How do I care for my sterling silver?
Caring for your sterling silver is as easy as setting your table. Most people don't realize that it's OK to use sterling silver every day. It's not just for special occasions—sterling silver is perfect for every day, any time, and any reason. In fact, daily use of your sterling silver is the best way to keep each piece bright and shiny.
What's more, contrary to popular belief, sterling silver is easy to care for; you can actually put it in the dishwasher! We encourage you to use your sterling silver daily as an integral part of caring for it; over time it will develop a beautiful patina.
Here are some general guidelines to help you care for your sterling silver flatware:
- Rotate the use of your sterling silver flatware to ensure even wear.
- Promptly wash or rinse your sterling silver with hot water after each use, especially after contact with any acidic or foods which might cause corrosion such as salt, mayonnaise, or eggs. Don't allow food to dry on sterling silver as it can cause staining.
- Hand wash your sterling silver in hot, sudsy water, then rinse in clear, hot water.
- Clean crevices with a worn toothbrush or fine natural-bristle brush.
- Immediately dry the pieces with a chamois or soft cotton cloth to avoid spotting.
- Don't leave your sterling silver in water, as soaking can damage the metal.
- You can wash your sterling silver in the dishwasher, though gold accented sterling silver flatware should be hand washed to protect the gold finish.
- Keep sterling silver and stainless steel flatware in separate baskets in the dishwasher as direct contact can permanently damage the silver.
- Keep detergent to a minimum if you put sterling silver in the dishwasher, and avoid lemon scented detergents and those containing chloride as these can damage the metal.
- Remove sterling silver from the dishwasher before the dry cycle and dry items immediately and completely with a soft towel. Air-drying causes almost all metals to water-spot.
- Use a mild detergent if you hand-wash your sterling silver. Do not use chlorine bleach to clean sterling silver.
- Make sure your sterling silver is completely dry before you store it.
- If using sterling silver daily, store it in a moisture-free drawer.
- If using sterling silver occasionally, store it in the flannel bag provided with your purchase from Lifetime Sterling, or in a wooden storage chest with a protective flannel lining.
- Do not wrap your sterling silver in rubber bands, plastic, or newspaper, or in any material with a high sulfur content.
- Polish your sterling silver once or twice a year, whether or not it has been used regularly.
- Remove any tarnish by buffing your sterling silver with a soft cloth and silver polish.