How to Clean Silver

Silver reacts to the air we breathe, whose elements are Sulphur and Oxygen. It is sulphur that causes silver to tarnish.

You can display your piece in a glass cabinet which reduces the air circulation, therefore the sulphur contact is diminished. Anti-tarnish strips can also be purchased which absorbs the sulphur, therefore, taking it out of the air which helps prevent the silver tarnishing.

Cutlery/flatware can be stored in tarn proof bags which are chemically treated to keep the sulphur out. When storing silver, acid-free tissue paper should be used and never leave rubber bands around anything. You should avoid letting vinegar come into contact with silver; some window cleaning sprays contain it and should not be used in the vicinity of silver pieces.

As with everything, silver must be cleaned. It is essential that you do not use anything abrasive; in order to prevent damage to the surface, always use a soft cloth or duster. The polish used at William Walter Antiques is Silvo which comes in a liquid form or wadding impregnated with the polish. We recommend you use the liquid on silver-plated items as the wadding is slightly more abrasive. For ornate silver items, you use a brush with soft bristles, covered with a duster to remove any encrusted polish. To clean glass, for example, the interior of a decanter, you can use denture cleaning tablets. To remove tannin from the inside of teapots, you can use dissolved soda crystals.

Once your silver is clean, and to avoid regular polishing, you use anti-tarnish mitts and cloths. Silver polishing mitts are the quick and easy way to clean silver and remove tarnish. The mitts contain a special blend of cleaners and anti-tarnish protection which gives a deep and long-lasting shine. Each mitt is lined for added comfort.

William Walter Antiques stocks Town Talk polishing mitts and a range of their anti-tarnish storage bags.

If you have a problem with a certain piece, please contact us for advice.

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