Do you have beautiful tableware but never use it for fear of damaging it in the dishwasher or by polishing it incorrectly? This shouldn’t be an excuse for your carefully selected tableware to gather dust in storage. Instead, read our guide on how to properly care for your tableware so that it looks like new for years to come.
Wash sterling silver in the dishwasher using only a small amount of detergent, and polish it using silver polish and a silver nitrate treated cloth. Careful- silver reacts to sulfur, which is found in rubber and wool, so keep that in mind when storing sterling silver.
Gold vermeil should be hand washed with mild soap, and instead of polishing it, dust it regularly with a dry cloth. Gold is a soft metal and scratches easily, so store gold vermeil in a soft-lined flatware case for protection. Gold plated flatware also requires hand washing, but it can be polished using general metal polish and a gold polishing cloth; gold plated flatware should also be stored to avoid scratching.
Silver plate is dishwasher safe and can be polished with silver polish and a silver nitrate treated cloth; avoid washing silver plate next to stainless steel in the dishwasher, because the metals will react and damage the silver. Stainless steel flatware is also dishwasher safe, but if you choose to hand wash it, don’t use hard-bristled brushes or scouring pads, which can wear away the chromium oxide film. Stainless steel polish will restore the flatware to its original shine.
For tableware, white porcelain and decal or under-glaze porcelain is safe for both dishwashers and microwaves, and these items don’t even require polishing. Hand painted and metallic porcelain, though, cannot be put in the dishwasher or the microwave. Hand painted porcelain doesn’t need polishing, and neither does gold-coated porcelain; silver-coated porcelain can be treated with silver polish and a silver nitrate treated cloth.
Glassware is generally dishwasher safe, unless it’s blown glass, and should be dried on the lowest setting to avoid spots. Crystal should be hand washed, unless your dishwasher has a crystal setting. Glass polished can be used on both glassware and crystal to remove the film that forms with regular washing.
Your tableware was meant to be used, and with these tableware care tips, you’ll be able to use it for years and still have it look as flawless as the day you bought it.