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When we think of silverware, what comes to our minds are exquisite heirloom pieces safely tucked away in a closet that’s to be opened only on special occasions. With the arrival of the festive season, these pieces then find pride of place in our well-decorated displays. But the thing about silver is that it develops a layer of tarnish over time. Even though it adds to the age-old look of the product, many would prefer a clean and shiny surface reflecting their smiles.
There are many easy ways to achieve the lustre these products may be missing. But while trying out the hacks first start with a small area on the product to see how well it works. Another thing to note is that if a product is really old and has tarnish all over, it's best to accept it as its vintage charm.
Here is a guide full of simple hacks that you can try at home:
1. Vinegar, baking soda and water
These ingredients form the holy trinity of homemade cleaning solutions. Amongst the various things that they can clean, silver happens to be one. Simply mix half a cup of white vinegar with two tablespoons of baking soda and a bowl of warm water. Let the silver soak in this for a couple of hours. Next, rinse it in cold water and let it air dry.
A sanitiser has become a staple product in every house now. This can work wonders to clean silverware and not just your hands. Take a few drops on a cloth and rub any grime away.
3. Aluminium foil hack
This is a popular hack and can be done in two ways. Take a bowl that’s big enough to hold your piece of silver. Line the bowl with aluminium foil and fill this up with boiling water. Then either add one tablespoon of baking soda or one tablespoon of laundry detergent. Next place your silver inside the bowl, while making sure it’s touching the foil. This ensures a chemical reaction that clears the tarnish. Leave it in for about 10 minutes, and use a microfiber cloth to wipe it dry.
This method isn’t the most sought after because it could cause some damage to the product. It is advised to choose a plain white
Sometimes it's best to accept completely tarnished silverware with its vintage charm. Image courtesy, Tree suriyakul/ shutterstock.com
paste that has tartar-control ingredients, as those have the most hydrated silica. This means that the process won’t be too abrasive. Dilute some toothpaste in water and use it with a soft microfiber cloth to rub the tarnish away. Next, rinse it in warm water and pat dry with a soft cloth. Avoid using this on silver plated items.
If you have small items like jewellery to clean, try this method. Take a few drops of ketchup on a clean cloth. Use this to rub off the tarnish or apply the ketchup directly on the pieces. Leave it on for sometime and then rub it with a microfibre cloth and rinse.
This ingredient is easily found in any pantry and is an effective quick fix. Create a paste using three portions of water and one portion of cornstarch and apply it to the item. Once it dries up, use a rough cloth to wipe the tarnish off.
7. Lemon juice
If your silverware has water marks, use this method to remove them completely. Simply dab the affected areas with concentrated lemon juice and polish away any remnants.
8. Lemon and salt
Squeeze an entire lemon in a bowl full of hot water and add three tablespoons of salt. Then place the tarnished piece in this for about five minutes. Once done, remove and rub it with a clean cloth.
STORAGE AND MAINTENANCE
While storing silverware, try not to overcrowd the items in one place. Wrap them individually in acid free tissue paper, unbleached cotton muslin cloth or a cloth specifically made to wrap silverware. Then put these in either a chest or drawer that’s lined with tarnish resistant cloth. Place a small piece of chalk along with these to absorb any moisture.This way any tarnish built up can be controlled.
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