Friday, October 03, 2008

Heirlooms and masochism

Somewhere along the line I decided it would be neat for my kiddos to have sterling silver baby dishes. I think between reading about vintage baby bowls on SouleMama, then seeing Ari use one that had been her husband's as a baby, I was sold on the idea. Seemed like a great thing to pass on through the generations, so I started scouring ebay. Turns out if you are persistent you can find tarnished silver for pretty decent prices.

And now I know why.

It's far too dungeon-y in my apartment to get a good shot of that spoon. It came today. (Flash + silver, even tarnished silver = aaack) But all of the pieces arrived looking at least that bad. I have spent hours (on end) of time and elbow grease, plus several home remedies (all involving baking soda), and I'm still not completely happy with the result. But I have learned some fun things about chemistry.

Anybody out there got any silver-polishing tips?

Oh, and when Sir O chucks one of these at you, it hurts. Maybe I need to rethink this whole thing.


Anonymous said...

I have a silver porringer just like that one - well, really close anyway - and it sits in my mom's china cabinet until I get my own. Some of my grandparent's friends gave it as a baby gift when I was born. It's beautiful, but not all that practical.

When I worked at an inn I polished some silver mugs every few months. We used Tarnex and it worked well for me, though still takes a little elbow grease. Also, be prepared for the strong chemical smell. I often wonder about some of the other stuff out there that they sell on TV where you just dip it in something and *voila* it's like new. Let me know if you find anything else that works.

Vanessa and Rebecca said...

I've used tartar control toothpaste. It works well. Not so much elbow grease needed. :-D

Katie May said...

I have no helpful hints, but I do think it's such a neat idea. I'm just sad I didn't think of it earlier! And yet, hearing that Oliver is throwing it at you made me giggle and feel sad for you all at the same time. I'm sorry.

How are you feeling these days??

Heidi said...

I love the idea of vintage baby dishes, but I'm no expert at silver cleaning.

This is a shot in the dark, but I bought a silver tea pot in London that tarnishes faster than I thought. I clean it with my silver polishing rag that I use for my flute students. You can see one at and it gets all the nasty tarnish off - it even takes stuff off that has been on there for YEARS. However, if you try this, you may want to consider using some sort of soft cloth like this one at because it will clean off the treatment that rubs off of the treated cloth.

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