Keep your silver out of the dishwasher! It’s that simple. There are four major reasons for keeping your prized sterling and silverplate out of the “chamber of doom”:
1) Any factory-applied oxidation (the black patina in recessed areas) will eventually be removed.
2) The harsh detergent, combined with the washer’s high cleaning temperature, is much too abrasive for silver – it will eventually turn the silver grey or white, with a dull, non-reflective surface.
3) Most older and some repaired hollow-handled knives are filled with pitch. This low-melting cement will expand with heat, possibly forcing open a thin solder seam, or exploding the knife blade out of the handle.
4) Silver that touches stainless in the dishwasher can create a chemical reaction, producing black spots or pitting on the stainless and possibly requiring the silver to be professionally refinished.
Sterling, like a fine automobile, must be handled with tender loving care. You certainly wouldn’t drive your Rolls Royce through a car wash, would you? ?
Jeffrey Herman encourages anyone with silver-related questions that can’t be answered on his Web site hermansilver.com to contact him. He may be reached at 800-339-0417or firstname.lastname@example.org or at PO Box 786, West Warwick, RI 02893.
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