Whether it’s that antique set of flatware you inherited from your grandparents or the Tiffany necklace you wore to your bat mitzvah, silver requires regular polishing and care. But is it something you can do yourself, or should you leave the job to a professional? We asked silver-cleaning experts to find out.
A silver polishing cloth is a special cloth that is pretreated with chemicals that remove tarnish and prevent it from reappearing. They are reusable and cost less than hiring a professional to do the job for you.
The Strategist recommends a few brands including Hagerty’s polishing cloth (pictured above), which comes with two separate flannel-like cloths that are said to be specially treated with “world-famous” tarnish inhibitors. Its inner cloth cleans the silver and provides a protective barrier, while the outer buffs to a shiny finish.
Reshma Patel, owner of Quiet Storms, a Williamsburg-based jewellery boutique, also suggests 3M’s Pacific Cloth, which she says is “super convenient for those who want to keep their silver protected and polished while in storage.” It’s a simple paper-thin sheet that’s easy to wrap around your pieces. It absorbs sulfur from the air, which can cause tarnishing, and helps protect your silver for 10 times longer than store-bought tarnish inhibitors.
Another DIY option is to soak a silver item in an aluminium-soda bath. Add 1 part clear ammonia to 2 parts warm water and soak for about 15 minutes. Then rinse the item and dry with a cotton cloth. This is a good method for larger items like silver cutlery and jewellery. silver polishing cloth