20 March 2010

spit & polish

A little follow up. I actually achieved something in my creative space on Thursday. Yah!! Unfortunately the owlets are sick, but it allowed me some machine time, so I've made a home for the dining portion of the silverware. I went for some embroidered place mats we found at a garage sale a little while ago. They seemed a little more special than the tea towels. I have some matching napkins I'll use for the teeny tiny spoons and forks. I'm so glad the silverware set has a home. It belonged to my maternal grandmother and was rescued by mum a few years ago. I never met my maternal grandmother. She died when Mum was young. So the silverware holds some importance as a snippet of someone familiar but unknown. Other snippets we have of her are her are a photo, a piece of fabric and the eczema I've had on my hand since I was five.

It seemed my last post triggered some reactions to silver in the home. A couple of people asked about cleaning the silverware, or mentioned their love or loathing of the polishing traditions in their family. Around here we don't polish. I hate the smell and feel of Silvo. I remember my Nanna (paternal grandmother) covering her silverware with it and the hours of polishing. Then the thought of eating with it and all those chemicals.... So we take the ultra easy route, as with most things. I wish I'd known this method when Nanna was alive. She'd have loved it and I'm actually surprised that this method was unknown to her. Its truly magic and very gentle on the silver. I'm going to demonstrate using Huz's Nan's teapot.

We take a big plastic container and line it with aluminium foil. Then we sprinkle some bicarb on the foil. I used about 1/2 a cup, but you can experiment.

Then we boil up a kettle full of water, pour it in.

Then we put the silver in. You may start to notice a sulphur smell at this point. This pic shows the teapot after its been dunked for about 30 seconds. Can you see the clean line from where its been in the water? Magic!!

So then you roll the silver piece over to make sure all parts have had some time submersed so they are clean. If you have knives and forks and small stuff, this is a bit easier. It should only take a couple of minutes. The water and aluminium foil will be a bit murky and dirty after. If you feel like it you can give it a little buff to make sure there are no streaks, then admire your work! It really is magic and actually fun. Oh and soo much better for the planet without all those chemicals.


  1. What a brilliant idea to have something like that to hold your silverware. And the tip on cleaning is always well needed!

  2. You dind't mention Silvo trauma - clearly you never spilt the Silvo on the berber 100% wool carpet in the dining room like i did aged about 8. My parents were so good about it, i mean, major disaster but they were never into belittling us. I felt so bad, the fumes of Brasso trigger the memories (married to a soldier, polishing is part of our life!!) Love Posie

  3. Mum uses foil, water and lectric soda to clean her jewellery - same sort of thing I guess...

  4. I wish my Nan knew about this one, she still curses the people who gave her a silver tea set as she MUST polish it (with silvo!) every time before they visit.

    I'll pass it on to her but she is pretty set in her ways so I'll see how it goes.

  5. Top tip, what an inheritance and GORGEOUS work!

  6. Oh excellent! Will it work with silver jewlery?

  7. This seems a fantastic idea!!
    I am going to give this a go on my Grandma's silver teapot!!

    Thanks for the tip, by the way your blog is fantastic, I myself am a fellow Tasmanian, I'm in Burnie.
    Kate :)


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