What should I use to polish 1880s silverplate?

jlc102482November 8, 2012

I have acquired some old silverplate flatware and pitchers that date from around the 1880s. Some are quite tarnished and I'd like to polish them, but I am afraid of marring the designs on them with something that's too abrasive. They are all aesthetic and have intricate etchings, and some have relief on them as well. What product would you recommend I use to shine these items up without hurting the designs on them?

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First of all wash them with something like Palmolive dish soap and dry.....then polish with silver polish. I like Wrights, or International. Use a wet sponge and rub gently.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2012 at 10:20AM
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Thanks very much, Lindac!

    Bookmark   November 9, 2012 at 9:33AM
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NOT an expert, but DO know that that Tarn-X stuff is something never to use.

A few years ago, was into making wind chimes from "craft" quality flatware... off Ebay. Didn't have to spend much to end up with a LOT of the stuff. One batch was LOADED with a pattern called Partician... can't recall maker off-hand. A few monogrammed pieces but most plain and with very little serious wear on them. I used Wright's or International silver polish and a LOT of elbow grease to clean them up. Now have at LEAST 12 place setting that include knife, salad & dinner forks, tea & table spoons, round "cream" soup spoons, butter spreaders, some kinda little ladle spoons and a few serving pieces.

I store them in an old thrift store silver chest and they do NOT tarnish between uses. Actually used them for everyday and ran thru dishwasher!?! After a while, started getting a dull film, so cleaned back up again and stored away.

Once you clean up pieces, would definitely find some of that "silver cloth" (think that might be what it's called) to store them in.

Niece helps me decorate for holidays. We set the diningroom table with Christmas plates and 7-10 pieces of silverware... just for show. Looks nice with candles around it, even if no food ever ends up on the plates!

    Bookmark   November 10, 2012 at 2:20PM
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You can buy the treated Pacific Cloth (the stuff they use to line silver chests) by the yard in a fabric store; it works great to wrap around holloware to keep it from tarnishing. Just don't ask for 'silver cloth' - they'll likely show you lame!

    Bookmark   November 10, 2012 at 10:15PM
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You can also buy it on line....and there are other brands besides "pacific" that seem to work as well....at least in the few years I have used it.....and less than half the cost of Pacific cloth.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2012 at 11:50PM
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What other brands? I didn't know any others existed...but I never considered getting it online because I don't buy that much of it.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2012 at 12:17AM
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Hagerty for example....it's 58 inches wide....where Pacific is only 38 and the price peryard is about the same....and there are other brands which are lots cheaper...like Vogue

    Bookmark   November 11, 2012 at 1:03AM
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Thanks for the advice! I used Palmolive and Wright's and I can't believe how nicely they all cleaned up. I had no idea silver cloth existed, so thank you for that suggestion, too!

    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 8:26AM
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