Cleaning and Preserving Antique Silverware: Tips for Longevity

Cleaning and Preserving Antique Silverware: Tips for Longevity

Antique silverware is a precious and valuable possession that not only adds elegance to your dining table, but also holds sentimental value for many families. To ensure that your antique silverware retains its beauty and value for generations to come, proper cleaning and preservation techniques are essential. In this article, we will provide you with expert tips on how to clean and preserve your antique silverware.

1. Clean Regularly but Gently

Regular cleaning is crucial to prevent tarnish from building up on your antique silverware. However, it is important to clean your silverware gently to avoid causing any damage. Start by rinsing your silverware with warm water to remove any food particles or dirt. Then, use a soft cloth or sponge to gently apply a silver polish specifically designed for antique silverware. Be careful not to use any abrasive cleaners or scrubbers that may scratch the surface of your silverware.

2. Hand Wash Instead of Using a Dishwasher

While modern silverware may be dishwasher safe, antique silverware should always be hand washed. The harsh detergents and high temperatures in dishwashers can damage the delicate surface of your silverware and cause it to tarnish more quickly. Use a mild dishwashing liquid and warm water to gently clean your antique silverware, and remember to dry it thoroughly with a soft cloth before storing it away.

3. Store Properly to Prevent Tarnish

Proper storage is essential to prevent tarnish from developing on your antique silverware. Store your silverware in a clean and dry place, away from direct sunlight and excessive humidity. It is recommended to use tarnish-preventing storage options such as silverware rolls or tarnish-resistant bags. If you choose to use a wooden silverware chest, make sure it is lined with a tarnish-resistant material such as felt or flannel.

4. Avoid Exposure to Chemicals

Avoid exposing your antique silverware to chemicals that can cause damage or accelerate tarnishing. This includes household cleaners, perfumes, lotions, and even certain types of food. When handling your silverware, make sure your hands are clean and free from any chemicals. If you need to store your silverware for an extended period, consider wrapping each piece in acid-free tissue paper to provide an extra layer of protection.

5. Handle with Care

Antique silverware is delicate and can easily be damaged if not handled with care. Always handle your silverware with clean hands and avoid touching the surface as much as possible. When polishing your silverware, use gentle and even strokes instead of applying excessive pressure. If you need to transport your silverware, wrap each piece individually in soft cloth or tissue paper to prevent scratching or damage.

6. Seek Professional Cleaning and Restoration Services

If your antique silverware has significant tarnish or damage that cannot be resolved with regular cleaning methods, it is best to seek professional cleaning and restoration services. As a leading cleaning service provider, Crystal Facilities Management specializes in the cleaning and restoration of antique silverware. Our experienced professionals have the expertise and knowledge to carefully clean and restore your silverware, ensuring its longevity and preserving its value.

7. Display Your Antique Silverware with Pride

Antique silverware is not just meant to be stored away; it is a piece of history and craftsmanship that deserves to be displayed and admired. Showcase your silverware in a well-lit cabinet or display case, keeping it away from direct sunlight and excessive heat. Regularly dust and polish your silverware to maintain its shine and beauty.


By following these tips for cleaning and preserving your antique silverware, you can ensure that it remains a cherished heirloom for years to come. Remember to clean your silverware regularly but gently, hand wash instead of using a dishwasher, store it properly to prevent tarnish, avoid exposure to chemicals, handle with care, and seek professional cleaning and restoration services when needed. Display your antique silverware with pride, and it will continue to bring joy and elegance to your dining experience for generations.