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How to Clean A Silver Plated Tea Set and Properly Store It to Avoid Tarnishing
A silver-plated tea set is one of the most elegant pieces that serve as a home décor more than its real function. Most of the time, they are heirlooms passed down from generations to generations with history in it.
Silver-plated tea sets can tarnish and becomes dark in color especially if left for a long period of time without any sort of polishing from time to time. That is why it is very important to take some time every now and then to clean, polish and preserve the beauty of these precious possessions. Here we outline the right method for how to clean silver plated tea set, as well as the proper way to store it to keep its luster.
How to Clean Silver Plated Tea Sets
Buying a professional silver cleaner can get the job done, but there is a better and even natural way to clean and polish your silver plated tea sets. Aside from being practical, this method uses cheap and natural products, which are good for the environment.
Things you need:
- Hot water
- Large pot
- Baking soda
- Aluminum foil
- Towel or clean rug
- Cotton gloves
- Boil at least one liter of water.
- On a large pot, put a sheet of aluminum foil over the bottom of the pot.
- Add in two tablespoons of salt and two tablespoons of baking soda into the hot water. Whisk to mix them thoroughly.
- Soak the tea set one by one into the mixture to avoid any accidental scratches that might happen, especially for heavy pieces. Allow it to sit for 20 to 30 minutes each.
- Remove each tea set from the hot water mixture and dry using a clean and soft towel. Make sure not to do air dry, as exposure to air will only contribute to the tarnishing of your silver tea set.
- Check your tea set for any tarnished areas and spots that remain. For this, you can make a simple mixture of water and baking soda. Using a soft cloth, apply the paste to the affected area in a back and forth motion until the tarnishing is completely removed.
- Use cotton gloves for the final touch ups of your silver tea set. Fingerprints are known to contribute further to the tarnishing of silver and therefore, it is best to leave no fingerprint on the surfaces of yours. Avoid using rubber gloves because it contains sulfur substances that can damage silver.
While the baking soda has abrasive properties that remove the tarnishing from the silver tea sets, the water, salt and aluminum foils create ion exchange. It is a chemical reaction, which allows the tarnishing on silver transferred and absorbed by the aluminum foil.
Exposure to vinegar, juices, olives and salad dressing can corrode silver and so make sure not to clean your silver away from those. Never try to clean your tea sets with the use of dishwasher as it can definitely degrade and damage the quality of silver.
Watch this video that shows how to clean silver plated tea sets:
Tips for Storing Silver Plated Tea Sets
Silver can easily tarnish when exposed to air and more rapidly when they are exposed to high humidity conditions. You need to store your silver plated tea sets away from excessive air or heat. Some ideal storage includes airtight chests and drawers.
Most silver plated tea sets now come with their own airtight containers. If so, make sure that the container provided is clean before you store your tea sets inside it. It would also be best to wrap your tea sets in felt or cotton to delay tarnishing.
Make sure to clean you silver plated tea sets once or twice a year to prevent further tarnishing.
How to Prevent Tarnishing
You might think that storing your silver plated tea sets is the best way to preserve its luster but it is not totally the case.
It is a proven fact that the more frequent you use your tea set, the more you delay its tarnishing. Using it frequently means cleaning it frequently and that leads to a silver tea set that looks so much better and shinier than newly bought ones.