Jeffrey Herman Newsletter

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

Consulting the Silver Expert

by Jeff Herman

Use Your Silver While You’re Cooped Up

During this period when many of us are doing more cooking, we often look for ways to make at-home meals more special than usual. One simple way to do this is to use your silver flatware, serving pieces, and dishes regularly. An added benefit of using silver on a daily basis is that it will require little or no polishing.

After use, just hand-wash with a non-lemon-scented phosphate-free detergent, and then dry with a towel to avoid water spots. Use flatware pieces in rotation so that they wear uniformly.)

If your silver has not been used for a while, it may have formed some tarnish. Even if you’re not interested in using the silver for your non-company meals, what better time than now to whip your pieces into shape for that day when you can entertain again? My Care of Silver guide provides detailed information on cleaning and polishing silver. What if you do not have the time to delve into as much detail as I provide there? No worries; just use the abbreviated instructions outlined below. These are the steps I use most often.

But, when you do have time, turn to the full Care of Silver guide to learn more about cleaning and polishing your silver, as well as how to protect and store it. Once you’ve learned the tips professionals use, you’ll end up spending less time on tarnish removal and more time enjoying your silver!

1. Wax any porous attachments – such as wooden handles and ivory insulators – prior to cleaning;

2. Rinse the object under warm running water while gently wiping it with a cellulose sponge to remove any particulate. If dried polish has accumulated in recessed or ornamental areas, it should be lightly tapped out (also under running water) with a natural-bristle brush, such as a white china bristle brush, after the polish has been rehydrated. (See other brush options here.)  Dry the object immediately with a cotton towel.

3. Remove any remaining grime with hand sanitizer using cotton balls, cotton makeup pads, and/or cotton swabs. This step will remove light tarnish as well as grime.

4. Remove any sanitizer residue with a plant-based window cleaner, such as Better Life Glass Cleaner. Dry the piece immediately with a cotton towel;

5. If tarnish remains, use Herman’s Simply Clean Collectors Silver Polish with a cellulose sponge, cotton balls, makeup pads, and/or cotton swabs, rubbing the object in a straight back-and-forth manner so as to maintain a uniform appearance. (Cotton balls and makeup pads will remove tarnish more rapidly than a sponge);

6. Rinse with warm water and dry immediately with a cotton towel to avoid water spotting.

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.