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So, now you've removed the tarnish from your silver and you really don't want to go through that again in the near future, so here are some ways to delay the return of tarnish:

1. Those special bags and strips- Several manufacturers make special felt bags in which to store silver pieces, or little strips you can put in your storage container with the silver. These work, but they are loaded with chemicals.

2. Chalk- That's right, the stuff your kid uses to draw on the sidewalk. The stuff your kid's teacher uses to write on the chalkboard. Put a piece of chalk into the storage container, but DON'T LET THE CHALK TOUCH THE SILVER!!! You can also put a strip of aluminum foil in with the silver and it will draw the tarnish away from the silver. It's okay to let the foil strip touch the silver.

3. The gloves are off!- Never handle your silver with rubber or latex gloves. That will cause tarnish.

4. Rinse, rinse, rinse- Even the smallest amount of soap residue will hasten the return of tarnish.

5. Dry, dry, dry - Every possible hint of moisture must be gone before you store your silver.

6. Storage no-nos- Never store silver in plastic bags. It will stick to the silver and mar it. Never store silver in ordinary felt bags. Felt gives off sulphur and that causes tarnish. Use the treated felt bags described above. Never store silver near latex paint. And that means you can't display it on latex-painted shelves, either. The latex paint will make the silver darken. Don't store silver in an oak box, for the same reason, and don't display it on oak furniture or oak shelves. If you have silver plate, don't wrap it in newspaper - the ink can strip off that fine layer of silver. Never use rubber bands to secure the wrappers on your silver. Remember the caveat about rubber gloves? Same thing applies to rubber bands. Never store your silver in the attic or the kitchen. Heat can hasten tarnish.

7. Storage yes-yesses- Wrap silver pieces individually in tissue paper and store them in an airtight container.

8. No breathing allowed- Since it's the sulphur in air that combines with the silver to produce tarnish, give your silver objects that will not come in contact with food a coat of paste wax to seal it off from the air.

9. Things not to put on or in your silver-eggs (sulphur - remember?), alcoholic beverages, high-acid foods and beverages like fruit juice or tomato sauce, perfume, cosmetics, salt.

Enjoy your silver, everyone!

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Replies to This Discussion

How about the opposite? What is the best way to naturally hasten tarnish on copper? We have an incredible Jugenstile/Nouveau copper tray that a very foolish person polished to a "bright as a penny" shine. Of course the only thing
that brings back true patina is time but what would you use to encourage the shine away?

Please no suggestions for rub n buff or some sort of verdigris brush on chemical (sadly I had this suggestion from a "knowledgeable" dealer and it was probably the worst suggestion I've heard for an original arts and crafts piece)
Ellen, I'm so sorry to tell you this, but a natural-looking patina has to be acquired naturally. That's why old bronze is so highly prized - you can't get that patina without years and years of just sitting there. I'm so sorry to hear about your tray. But, if you have patience, your patina will come back. Just leave the tray sitting out - it's all you can do.
This is brilliant! As in helpful, of course. I have a beautiful crystal and silver lamp that I love, but I've had to clean it fairly often, or live with the tarnish. I had heard of coating it with wax, but wasn't sure. The next time I clean it I'm puttin' on the wax. Thanks!


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