If company is on the way and you don’t have time to read the entire Care of Silver guide, use the following instructions (these are the steps I personally use most often).
But, when you do have time, return to the full Care of Silver guide to learn more about cleaning and polishing your silver, as well as how to protect and store it. Once you’ve learned the tips professionals use, you’ll end up spending less time on tarnish removal and more time enjoying your silver!
1. Wax any porous attachments – such as wooden handles and ivory insulators – prior to cleaning;
2. Rinse the object under warm running water while gently wiping it with a cellulose sponge to remove any particulate. If dried polish has accumulated in recessed or ornamental areas, it should be lightly tapped out (also under running water) with a natural-bristle brush, such as a white china bristle brush, after the polish has been rehydrated. (See other brush options here.) Dry the object immediately with a cotton towel.
3. Remove any remaining grime with hand sanitizer using cotton balls, cotton makeup pads, and/or cotton swabs. This step will remove light tarnish as well as grime.
4. Remove any sanitizer residue with a plant-based window cleaner, such as Better Life Glass Cleaner. Dry the piece immediately with a cotton towel;
5. If tarnish remains, use Herman’s Simply Clean Collectors Silver Polish with a cellulose sponge, cotton balls, makeup pads, and/or cotton swabs, rubbing the object in a straight back-and-forth manner so as to maintain a uniform appearance. (Cotton balls and makeup pads will remove tarnish more quickly than a sponge will.);
6. Rinse with warm water and dry immediately with a cotton towel to avoid water spotting.