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How to clean silver and stainless steel cutlery

A dinner party isn't complete without spotless cutlery! Use these simple tips to clean silver or stainless steel cutlery.

Updated By Cleanipedia Team

drawer of freshly cleaned cutlery
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Any house-proud host will know the importance of knowing how to clean cutlery – guests can be particular and no matter how good your cooking is, if you are serving it with a grubby knife and fork there’s bound to be complaints. Music, wine, and hospitality may be essential to an enjoyable dinner party but remember, we eat with our eyes and clean cutlery and appealing presentation should not be reserved for the likes of royalty alone.

Although natural remedies are great for cleaning stainless steel, specially formulated products are your best option for cleaning your cutlery.

You will need:

  • A clean non-abrasive cloth
  • Hot water
  • Washing up liquid
  • Natural cleaning solutions
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How to clean stainless steel cutlery

The iron alloy that comprises stainless steel may be difficult to stain, but it’s not resistant to fingerprints and cleaning stainless steel cutlery is therefore no more avoidable than any other knife, fork, or spoon.

  1. Clean the cutlery in hot water and washing up liquid

    First, clean your cutlery in hot water and washing up liquid. It’s important to remove excess food as quickly as possible after eating as the salt and acids will cause gradual damage.

  2. Hand dry with a clean non-abrasive cloth

    Hand dry with a clean non-abrasive cloth to remove any water spots. The quicker you dry your cutlery, the better as the open-air will cause unwanted natural drying marks.

  3. Remove stains with natural cleaning solutions

    Natural cleaning solutions such as vinegar, cider, lemon juice, olive oil and soda water all work wonderfully on removing stains from stainless steel.

    To polish with vinegar or cider, buff your cutlery in a circular motion with a soft damp cloth lightly dampened with cider or undiluted white vinegar. If using soda water, rinse the cutlery in the liquid and dry immediately with a dry non-abrasive cloth. Lemon juice and olive oil can both be applied with a soft dry cloth, gently rubbing away at the stain. Lemon juice can also be used when cleaning a kettle!

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How to clean silver cutlery

Cleaning silver cutlery might seem old fashioned, but it’s just as important now as it ever was. Silver damages easily and you’ll need to clean your silver carefully. Dishwashers might save us time but when it comes to silver, they are not your friend – always clean your silver by hand and dry immediately to prevent water stains.

  1. Remove food remains as soon as possible and rinse off any excess grime or residue in warm soapy water.

  2. Always use a soft non-abrasive cloth to dry off the silver cutlery, removing any light tarnish with specialist silver metal polishing cloths or anti-tarnish strips.

  3. To protect your cutlery and keep it clean for longer, store your silver in cotton bags or wraps.

Originally published