure because too much force can cause further damage.

For deep scratches or hard-to-remove tarnish, you may have to resort to using a scouring or steel wool pad, but this should be done sparingly if at all due to potential markings left behind. If you do use a scouring pad, make sure it is used only on the applicable piece of utensil affected by deeper scratches and that its movement follows the grain of the handle for uniform distribution. Afterward, promptly rinse and dry with a soft cloth for added protection against further damage from water droplets or washing liquid residue being left on its surface. 


Proper storage is one of the best ways to keep silver cutlery looking great for a long time. To store silver cutlery, you should keep it in a cool, dry area away from sources of heat and moisture. Make sure to wrap your silver cutlery in a soft cloth or place it in a storage box lined with anti-tarnish material. This will help to protect it from scratches and tarnish caused by contact with other metal items or harsh chemicals. 

Store the silver cutlery in a cool, dry place

 To ensure your silver cutlery stays in top condition, it should be stored in a cool, dry place. This will help keep it from tarnishing too quickly. If the silver cutlery is to be stored for longer periods of time, such as during a move or between seasons, wrapped in acid-free paper or cloth and placed in an airtight container can help prevent discoloration and tarnishing.

It is important to not store silver items close together. Items made with sterling silver may contain other metals and these metals can react to the other pieces in storage, causing discoloration or even corrosion on the surface of the piece. When using a drawer or cabinet for storage, separate each item by lining it with soft cloths to create a barrier so they do not touch each other directly. Additionally, use dividers if utilizing several drawers for storing different items; this will further help to avoid direct contact between utensils when opening and closing drawers. 

Wrap the silver cutlery in a soft cloth

Before you store your silver cutlery, you should ensure that all dirt and food particles have been removed. An old toothbrush and warm, soapy water can be used to remove any stubborn build-up. Rinse the silverware with clean water and then dry it thoroughly with a soft cloth.

It is also important to wrap the pieces of cutlery in a soft cloth such as felt or flannel. This will prevent scratches and ensure that your silver doesn’t tarnish between uses. Felt prevents tarnish by inhibiting air contact with the silver surface while providing a layer of dense material around them which further protects against any rubbing or moisture damage when in storage. Before placing them in the drawer, inspect each piece for scratches, dings or chips as these can cause tarnish spots to develop faster.


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