Most people wash knives, forks, and spoons along with other dishes. If you're washing by hand, wash flatware after the glasses and before the plates. Cutlery (knives and other cutting instruments) can be cleaned in the same way as flatware, but observe the manufacturer's instructions to be sure that the cutlery is dishwasher-safe.
- Always wash gold-plate flatware by hand and buff to bring up the shine and prevent water spots.
- Sterling-silver and silver-plate flatware may be washed in the dishwasher, but will need to be polished less often if it is washed by hand.
- Rinse salt and acidic food off flatware as soon as possible to avoid stains.
- Clean streaks on your everyday flatware by rubbing with a soft cloth sprinkled with a little olive oil. Use a second cloth to buff.
- Make a paste of cornstarch and water and apply to tarnished silverware. Let dry; wipe clean with a dry cloth.
- Mix a solution of 5 ounces dry milk powder, 12 ounces water, and 1 tablespoon white vinegar. Pour into a 9x13-inch cake pan. Drop in tarnished silverware, and let it sit overnight. Rinse and dry all pieces thoroughly.
- Store silverware in rolls, bags, or cases made with special tarnish-resistant cloth.
- Place 1 or 2 pieces of white chalk in your silverware chest to prevent tarnishing.
- Do not allow stainless-steel flatware to touch anything made of silver in the dishwasher. It will set up an electrolytic action that pits the stainless steel and leaves black spots on the silver.
Now that your flatware and cutlery are shimmering, let's move on and give some shine to that glassware in your cabinet.