We have a guest blogger this week! My mom, Carol Cassone, who has been obsessing over storing her silver for years. She finally tackled that closet and did an unbelievable job (just like the mother of a professional organizer). Really, she just wants to make sure that when she is gone (not for a long, long time), I know the history behind each piece of her silver. You will want to read this funny and informative post! Here is a picture of mom with her 97 year old dad (grandpa is wearing the sweater) and his friend during her recent visit to see him in Louisville! Thanks for the post Mom!
The Martha Stewart site did recommend the aluminum foil sink method, but added only the baking soda with boiling water. I also found a very comprehensive site on all things related to silver … www.hermansilver.com Not only does this site tell you how to clean and store silver, but he has the websites for ordering Silver cloth and anti-tarnish strips. This site is so comprehensive, he even lists places to sell or appraise your silver and a guide to reading the hallmarks on your silver. The FAQ’s on this site will blow you away. He’s a bit cool on the aluminum foil sink method – does not fully recommend it, and has a rating on most all the silver polishes on the market. He abhors Tarn-X. 2.Silver Cloth Covers – You probably are familiar with Silver cloth. It’s what the lining of silverware drawers are covered in and in which many fine silver dealers will wrap your silver piece. As my husband collected silver over the years, we got silver cloth bags with the name of the jeweler on the bag. Over the years, I had not put the pieces back in the bags, and most of the pieces we had did not even have silver cloth bags. I purchased brown silver cloth from Ebay and bought the least expensive at $9.99 a yard (Fabrichut.com). When you cut silver cloth it does not ravel. This made it easy to cut the cloth and stitch up the sides on a sewing machine with a 6 inch or so overlap in a size that would fit each piece. Large trays took the most cloth. I used pinking shears on the outside flaps or places where the edge would show. 3. Labeling the Silver – Once it’s covered in silver cloth, you can’t tell what the piece is of course. So I photographed each piece. Then I bought inexpensive 4×6 photo albums from the dollar store ( It’s Dollar Tree where everything is a dollar), and cut out each page. Each photo page allowed me to put a photo of the piece on one side and a 4×6 index card on the other where I could write a description of the piece, any markings it had and my comments about the piece. In that comment section, I wrote where we had purchased or inherited the piece, how I had used it, and gave them a heads up that it was older and valuable or that it was an ordinary 20th Century piece, or a red star if it was actually sterling rather than silver plate. I used ribbon to tie around the silver cloth, punched a hole in the index card to run the ribbon through before tying a bow to secure it. These labels should make it easy for me to reach for the right piece that I may need now, while still keeping them in an anti-tarnish cloth. I also quickly photographed the index cards with my IPad in hopes that the ICloud will store those photos as a record of the inventory of silver that we have. I used the small pictures that a photo proof sheet provided to staple to the index cards so that the cards also had a photo of the piece for our records. 20/20 Hindsight – I like silver cloth, but after reading about wrapping the pieces in acid free tissue paper and putting them in large zip locks, I think that is probably a much easier and less costly method. You can then put anti-tarnish strips in the bag with the piece. The best advice I read from the hermansilver.com site was to never let a piece tarnish. Wash it in “no lemon” Dawn dishwashing detergent, and use your silver every day . You know Lady Grantham does:-)