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Saturday, February 23, 2013

polishing hotel silver...



It's polish the hotel silver day! Try as I might to like tarnished silver, I just can't quite get there. ;)  There's just something about the old silver-soldered hotel silver all polished up that I adore-  I love the contrast of the used, abused, old silver with a fresh, shiny surface.  This is just the hotel silver that sits out around the house- it tends to need more polishing, but it's really not too bad of a job as I only polish about once every 6-8 months.  The pieces in the cabinets don't oxidize as often and only need polishing once every year and a half or so.




Where's Alfred and Jimmy when I need them?!




I like to use silver cream to polish the hotel silver.  Wright's is my brand of choice, but apparently this is what the grocery store had the last time I purchased.  I use the sponge that comes with the polish cream and lightly go over the pieces.  I then wash them in dish soap and they're ready for use.  
It's actually a rather pleasant chore as I like reading the hotel names and wondering about what life was like during their glory days!



Question:  When watching Downton Abbey how many times do you say "I want a staff...." ?!  
Me,  I average about 4 times per episode!!!
 :)

So.... what are you doing today?!


73 comments:

  1. I say every time I would love, a ladies maid. Someone to brush my hair out? Oh.my.word.

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  2. There is something relaxing about polishing silver but could also find a great deal of enjoyment watching Alfred and Jimmy polishing too!

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  3. I love your hotel silver!! Absolutely beautiful.
    We're almost in Milford to eat at our favorite Chinese place!
    Enjoy your Saturday!

    Best,
    Tim

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  4. Dear Joan,

    What a satisfying job! I dread cleaning our silver but when I have done it....I feel quite a sense of achievement!

    Hope you enjoy the rest of your weekend!

    Sophia

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  5. Do you wear gloves to protect your hands? I just polish my silver with my bare hands because I'm sort of clumsy with cleaning gloves on. I'm guessing that polish probably isn't very good for me though.

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    1. Kim, I do wear gloves. The silver creams does a number on my nails if I don't. I know what you mean about being clumsy with them on though. I think it helps to find a glove that fits well and isn't too big. It also just takes a bit of practice to get used to the gloves. I don't keep a sink mat in the sink on a daily basis, but do put one in just for polishing in case I slip;)

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  6. Hi Joan,
    As much as I like the story line on Downton...I LOVE the decorating and spend my time looking around the rooms. Your counter of hotel silver looks wonderful together. Take care, Sara, Ohio

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  7. I'm cleaning out the spice cabinet! Silver cleaning is next weekend. I have been requesting a "staff" many times per episode as well, none has yet to materialize though! Also want to tell you how much I have enjoyed your blog, the transformation of your home has been inspiring. Thank you for sharing your journey.

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  8. If you find Alfred and Jimmy, please send them to my house. My silver could use a good polish.

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  9. I just want Mrs. Patmore.....I don't mind cleaning I am burned out from cooking...actually thinking of what to cook....I thought it was Afred and James....hahaha

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  10. So true! Weiman products are all good...I love their stainless steel polish. It is the best! Love Downton Abbey as well! Have a great weekend and hugs to darling Ella from Beau!

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    1. Ella says thank you Beau for the hug! She just got in from a big walk! Now it's nap time.... again!

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  11. So, if you use this paste, there is no rubbing or buffing? Just rinsing? I am so tired of cleaning silver that I could scream!! Have I been doing it wrong all these years??

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    1. Patti, My process is that I dip the sponge into the cream and then basically just lightly go over the entire piece. It removes the tarnish instantly. And then I wash it with dish soap and rinse and always hand dry. Since this is maintenance cleaning to remove light tarnish there really isn't any rubbing or buffing. It works just as easily on sterling silver pieces also.

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  12. Your post made me smile. Thank you. I am not polishing my silver today, but, my staff is.
    Onnnnly kidding...

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  13. Funny you should ask...I was going to polish silver, til my son came over. It's such a fun job, but it looks great when it's all done! Enjoy your weekend! ;)

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  14. I love hotel siver too!! You know instantly that it is when you pick it up at a flea market or sale. I must say I have always loved real silver silverware but only started liking hotel silver over the last 10 years, but started collecting it a little too late to get the real deals. Looking at your collection just inspires me to get all my pieces together and do a little cleaning.

