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How to Clean and Care for Silver Cutlery

Tops tips on how to clean & store silver cutlery to keep it shining and tarnish-free.

Caring for your silver cutlery can be a daunting task that may put you off using it, leaving the Sunday best sat in perpetual storage. It need not be that way!

With over 125 years experience in the silver industry we have picked up some tips and tricks along the way that will help you keep your silver cutlery tarnish-free and shining bright with ease. The tips below are perfect for all types of sterling silver cutlery, both antique and modern.

Cleaning before use

Removing Tarnish

For heavily tarnished cutlery, the best & quickest results are achieved with our liquid silver cleaners; we recommend our Silver Cutlery Rinse. It is a liquid dip that removes tarnish in a matter of seconds, and is particularly useful for cleaning the tines of forks, which can be rather awkward to get to. The dip is designed for use on silver, so avoid using the Silver Cutlery Rinse on stainless-steel blades of silver knives.

Anti-tarnish Protection

Town Talk Cutlery Rinse is exceptional for removing tarnish, but it does not protect your silver from further tarnishing. Therefore, after rinsing and drying your cutlery, polishing with a Town Talk Silver Polishing Cloth for added shine and anti-tarnish protection is a must.

Ornate silver

If you have silver cutlery with an ornate or intricate design, our Anti-Tarnish Silver Foam is particularly suitable. The Silver Foam can be used at the sink with water, and has the added benefit of providing anti-tarnish protection.

A note on home remedies

We recommend avoiding home remedies to clean silver as you risk damaging your silverware. Home remedies may rely upon abrasives too strong for silver, and all home remedies leave silver unprotected against further tarnishing. Please do not risk damaging your valuable possessions with 'quick fixes'. Town Talk products are specially formulated to care for and protect your silver items. Our anti-tarnish range protects your silver from tarnishing for longer, reducing the amount you need to clean your silver in the long term.

Cleaning after use

Washing and Drying Up

Even if you are a 'leave it to soak’ type, we recommend cleaning your silver cutlery as soon as you can after use. This is because some foods (including salt, vinegar, mustard, onions and eggs) may cause staining or tarnishing when they come into contact with silver.

When you wash your cutlery, (we recommend Town Talk's gentle Washing Up Liquid) use clean water and a soft dishcloth, before drying with a soft cloth immediately to avoid the formation of water stains.

Top Tip

When you dry your silver, avoid using new linen cloths - the starch in them is often too abrasive.

Can I put my silver in the dishwasher?

If at all possible we recommend washing your silver cutlery by hand. Accidentally mixing silver and stainless steel in the dishwasher will remove the shine from silver and could even cause stubborn marks to appear.


To reduce the frequency that you need to clean tarnish from your silver, storing it appropriately is the most important step of silver care.

As a minimum, store your silverware in a dry place and away from direct contact with wooden surfaces, to help keep tarnish at bay.

We recommend storing your silver cutlery in a Town Talk Anti-tarnish Cutlery Roll to help keep it tarnish free for much longer. The cotton cloth is impregnated with a special formulation that slows down the tarnishing process, and your silver will be protected from knocks and scratches.

We hope you enjoy dining with your silver!

Top Tip

For a perfect finish, remember to wear Silversmith's Gloves when laying the table to avoid leaving fingerprints on your polished, shiny cutlery!