Jeffrey Herman Newsletter

The Modern Butlers’ Journal, December 2019, Consulting the Silver Expert

Consulting the Silver Expert

by Jeff Herman


If you have purchased a silver object with a price label that won’t peel off, don’t reach for a scrubby pad or steel wool. Instead, try using a hair dryer on a LOW setting (a heat gun is too hot) to warm the label gently. The label should now peel off cleanly. Note: Never use a hair dryer on lacquered pieces.

If the label leaves a sticky residue, wait for the piece to cool and try removing the glue with some hand sanitizer, canola oil, or olive oil on a cotton ball or make-up pad.

If this fails, place a cotton ball or make-up pad saturated with oil on the residue and let it sit for one hour (don’t worry, the oils won’t harm the silver). If it doesn’t work, try the method again until the adhesive has dissolved and wipe away with a paper towel, cotton ball, or make-up pad. Use Better Life Natural Glass Cleaner (it has a neutral pH) to remove any signs of the oil.

If a discolored spot remains where the adhesive had been, remove it with one of the least abrasive silver polishes (i.e. Blitz Silver Shine Polish or Herman’s Simply Clean™ Collectors Silver Polish).

Note: Products like Acetone, Goo Gone, Krud Cutter, Goof Off, and WD-40 will remove adhesive residue more rapidly but are less environmentally friendly. Should you decide to use these products, wear nitrile gloves and perform the task in a well-ventilated area.

Mr. Herman continues to offer his services to our readers for any questions you may have about the care of silver. Either contact him at (800) 339-0417 (USA) or via email: jeff @

The Institute is dedicated to raising service standards by broadly disseminating the mindset and superior service expertise of that time-honored, quintessential service provider, the British Butler, updated with modern people skills, and adapted to the needs of modern employers and guests in staffed homes, luxury hotels, resorts, spas, retirement communities, jets, yachts & cruise ships around the world.