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  15. I'm with you Joan, I personally like my antique silver nice and shiny. I just bought my first set of silverplate last year, Nobility Plate "Royal Rose" an I love it! Today is a rainy day here in NC and I'm rearranging my kitchen decor and making baked pasta with lots of cheese.

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  16. I am spending the afternoon re-watching the Downton Abbey Finale while I fold clothes. I have to watch it a few times to ensure that I "get" all of the wise-cracks they throw out. :)

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    1. I like to watch it twice too Vickie! I always catch so much more dialogue and interiors than the first time.

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  17. Oh I am so with you. I love polished silver too. Yours looks amazing. Hugs, Marty

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  18. I spent my morning at "Upward Basketball" at the hospitality table. We have coffee, juice, water and "sweets" for the parents and children who come to play and watch. No time to polish silver. I do have an antique piece that I call a butter butler. Do you have any information about this item?

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    1. I'm sorry, I don't. Is it round with a dome that opens and closes? I have seen those in shops and assume that is what you are referring to?!

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  19. Enjoy watching the tarnish rinse off and the silver shine.
    I need Carson to organise my life and send a maid up with coffee in the morning! I'm dreaming.......

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  20. Was sitting in front of my gas logs until I read your post. Went right t the store and picked up that silver cream....came home and started polishing. It work great! Thanks for the tip! And you have some beautiful pieces!

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    1. Wow- you're quick! So happy that you are pleased with the product.

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  21. I too use Wrights cream polish on my hotel silver collection and sterling. I tried Weimans in a pinch and it worked just as well. I wish I only had to polish as infrequently as you, but my silver need polishing every two months...and that is pushing it. I think it has something to do with the heat and humidity in Florida. Silver did not tarnish as fast when I lived in the Hudson Valley. Today I am changing sheets, doing laundry and cleaning the kitchen cabinets. I gave the staff the weekend off so I could rewatch Downton Abbey in peace.
    XO, Victoria

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    1. Victoria, I think the humidity plays a big part in the tarnishing. So kind of you to give the staff some time off ;)

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  22. Well....your silver is beautiful, but I seem to HAVE acquired a taste for the tarnished....perhaps a little too much:) Maybe I'll try to polish one piece and see how it goes:))) Yes I would LOVE a staff....and these days...I tend to adore catching up on my knitting and spinning projects. Just love being in by a cozy fire with hot tea...enjoying all my daily blessings~~ xoxo Shine

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  23. First, I would absolute cherish having a footman or ladies maid & am in DB withdrawal - the end of Matthew & Sybil has been difficult!
    I have recently just finished polishing my silver jewerly - love T&Co. silver but they do need that polish to keep them sparkling on my ears, wrists, etc...
    I live in Canada and am not familiar with the Weimans brand - tend to alway use HAGERTY silver foam and gloves for all of my silver. We will soon have a Target store nearby so perhaps they will have the Weimans brand?
    Have you tried Bar Keeper's Secret for stainless? NB in Ontario, Canada

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    1. Look for the "Wright's" NB- I like it better.
      Do you mean Bar Keeper's Friend? I LOVE Bar Keeper's Friend. In fact it was one of Top 10 House Things.... http://fortheloveofahouse.blogspot.com/2011/07/ten-house-things-i-cant-live-without.html

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    2. Good morning, Yes, typo did mean Bar Keeper's Friend! Will look for Weimans brand here in Ontario! So happy you have returned to your blog - missed you.

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  24. Fabulous collection, Joan!! Just terrific. I love the 2 ice buckets. I think those are ice buckets.
    xo,
    Loi
    PS - So sad Downton is over for the season.

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    1. They are Loi! I think we have 5 :O! I know... I'm sad too:(

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  25. I'D happilt be your staff! I used to work at a great old resort in Maine summers during College. That was our Sunday chore...polishing the hotel silver! Beautiful collection. Me? I like the burnished and tarnished.


    ...'Cause I am lazy like that.

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  26. Hello Joan, Silver (except for jewelry) is not popular in Taiwan, and I can see why. The atmosphere is so corrosive in Taipei that it simply ruins pieces--it seems to eat into the silver, not just tarnish it.

