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What is the best way to clean my sterling silverware and silver hollowware items?

Updated: Nov 21, 2023

Learn expert advice on how to clean your silver items by reading the following article:

How to polish silver
How to polish silver

What is the best pay to clean my sterling silverware and silver hollowware items?

There are several options to do so efficiently:


Hagerty's Silver polish - For most jobs we recommend using Hagerty's Silversmiths' polish. Take an old cleaning towel and then dab some of the Hagerty's silver polish onto it. With that towel, rub your silver item thoroughly. With a second towel (with no polish applied to it) remove the residue from your silver item and then shine it till you are satisfied with the result. Upon completion, store the 2 rags for future use in the same bin, drawer or on the same shelf you have your polishing products. You do not need to wash the towels.








 






Hagerty's 100 Silver Polish - For more difficult jobs we recommend Hagerty's 100 Silver Polish. If it really black or if there are some really tough dark spots that won't come off, give this stuff a try. Take a felt rag or an old cleaning towel and dab some of the Hagerty's 100 silver polish on it and then apply this to your piece of silver. Rub it thoroughly with the cleaner side of the rag until the piece is shiny. Warning: Do not use this product on silver plated items as it will have a tendency to remove not just the tarnish, but also the silver plate.

Heavy Duty Silver Polish
Heavy Duty Silver Polish
 

Hagerty Silver Gloves - To avoid getting your hands all filthy dirty while polishing we recommend using Hagerty Silver Gloves. They are easy to use and make your hands feel so much more comfortable when doing the polishing and handling of messy silver items. These are also good to use if you are handling a piece of silver that is already polished that you do not want to mar up with your finger prints.

Silversmiths Gloves
Silversmiths Gloves









 





Hagerty's Silversmiths' Spray - For harder to reach areas, like the inside of a coffee pot or to have a more uniform distribution of the silver polish on your silver item, we recommend using Hagerty's Silversmiths' Spray. Spray on the polish to the silver item and then gently rub off with an old rag or towel.

Silver Polish Spray
Silver Polish Spray

 

Hagerty's Silver Duster - If you have a very light job that only needs a small amount of polishing, we recommend you use a Hagerty's Silver Duster for a quick shine up. You can also add a little polish on this as well if you want it to be even more effective. These are very popular and quick and convenient to use. One Side of the felt duster has the majority of the cleaning agent and the other side is used to dust it off and give it the real shine.


Silver Polishing Rag
Silver Polishing Rag

 

Tarnish Removing Dips - We don't recommend using tarnish removers where you dip your silver into a sink or a jar or bowl. This style of silver cleaning uses a light amount of acid or strong chemicals that will remove the tarnish. However, it will also remove the oxidation on your item. These oxidized areas are the black areas in crevices that were intentionally put there by the manufacturer to give contrast to details like repousse work. If they are removed by the dipping/acid based solution, your good silver pieces are going to look washed out and some collectors consider the piece ruined if it doesn't have the original patina. Only use silver dipping tarnish removers on items you don't care about so much or that are not very valuable. Use the dip on plainer silver plated buffet pieces that you just want to have look presentable for an occasional dinner party. Never let your housekeeping staff use dip on your good silver.



 

Professional Polishing - If you have tried polishing on your own and are not pleased with the results, we recommend you contact a professional silversmith to do machine buffing onto your piece. A silversmith will use the same techniques that the original manufacturer used when making the piece. There are many good silversmiths to be found. However, if you want the very best of the best, we recommend Replacements Silver Restorations:


Silver Repair
Silver Repair

We have used Replacements Restoration Services for years ourselves and have found their work extraordinary. They are not cheap, but the outcome you will get is one you will be very happy with.


 

Stop Tarnish before it starts - Don't you wish there was a way to stop your silver items from tarnishing in the first place? Guess what - there is! Silver protection strips will neutralize the sulphur in the air which is the main contributor to causing silver to tarnish. You simply put these chemically treated paper strips inside your silver chests, china cabinets, chests of drawers or any other containers that you house your silver collection. You will see a noticeable slow down in how long it takes your silver to tarnish. These are also pretty low cost in comparison to having to spend money on silver polish and for your labor cost.



 

We are here to help - We hope our expert tips and recommendations will help you restore your tarnished pieces to being like shiny and new again. Please let us know if you have any other questions on how to polish your silverware. Also, please leave comments below if you have any other suggestions or tips or tricks on how to polish that you would like to share with our readers.


Thanks, Greg Arbutine

Sterling Silver Buyers Owner

Sterling Silver Buyers
Sterling Silver Buyers

Sterling Silver Buyers wants to purchase your sterling silver flatware and hollowware! Please sell your silverware items to Sterling Silver Buyers!


Keep your silver beautiful with Hagerty's Silver Polishing Products
Keep your silver beautiful with Hagerty's Silver Polishing Products

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Nov 16, 2023
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Great Suggestions!

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