Thursday, September 15, 2011

Types of Flatware and Their Care...

Most flat wear is made of one of three materials. Stainless Steel, Silver Plate and Sterling Sliver. See below how to care for them...
(* All images are provided through Google Images.)
Stainless Steel :
Most casual flatware is made of stainless steel. The name, it's self, implies the meaning! Stain - less...it stains less than other metals and is perfect for daily meals. It is often labeled with the markings of 18/10 or 18/8. The first number refers to the percentage of chromium; the second number refers to the percentage of nickel.
Care :
Dishwasher-safe... even though it is hardy, it can be damaged by prolonged exposure to eggs, vinegar,  and acidic food. Use the minimum amount of detergent/soap. Avoid items that contain lemon. Do not wash stainless steel with aluminum , silver plate or sterling. Never let flatware soak over night in water. They may be polished with stainless steel cleaner or with a paste made of water and baking soda.
 Silver Plate :
Less expensive than it's sterling silver cousin. The metal base is usually nickel silver or or brass covered in a thin layer of 100% silver.
Care :
Dishwasher-safe; however you should opt for a gentle detergent. Never put stainless steal and silver plate together as the two metals react to each other. This could lead to damage on the flat wear; spotting or tarnish the finish. Avoid prolonged use of acidic foods, eggs or vinegar. You SHOULD hand dry the flat wear instead of drying it in the dishwasher. Never let it soak over night in water.
Sterling Silver :
A "sterling" mark on this flat wear should be 92.5% pure silver. the rest of the metal is usually an alloy of copper, which adds durability. The best thing you can do for your "silver" ware is to use it more often. This will mean less polishing in the long run.

Care :
This flat wear SHOULD be hand washed. A dish washer could be used, but the same applies as the above instructions under "Sterling Silver". Myself, I don't risk it! If your going to have "Silver" then enjoy using it, hand washing and hand drying the Silver wear. 
It is a form of art and beauty that adds to the "Bling" of your amazing table setting during special dining occasions.  
 Do everything with Style

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