Silver-plated platters can keep their lustrous silver coating as long as you clean and store them gently to avoid scratching, chipping off the silver plating and tarnishing. Proper storage also reduces the effects of tarnish from chemicals and moisture to subsequently reduce the amount of cleaning required to remove tarnish from the silver plating, and prevents problems with silver degradation.
Things You'll Need
- Mild washing liquid free of lemon scents or chlorides
- Soft cloth
- Acid free tissue paper or flannel
- Silver polish, as needed
Wash the silverware right after use to avoid the tarnishing effects of most foods during storage. For the first four to five times that you wash your silver platters, hand wash them. After this, it is still best to hand wash, but it is less problematic to use an automatic dishwasher. Be sure to remove the platters before the dry cycle, and dry by hand. When washing by hand, use a small amount of dish washing liquid free of chlorides and lemon scents, and dry the platters afterwards with a soft cloth.
Allow the platters to cool completely. Wrap them in flannel or in acid-free paper, available at fabric stores. Place each platter in a separate piece of cloth or tissue paper to prevent scratches. Roll them up neatly, ensuring that the entire platter is covered to prevent moist air or other contaminants in the storage area from tarnishing the silver. Never wrap in newspaper or plastic, as the sulfur in these products will exacerbate tarnishing.
Place a small piece of chalk in cheesecloth and put it in the area where you are storing the silverware. The chalk will absorb the moisture that would otherwise speed the tarnishing process. While not essential for storage, especially if you use the platters regularly, it is quite effective for soaking moisture up over long periods of time. You may need to replace the chalk every now and then. You will know when it has lost its efficacy once it no longer leaves a chalky residue on your fingers when you handle it.
Avoid all-purpose metal cleaners when you polish your silver platters. They contain chemicals and/or abrasive materials that cause immediate harm to your silver as well as long-term tarnishing during storage. Use only products intended for polishing silver.
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