Do you know what Hotel Silver is and how to clean it?
I like to go to estate sales. Often times I can find treasures and great deals on tableware. Especially drinking glasses.
Recently I brought home a bag of miscellaneous silverware.
I thought it would be fun to mix the knives, forks, and spoons, and use them on a table setting with mismatched pieces. You know ~ a table where none of the flatware matches.
Most of the pieces in the bag were tarnished and definitely needed a good cleaning. Only a few of the pieces were from the same set. Which is how I stumbled upon Hotel Silver and needed to learn about it.
You see, there were pieces that didn’t take to the silver polish I was using. It wasn’t totally transforming the flatware. It seemed to work okay, but not great.
Nope, the pieces labeled Hotel Silver or Nickel Silver barely changed.
So I scoured the internet and am sharing what I learned about Hotel Silver.
What is Hotel Silver
Please note: this is what I gleaned from researching online. I am not an expert in hotel silver or other flatware metals.
Did you know it’s not silver!
Well, barely. It’s silver-plated flatware.
The name is misleading, as you think it’s silver. But it’s actually a base metal that is electroplated with a very small amount of silver. Hotel silver is typically made of nickel and chromium, tin, or zinc.
Those metals make the flatware heavier than real silver or sterling silver. And the silver plating gives it a classy finish.
Hotel silver got its name as it was primarily used in the hospitality industry back in the 19th to early 20th centuries. It’s also been called “railroad silver” or “nickel silver”. That’s because it was used mostly in hotels and on trains. It was very sturdy and would withstand heavy use.
Hotel silver is very durable and nearly impossible to damage. Plus, it looks nice. Like real silver.
How to Clean Hotel Silver
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1. Remove dirt and grime
You’re gonna want to get rid of any dirt and grime on your flatware.
Wash the flatware in warm water with a mild dish detergent. Don’t use a scouring pad, as you don’t want to scratch the hotel silver. Then rinse and wipe dry with a lint-free soft cloth.
*Avoid using abrasive cleaning cloths, scourers, or sponges that could scratch the surface of your flatware.
2. Treat any stains or tarnish
For stains or tarnish, create a mixture of baking soda and water. Start with two spoonfuls of baking soda and add a little water until you have the consistency of a thick paste. You don’t want it runny.
Then cover the metal with the paste and let it dry.
Once dry, run the flatware under warm water and buff with a soft cloth.
If the baking soda paste doesn’t remove all of the stains or tarnish, give it one more pass.
3. Polish your Hotel Silver
After you have removed the stains and tarnish, you’ll want to polish your hotel silver.
Use a silver cleaning polish and a lint-free cloth. Just follow the instructions on your polish.
I like to use Wright’s Silver Polish.
A few other tidbits on Hotel Silver…
1. Dark spots
If you have dark spots on your hotel silver that you can’t remove, it might be the base metal. Years of polishing and cleaning might have worn off the silver plating.
It that’s the case, just accept the spot(s) and appreciate how much your hotel silver has been used.
2. Future care
Don’t put your hotel silver in the dishwasher. Clean it by hand. Also, don’t let food set on it overnight as some foods can eat away at the finish.
Hotel silver will need to be polished occasionally to bring out the silver plate’s luster.
Conclusion for what Hotel Silver is and how to clean it
So the next time you’re at an estate sale, a secondhand store, or given hotel silver, you too will know what it is and how to care for it.
Taking good care of your hotel silver is essential for both its longevity and its beauty. With proper care and attention, your hotel silver can last for generations.
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