    I think you have the right idea to polish the silver frequently, before it gets that deep tarnish that is difficult to remove. I'm like you that I don't usually like tarnished silver, although some antique pieces that have not been polished in decades (or centuries) acquire an even black finish that I prefer to leave alone.
    --Road to Parnassus

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    1. Jim- Interesting. And I think you are right (I had that very thought while polishing today) that the key to easy polishing is to do it more often where it's a simple wipe instead of a scrubbing. And, I totally agree with you about the ancient silver pieces.

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  27. I have some very special pieces of family silver, that I LOVE to polish...it make me shine with happy memories.

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  28. I Hagerty gloves that polish the silver.... ok, I have to wear them and rub the heck out of the silver pieces. But the gloves really work and it's easier on my hands/nails......because I too do not have staff to polish for me.

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    1. Katherine- the new house definitely needs a staff;)

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  29. I'd like a Mrs. Hughes and a gardener but no O'Brien!

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  30. Joan,
    I don't mind polishing silver. I tried the tarnished look and couldn't quite love it so its back to polishing. I love your collection of hotel silver.
    Karen

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  31. Just found our blog and love the subjects! The balustrade was just great!
    Have a Happy Sunday!
    Jamie Herzlinger

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  32. Hi Joan
    Here in OZ I did use a product called Silvo.
    I don't know if you've heard of this method.
    Now I line a container with aluminum foil put as much silver as I can on the bottom of the container. Sprinkle it all with bi-carbonated soda and pour boiling water to cover silver objects it all foams up. Let foam subside. Take silver out with tongs.
    Rinse. Dry and it all looks wonderful even the little nooks and crannies no polishing required or staff.
    Kind Regards
    Karen

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    Replies
    1. That's how I do it too. I've found it to be much better than polish for the nooks and crannies. I finally bought a cheap aluminum pan that's dedicated to cleaning up silver.

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    2. I also use this method, baking soda, aluminum pan (I have a few large old cooking pots reserved for tall items, cheap at auctions, I also put foil in bottom of pan)boiling water and a wash down with soap and water and dry. I clean silver in November and March, before the holidays.

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  33. What a gorgeous collection ! Hope you have a great Sunday !

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  34. Although yours looks very pretty, I'm thankful I like I like it tarnished. I would not enjoy doing that.

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  35. I too was surprised to find the Weiman name on the familiar Wright's cream jar I've been buying for years. They actually acquired the company in 2006 apparently: http://www.jawright.com/news/cooktop.asp

    Check out the site for interesting additional uses for the cream, including CDs and DVDs -- removes scratches: http://www.jawright.com/products/uses.asp

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    1. Good investigating Anne-Marie! And that list of all the things it can clean was interesting.... dentures :O! And, I had no idea that the original Wright's was made in Keene, NH- it's a favorite place of ours! Thank you so much for sending the information.

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  36. I loved that scene with the boys polishing! Yep, would be nice to have a staff. I don't mind polishing though. I wish Wright's came in a Costco size jar though. I can go through that stuff pretty fast.

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    1. Now there's an idea Lori! I always have two jars around. Nothing worse than being in the mood to polish silver and not having any product;) Actually my little jar gets so messy that I love when I get to break out a fresh, new one! And such a feeling of accomplishment.... cuz that means a LOT of silver was polished to go through a jar!!

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  37. I love your silver & I've dreamed of staff since I was a little girl . . . Alas, it's not to be . . .

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  38. So you just reminded me I need to do the same. Or one year I broke out the silver, polish and a couple bottles of wine and had my guests polish the silver the day before thanksgiving...

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    1. Brilliant!! Wine + friends = polished silver! love it!!

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  39. Would adore a STAFF PERSON!I have always dreamed of that as I live in a ranch style house that would not fit the picture of having STAFF!Love that concept even more...........I too have a lot of silver like you and enjoy the polish and thinking of where its been and who ate from it etc........I have been lucky in being that over the last twenty years SILVER for the most part has been out of style and I have found for very little money...........There is nothing more beautiful to me then silver and chandeliers!

