Causes of stains on silverware

Silver is a soft metal, so if you use highly pure silver products such as sterling silver, they may become scratched and their shine may dull.
100% silver is too soft, difficult to process, and easily scratches, so silver products are often made of 92.5% pure sterling silver, 90% pure coin silver, or 80% pure continental silver.

Also, if silver products are used for a long time, they may become discolored.
It is also called oxidized silver, and some people like its taste, but you want to keep the sparkle of silver in cutlery and decorative items.
This darkening is not rust (oxidation). Silver is difficult to oxidize and will rarely rust unless it is heated with a burner.

The main cause of darkening is sulfide, which reacts with sulfur .
If you soak it in a hot spring with a high sulfur content, it will quickly turn black.
Be sure to remove silver jewelry when entering a hot spring.
Conversely, there is a method of processing ``Ibushi Gin'' using bath additives containing sulfur components and hot water, but I will not discuss them here.
Even on a daily basis, it reacts with trace amounts of sulfur in the air, sweat, and water, causing it to gradually darken.
However, blackheads caused by sulfurization can be easily removed using the method introduced below.

Another cause is chloride, which reacts with chlorine .
This will not stick if you use it normally, but it will stick if you accidentally use chlorine bleach.
Blackheads caused by chloride are much stronger than those caused by sulfide, so they are difficult to remove.
Be careful not to use chlorine bleach on silver items.

Daily care

If sebum or dirt gets on silverware, it will react with the sulfur contained therein and turn dark.
To remove these stains, wash with a mild detergent and a soft sponge .
Never polish with cleanser, bleach, or scouring powder.
If you use a dishwasher, the silver items will hit each other and cause small scratches, so it is best to wash them by hand.
After washing, please thoroughly remove moisture with a cloth.
For items that are difficult to wash with cloth or leather, just wiping them with a cloth to remove the dirt can make a big difference.

If you are not going to use it for a while, remove the dirt, wrap it in a soft cloth like a washcloth or thick kitchen paper, and put it in a highly airtight bag like a ziplock bag.
It would be better to include a desiccant together.
The trick is to avoid exposing it to air and water as much as possible.

As you use it, it may develop fine scratches or become slightly darkened.
If there are light scratches or dark spots, simply buffing them with a piece of cloth like a piece of bed sheet will be enough to clean them.
Please watch the video to see it in action.

How to remove blackheads

Dark spots that are firmly attached cannot be removed simply by washing or polishing with a cloth.
In that case, we recommend using a special cleaner.

There are four main types of cleaners:

1. cream type

Also called the polish type, it is cream-like and can be applied to a cloth for polishing.
It has high abrasive power, so it is recommended if you want to polish thoroughly.
I often use Lucky Wood Silver Cleaner .

2. cross type

A fine abrasive agent is kneaded into the soft felt cloth.
This type is the easiest for small accessories.
They are also sold at 100 yen shops, but be sure to use ones made for silverware.
Our store also carries a product called HELI polishing cloth .

This is a video of actually polishing a sterling silver card case using a cream type cleaner.

3. liquid type

Used when it is difficult to polish with cloth, such as chains or embossed carvings.
Since it is soaked in a liquid to remove dirt, it can be used to remove dirt from deep areas.
Also, since it is not polished with an abrasive, there is no need to worry about the plating peeling off.
When polishing large items, a considerable amount is required, so it is recommended for small items such as accessories.

4. spray type

When polishing large silverware such as tableware or ornaments, a spray type product is convenient.
Spray on a soft cloth to polish your silverware.
Some products contain anti-tarnishing agents and are effective in preventing darkening.

We explained the daily care of silver products and how to polish them using cleaners.
Some people may have the impression that silver items darken quickly, but if you know how to care for them on a daily basis and how to polish them when they darken, you can easily restore their beautiful shine.