How to Remove Flatware Marks From Dishes

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Over time, silverware and stainless-steel flatware can create gray marks on your dishes. The marks are caused by scraping the utensils across the surface of plates, bowls and cups. They can become especially dark on stoneware and pottery. If you try to clean them off with plain dish soap, they can seem impossible to remove. However, with the right cleansers and a little bit of elbow grease, you can remove the discoloration and make your dishes look as good as new.

How to Remove Flatware Marks From Dishes
(Artem Kononenko/Demand Media)

Things You'll Need

  • Household rubber gloves
  • Baking soda
  • Oxygenated soap
  • Silver polish
  • Plastic scrubbers
  • Clean white cloth
  • Clean sponges
Step 1

Put on a pair of rubber gloves. Place the discolored dish in the sink and sprinkle it with baking soda. Add just enough water to make the baking soda into a thick paste.

Artem Kononenko/Demand Media
Step 2

Scrub the dish with a plastic scrubber. Apply firm pressure to the dish, but do not press down excessively. Scrub continuously in a circular motion until the gray marks begin to fade. Rinse the dish periodically so you can see how much progress you're making.

Artem Kononenko/Demand Media
Step 3

Add an oxygen-based dish soap if the baking soda doesn't remove the gray marks completely. Continue scrubbing and rinsing to see if the flatware marks have faded.

Artem Kononenko/Demand Media
Step 4

Rinse and dry the dish completely. If the marks persist, apply some silver polish that is safe for eating utensils with a clean, dry white cloth, rubbing the silver polish over the surface of the dish. Move your finger along the marks, applying firm pressure.

Artem Kononenko/Demand Media
Step 5

Use a more toxic alternative metal polish only as a last resort. After using metal polish, wash the dish with a scrubber sponge. Wash the dish again with a new sponge that's free of cleanser. Rinse the dish and allow it to air dry.

Artem Kononenko/Demand Media
Step 6

Repeat the cleansing steps as necessary whenever gray flatware marks reappear on your dishes. Use toxic metal polish only for stubborn flatware marks.

Artem Kononenko/Demand Media

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Tips & Warnings

  • Test cleansers on the back of the dish before applying them to the front.
  • Save money by using old, cut-up socks and dish towels with the silver polish.
  • Use exam gloves instead of household gloves for added savings.
  • These techniques also help to remove flatware marks from glass dishes like Corningware.
  • Prevent the buildup of marks in the future by scrubbing them with baking soda as soon as you notice them.
  • Do not ingest any cleanser. Wash and rinse the dishes thoroughly after using cleansers.

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