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Care for treasured silver items

Silver tarnishes when in contact with atmospheric sulphur. Maintaining silver jewellry is easy if some simple steps are followed such as regular care, storing safetly and careful cleaning.

india Updated: Jun 04, 2011 02:01 IST

Maintaining silver jewellry is easy if some simple steps are followed such as regular care, storing safetly and careful cleaning.

*Regular care: Silver tarnishes when in contact with atmospheric sulphur. Therefore, use your silver regularly as usage breaks the surface sulphide film that causes tarnish. For food products, be sure to wipe dry after washing. Use a soft cloth. For decorative products, wipe daily.

*Food facts: Salt is harmful to silver, as it burns the surface and leaves permanent black spots. Most good salt pots are either plastic lined or are tinned inside. Similarly, certain foods contain mild acids and silver should be well rinsed after contact with peas, eggs, brussels sprouts, etc.

*Storage safety: Whilst storing, wrap in a soft white felt cloth and then in airtight poly bags. Store in clean, dry, airtight cupboards. Do not wrap in newsprint, nor seal the poly bags with rubber bands. Dampness encourages tarnish and can also harm wooden handles, mother of pearl handles, etc.

*Careful cleaning : Heavily tarnished pieces can be cleaned with foam or liquid paste silver polishes — both Indian and imported polishes like Haggerty are easily available in the market. Use a soft chamois cloth. Silver dips are also very effective. Or use a weak solution of washing soda and water to clean heavily stained tea or coffee pots.