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  40. I have my great-grandmothers silver from England.
    It is all put away , getting tarnished beyond recognition.
    Once we are settled in our new home, I will get it out, polish it and use it.
    In the meantime, I will not think about it ... what a job !

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  41. Its all so beautiful...I am a fellow silver fanatic and even the polishing can be a labor of love. I use Wrights too....I always buy a few so I never run out, it happened once when I was having guests over and noticed several of my serving pieces were tarnished, I vowed to never let it happen again (having to beg my husband last minute to run out and buy some). Happy polishing..in terms of what I am doing today, getting ready to "hunker down" after a steam shower, slip into my lounge clothes, jump into my favorite chair, have all snacks at the ready and settle down for an Oscar marathon!

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  42. This puts me to shame...I have so much silver in this house that really needs polishing! And I would love to just show up for dinner, beautifully dressed and coiffed to dine in my huge tidy dining room, and eat off of my fine china and beautifully polished silver! ;)

    Kat

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  43. I just watched the final episode and I'm done. That's it for me. I'm deleting Masterpiece Classic from the DVR. I just can't handle what's to come.

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  44. What a great post! Wrights is one of my favorites but recently I purchased a new way to polish silver! It's a literal pair of gloves that you put on your hands and you spray a tiny bit of spray on the gloves and then you polish away! It truly is one of the easiest ways to polish silver I've ever experienced! ( except for hiring someone to do it! ) It's great and we use it at my shop as well! Loved this post….Tarnished silver will never do!!

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  45. It is raining in Oklahoma today--we need the moisture. Expecting friends in a couple of weeks, so it is a good day to clean the guest room and, per your inspiration, a good day to clean silver. Thanks for reminding me. Love, love your blog. My favorite! Your home is beautiful.

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  46. My Mother left me an enviable collection of sterling silver. I too love the shiny surface of polished silver but alas . . . my "staff" just refuses to polish. After polishing the collection I double bag it and put it in the crawl space under the house. In another 10 or 15 or 20 years I'll polish it again. I will be 78 years old soon.

    So rewarding to know there are others out there that love that stuff like I do. Thanks.

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  47. Yes and had to smile at the reference to those Downton Abbey fellows polishing the silver! I love the gleam of silver shined to a beautiful reflection and just get the itch every now and then to take it on.

    I don't have a lot of hotel silver, but I have a lovely flatware collection and a couple of wonderful large pieces of Sheffield Silver that my husband and I bought on separate trips to Charleston. Thank goodness he loves and value them as much as I do. A large silver tray and meat dome which resides on the center of my dining room table. And, a hot water urn with a bone handle. Love!

    xoxo Elizabeth

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  48. I love your Hotel Collection. I have always loved silver but it was only Two weeks ago that I bought my fist piece of Hotel silver! I did my silver at Christmas which leaves me in the mood to start spring cleaning.I am cleaning out closets. Now where did my staff go?? hmmmmm, Maybe one day!
    always love to see what you are up to.
    Sandy xo

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  49. The price of owning beautiful hotel silver is the time it takes several times a year to keep it bright and ready for use. I purchase mine at Bergdorf's and find that because they restore the hotel silver they sell, the cleaning and shine endures a bit longer than some of my other silver. It's a tough job, but so rewarding when ready to display.

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  50. It looks so great....and who wouldn't want Jimmy and Alfred....sigh! Oh to have a staff.

    But I'm with Rachel who commented earlier- I simply don't think I can stomach another season of Downton, it's simply too much.

    Hugs-
    Carolyn

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  51. I adore Hotel silver, but I only have a couple of pieces, so my chores are not too lengthy. (Love the shot of Alfred and Jimmy buffing away.)
    Most of my other pieces only need polishing once or year or so, as you said.
    But we know that all beauty comes at a price. :)
    Terri

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  52. Oh happy day. I just discovered you're "back!"

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  53. I'm not sure I'd want an entire staff hovering around all the time, but I sure would take a Mrs. Patmore! And a Daisy! And what a lovely silver collection you have!

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  54. I don't like the look of tarnished silver either. I have many pieces and must say it is not a job I enjoy. Years ago when my MIL would come and visit, she would always ask me to let her clean the silver...I sure do miss that woman!

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