Caring for Flatware
When washing your fine flatware, use only warm, sudsy water. Carefully rinse away traces of food from the flatware. Avoid using harsh dishwashing detergents that contain chlorides. Also, avoid lemon-scented detergents, which contain acids that may harm the metal. It's also important to hand-dry silver, especially knife blades, to avoid spotting and pitting.
If you'll be washing both silver and stainless-steel flatware in the dishwasher, don't put them in the same basket section. You want to avoid allowing one metal to touch the other.
While sterling silver is beautiful, it tarnishes over time. There are many different metal polishes on the market. Some polishes can be corrosive, so take care to follow the manufacturer's instructions.
Keeping your flatware shining is one aspect of the “glory work” involved in making your dining space work. While it can be a headache, it can also be satisfying because the results are almost immediate — polishing your flatware can feel like getting a whole new set for just the cost of the polish.