Sterling silver flatware can make a lovely and sophisticated addition to any table setting. Sterling silver is a timeless and simple beauty that is very common when setting a table, especially for special occasions. Sterling silver flatware, because it can be so valuable both in money and meaning, has to be taken care of in the right way. There are some methods of cleaning flatware that ensures it will maintain its beauty over the years.
Sterling silver flatware hit its stride during the late 19th century when it was actually uncommon to see a table without it. Dining itself was no longer the three course meal it had been; it had stepped up to a ten course meal at times and the sterling silver flatware was used to accommodate all foods. Everything from cocktail forks to iced tea spoons to cheese knives were created in sterling silver to make the table complete.
Flatware was one of the most important parts of setting a table. It was especially important during the Victorian era when etiquette instructed that no food should be touched with hands. Even though there are so many needs for sterling silver flatware, many people do not want to use it for fear of it tarnishing. However, the more you use it, the less it will tarnish over time.
Using sterling silver flatware often allows for a tone called patina to develop which will enhance the definition of the patterns. To prevent harm from any foods which may cause corrosion or those which contain acid, the flatware should be washed immediately after use. It is also important to pay attention to the type of detergent that is used. Usually those which are lemon scented or contain chloride can be dangerous.
The sterling silver flatware should not be soaked overnight as it could damage the metal. It should be stored away from damp areas or areas where sunlight could reach it. Even storing in some drawers will cause scratching or even staining. It is important to keep your flatware in good condition; with proper care, it can last a lifetime.
Polishing your sterling silver flatware will help keep it looking brand new and appealing to possible buyers. Although commonly thought of, never use tooth paste to polish silver. Dips can actually remove oxidation from the patterns, so it is best to use any silver polish with a gentle cloth. It is important to use polish made specifically for silver.
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Source by Shannon Medley