Antique silver is a very valuable piece of silver work that needs constant care. Just like with any valuable piece of work, cleaning antique silver is part of the joy of owning it. However, most antique silver owners prefer cleaning their silver without polishing it. The reason behind this is they don’t want to remove the patina of their antique silver. Remember that it’s the patina which makes antique silver more valuable.
If you are wondering how to clean antique silver without ruining its patina, here are the steps to follow.
- Prepare your cleaning materials. For this task, you will need soft clean cloth, warm soapy water, cotton gloves or impregnated gloves, cotton buds, and some old soft-bristle brushes. Place them on a dry cleaning area together with the antique silver you need to clean.
- After wearing cotton gloves, carefully remove the dust using your soft clean cloth. If there is dust located in the hallmarks and cervices of your antique silverware, use some cotton buds and your larger brushes to remove it. Be sure to use cotton gloves when touching your antique silver. Other types of gloves can actually ruin your antique silver. It can cause damage to the patina of your valuable antique silver. You should also avoid using wire wool or abrasive cloth when removing stains, as this will scratch the surface of your antique silver.
- When you’re done removing the dust from your antique silver, you can now wash it using warm soapy water. Avoid putting your antique silver in dishwashers or using dishwashing liquid to clean it, as this may cause corrosion. You can also use impregnated gloves when washing your antique silver. This is very handy especially when warm soapy water is not enough to clean your antique silver. Just be careful how you use this.
- After washing the antique silver, dry using soft clean cloth. You can also use a dry kitchen cloth in wiping your antique silver. Make sure that you are careful when doing this. This type of metal scratches very easily. When you’re done with this, go to the next step.
- After cleaning your antique silver articles, it is best to store them in an air-tight container. Remember that humid areas can cause tarnishing. You can also use acid-free tissue or tarnish-proof felt to cover your antique silver.
These are the steps on how you can clean your antique silver without having to polish them. However, when tarnishes are an eyesore, you might need to polish your antique silver. When this happens, it is very important to use polishing products that are not abrasive. Most polishing products that are used for copper and other metals can badly harm the value of your antique silver.
There are actually different methods of polishing antiquities. But if you want to preserve the patina of your antique silver, it is advisable to use the hand-polishing method mentioned. This particular method of care is used by serious collectors as it brings out the beauty of the antique silver while caring for its patina.