If you plan to use the sterling silver for holiday meals, here are three key things you need to know to make it glisten and preserve it’s beauty:

It’s preferable to hand wash silverware in hot sudsy water as soon as possible after use to prevent tarnish stains. Rinse well in clear warm water, dry thoroughly (do not let silver air-dry) and put it away.

Foods that contain sulfur, such as eggs, and some food acids, like those found in vinegar, mustard and salt, cause silverware to tarnish and/or corrode faster than alkaline foods. We’re not saying to avoid those foods. We’re stressing the need to wash the silver promptly after use.

If you do put silverware in the dishwasher, don’t wash it with stainless steel. Their interaction causes pitting on the stainless pieces and leaves black spots on the silver.

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