Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Sterling Silver, Oh My!!

Mother’s Day is fast approaching and I’m a little stressed; to say the least. Like no other Mother’s Day, this year brunch will be (you guessed it) at my house. Not only am I hosting brunch this year, I have an amazing group of women who will be there. Mom, obviously, but then there is my grandmother, my godmother, my aunt and my cousin. All of whom are all excited to see each other and talk as if young girls.

As a token of my endearing affection to these women who have raised me and given me guidance (with the exception of my cousin) throughout my lifetime, I am preparing an amazing brunch. One in which they will remember for a long time. Cross your fingers I don’t burn the muffins or forget to buy coffee. My tablescape and menu are planned. What’s the worry? Two words, sterling silver! I’m bringing out the platters and flatware in sterling silver. If any of you own sterling you already know what I’m talking about.

Work! It takes work to handle and clean. So I decided to share with you tips on how to clean sterling silver for special occasions like Mother’s Day just in case you wanted to impress. Many who own sterling silver know that to clean is to clean by hand. No dishwasher! Hollow handles on flatware may loosen with exposure to heat and detergent and any spill of dry dishwasher detergent especially on flatware can cause dark spots.

Like many of us, silver is no exception, it has enemies. One such enemy is rubber. Rubber corrodes silver. Please don’t use those handy rubber gloves to clean sterling silver. Use plastic or cotton gloves when cleaning and or polishing. If wondering what other enemies has silver sweating; salt, olives, salad dressing, eggs, vinegar and any type of fruit juice. A good idea is to serve these foods/condiments in china or glass containers. Your investment or family heirloom would appreciate it.

My favorite method of cleaning sterling flatware (albeit the lazy way) is in warm sudsy water being careful to use a soft cloth. I rinse well and always dry immediately. I never soak any of the flatware. If the silver is tarnished and it will always be, I’ll clean off the tarnish with toothpaste or a paste of baking soda and water. I’ll use the rub, rinse and dry method. It just takes longer and a little or a lot of patience depending if I’m doing this the day of the event.

I’ve got to admit one thing, when cleaned and polished, sterling silver looks amazing! Its beauty increases with use causing a patina or soft sheen. You will most certainly impress any guest dining in your home.

Good luck. Happy Mother’s Day!

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