Jeffrey Herman Newsletter

The Modern Butlers’ Journal, November 2018, Consulting the Silver Expert

Consulting the Silver Expert

by Jeff Herman


Silica Gel (Humidity Control) ©

Since World War II, silica gel has been the drying agent of choice for government and industry. It is safe to use with even the most sensitive materials, including food and medicine. It is in those tiny packets enclosed in pill bottles and shoe boxes to prevent moisture damage. It prevents tarnish- and corrosion-causing condensation within enclosed areas, such as flatware drawers and china cabinets. Such areas should be made as vapor-proof as possible.

Despite its name, silica gel is not a gel, but chemically inert, man-made granules containing thousands of tiny crevices that “drink up” excess humidity from the air by surface adsorption. A good choice of product is a canister containing silica gel that turns from blue to pink when saturated with moisture. Reactivate the gel by drying the canister in a conventional oven. The reactivation process can be repeated indefinitely for a lifetime of protection.

Note that silica gel dust should not be inhaled.

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.