Jeffrey Herman Newsletter

The Modern Butlers’ Journal, January 2020, Consulting the Silver Expert

Consulting the Silver Expert

by Jeff Herman


It’s that simple.

There are four major reasons for keeping prized sterling and silver-plate out of the “chamber of doom:”

(1) Any factory-applied patina (the blackening in recessed areas) will eventually be removed;

(2) The detergent’s aggressive chemicals, combined with the washer’s high temperature will eventually turn the silver grey or white and create a dull, non-reflective surface;

(3) Most older, and some repaired, hollow-handled knives are filled with pitch. This cement will expand with heat, possibly forcing open a thin solder seam, or exploding the knife blade out of the handle;

(4) Silver that touches stainless steel in the dishwasher can create a chemical reaction, producing black spots or pitting on the stainless steel and possibly requiring the silver to be professionally refinished.

Sterling, like a fine automobile, must be handled with tender, loving care—one certainly wouldn’t drive a Rolls Royce through a car wash, right?

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.