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How to Clean Silver

Besides the difference in cost and composition, silver plated and silver items may appear very similar. However, the method for cleaning sterling silver items varies from silver plated items.

Cleaning Silver Plate Antiques

Silver plated items only have a thin layer of silver coating.

Harsh cleaning methods and chemicals which may apply to sterling silver could erode silver plate exposing the metal beneath, leading to rust, early tarnish and damage. Avoid highly acidic cleaners such as vinegar or lemon juice unless well diluted and never use highly concentrated detergents or the dishwasher.

Simply soak the silver-plated items in warm water and use dish soap to gently cleanse. Rinse well and pat dry before storage.

Cleaning Sterling Silver

There are a number of silver cleaning methods beyond following instructions on silver cleaning products.

Home remedies include varying combinations of tinfoil, acids such as lemon juice, vinegar or ketchup, baking soda, toothpaste, mild detergents, cornflour and hot water. In our experience many home remedies or internet videos have the potential to do more harm to antique pieces which then require additional work.

The best way to clean silver

The best way to clean silver is to have it professionally plated and lacquered.

This method smooths over pitting and mild corrosion as well as restoring the shine and former glory. The lacquer protects against tarnishing, making the continuous regular polishing and upkeep a thing of the past.

Take a look at our Price Guide or contact us to see if we can restore your silver antiques.