Unilever logo
Cleanipedia PH logo

How to Clean Silver & Stainless Steel Cutlery

Food, grease & rust can leave cutlery looking grubby! This article is full of tips and advice on how to get your silver and stainless steel cutlery sparkling.


Reading Time: 5 minutes

Written by Eunice Samson

Family home hacks

When someone has taken the time to prepare a meal, it’s only right that you take the time to sit down and truly enjoy it. Sharing meal times with friends and family is one of life’s greatest pleasures and with a few simple measures you can elevate your everyday eating experiences to the highest standard.

Any house-proud host will know the importance of knowing how to clean silver cutlery – guests can be particular and no matter how good your cooking is, if you are serving it with a dirty 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.

Though natural remedies are great for cleaning stainless steel, specially formulated products are your best option for cleaning your cutlery. A washing up liquid like Sunlight will degrease, remove dirt, and restore a stylish sheen!

Using a Stainless Steel Cleaner: How to Clean Stainless Steel Cutlery

Stainless steel may be difficult to mark, but it’s not resistant to fingerprints – in fact, if you use stainless steel cutlery every day, it is just as important to know how to clean it as any other type of knife, fork, or spoon.

  • First, wash 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.

  • 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.

  • Natural solutions like vinegar, cider, lemon juice, olive oil, and soda water will all work wonderfully as a stainless steel cleaner ­­– they’re great for removing stains. 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.

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, so you’ll need to wear cotton gloves to protect it. And 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.

To do so, remove food remains as soon as possible and rinse off any excess grime or residue in warm soapy water. 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.

The Poll

Would you be more likely to buy a Cleaning or Laundry product that had a QR code visible on the pack over a product without a QR code? 

0 Votes

Finally, to protect your cutlery and keep it cleaner for longer, store your silver in cotton bags or wraps.

  • Don’t leave the washing up ‘til later! Remove excess food and oil before it dries.

  • Use hot water and a powerful washing up liquid like Sunlight.

  • Try natural solutions like lemon juice and olive oil on stainless steel.

Do you want to learn which household cleaning tasks cause the most stress?  Then read our Heated Household data analysis. 

Frequently asked questions on cleaning stainless steel cutlery

How do you clean blackened stainless steel cutlery?

There are four simple steps for how to clean blackened stainless-steel cutlery. First, mix eight-parts hot water with one-part white vinegar. Next, allow your cutlery to soak in your mixture for 10 minutes. After soaking, rinse your cutlery thoroughly to remove all traces of the vinegar solution. Finally, use a lint-free cloth to dry your cutlery before putting it away.

How do you clean stainless steel cutlery with baking soda?

Want to know how to clean stainless steel cutlery with baking soda? We’ve got you covered. First, mix one teaspoon of baking soda in a tray of warm water. Allow your cutlery to soak in this solution for 15 minutes. Rinse your cutlery under warm water and dry immediately using a lint-free cloth.

How do you sanitize cutlery?

Whilst you can use a specialist antibacterial wash, the best steps for how to sanitize cutlery are to use boiling water or a solution of bleach and water at a ratio of one tablespoon of bleach per gallon of water. Always rinse thoroughly afterwards and never use neat bleach to ensure there are no traces left on your cutlery when you come to eat.

How do you remove rust from stainless steel utensils?

Water and baking soda can create a paste that is a great first step in how to remove rust from stainless steel utensils. Simply spread the paste over the rusty metal and leave it to do its job for around an hour. Use a wire brush to scrub away the paste and rust, and rinse thoroughly.

Can you use products such as 3m anti tarnish strips to protect stainless steel and silverware?

Using a 3m anti tarnish strip is a safe, non-toxic way to protect your stainless steel and silverware.

Originally published