If you collect and restore precious metal antiques and keepsakes, you probably already know how important it is to keep them in top condition. Not only does regular cleaning and maintenance prevent damage that can occur when tarnish deposits build up on the surfaces of your sterling silver keepsakes, but it also keeps your antiques looking shiny and new, which is important should you ever want to sell them. Sterling silver and gold keepsakes like watches, trays, flatware, antique plates, silver tea sets and more can all benefit from a thorough cleaning with special silver polish. Silver polish is a specialized cleaner designed to remove tarnish deposits on the surfaces of your antiques via a powerful chemical reaction that breaks up gunk, allowing you to buff or rinse it away. In addition, some brands of silver polish can also impart a protective layer to your sterling silver antiques so that they are far less likely to be tarnished again in the future.
Sterling silver polish comes in small squeeze tubes which makes it very simple to apply. When you are cleaning your antiques, first brush or wipe their surfaces gently with a soft cloth. This will remove any hard-to-see grit which could scratch your keepsakes later on. Next, apply a generous amount of silver polish to the affected areas of your sterling silver antiques. If you can see tarnish spots, for example, allow a glob of silver polish to sit on top of the stain for several minutes. Place your antiques in a safe place with plenty of air flow. After several minutes, you will notice your sterling silver antiques are beginning to dry. This means the cleaning process is almost complete.
Before you can store or use your sterling silver antiques and flatware again, you need to finish the cleaning process by removing the excess silver polish and buffing the surfaces of your items. Depending upon the kind of antique you are cleaning, there are two main ways of doing this. For some sterling silver antiques and keepsakes that are completely metal, you can rinse them with clean water. Sometimes, however, when rinsing is not recommended, it is preferable to take a clean soft cloth and buff dry every surface of your sterling silver keepsake. Items that generally should be buffed instead of rinsed include any objects that are fitted with cork or other pourous materials that could soak up water and, in so doing, be damaged. Instead of risking water and moisture damage to your fine serving implements, take your time and use a soft cloth. Buffing with a cloth also helps to join the remaining layer of silver polish to the surface of your antique.
Cleaning your antiques and keepsakes with silver polish is a great way to ensure their longevity and continued appreciation over time. Should you ever decide to make some extra money by selling some of your antiques, you can rest assured that they will be all the more valuable for being visibly well preserved and cared for.