Top Ways To Care for Your Sterling Silver Antiques

Sterling silver has been around for centuries. It symbolizes status and wealth, and many families have passed down these precious heirlooms. Some people struggle with sterling silver care because they aren’t sure how to, and they don’t want to damage the antiques. 

Photo by cottonbro on

The Ins and Outs of Cleaning

Using a soft cloth, dust and wipe off your sterling silver antiques daily. If they have hard-to-reach areas, grab a cotton ball, cotton swab, or a soft bristle brush. If you notice your silver has begun to slightly tarnish, a mild detergent and warm water solution should do the trick. You can also use a silver-cleaning cloth. Let the piece dry completely before storing it away. 

Heavier Cleaning

Does your sterling silver need more than a light cleaning? Home remedies should still work, but you’ll have to scrub a bit harder. The same mild detergent and soft bristle brush will work for medium to heavy tarnish. If the solution doesn’t appear to be working, you’ll need to switch to something more heavy-duty. 

  • Combine a tablespoon of salt and baking soda. 
  • Add in a half cup of vinegar and a cup of boiling water. 
  • You may need to add more vinegar and water if you have a large piece. 
  • Line a pan with aluminum foil and pour in the solution.
  • Submerge your piece into the mixture.
  • The electrochemical reaction almost instantly dissolves the tarnish from your sterling silver. 

Properly Storing Silver Antiques

A home display case is your best friend if you want to keep your antiques out for all to admire. These inventions can control humidity levels and keep your pieces safe from harm. If you don’t have a display case, keep your antiques away from excessive moisture. 

If you’re going to store your sterling silver pieces away, wrap your antiques in acid-free tissue paper or undyed cotton fabric. It will help limit the tarnish that happens during storage. 

Closing Thoughts

Sterling silver needs thoughtful care and attention to ensure it will last for generations. To certify your antiques are authentic sterling silver, look for 925 stamped on the bottom. You may encounter fakes, and the stamp is a sure way to know. 

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