Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Old Old Silverware and New Old Silverware

When Hero and I got married, we did not have a shower or big reception. 

Probably because we eloped.

Yep. That was why.

But it is totally good - We were thrilled with our decision to run away and get married in secret (all the way to the city court house).

Something that may happen when you are poor and need to outfit a home (and you don't have a shower or big reception), is that the stuff you acquire is not very expensive - dishes, towels, linens, silverware - or very high quality. But we were pretty pleased with ourselves finding all kinds of bargains from the local drug store. And we ended up with some goodies from Hero's family's basement.

(A side note - We did have two small parties a few months after we got married. We have some awesome family and friends who were very generous.)

But one of the things we had that was not that spectacular was our silverware. Most likely from Kmart. Most likely very inexpensive. Most likely pretty blah.

Another thing may happen when you do not have lots of extra cash lying around is you shop for bargains. Early in our marriage we discovered garage sales and LOVED them. We were able to accumulate lots of treasures and upgrade some of those early purchases we made. 

One of our best finds was a set of silver plated silverware in an awesome box. We have loved this stuff for about 20 years.

But as sometimes happens with old things, they started to develop a patina - Which on some things is a great look. It shows character and love.

But on silverware, it just feels weird on your lips when you take a bite.

For the last few years we have added a few non-matching pieces to our set - supplementing some of the worst tactile offenders. I have no problem mixing patterns, so we were good with that plan.

The box holds all the extras that we don't use everyday (shrimp forks anyone?) and the spoons that were just too awful feeling to use anymore. (Tip - when a guest uses a clean spoon and they turn it over to see if there is food or something stuck on the bottom, it is time to take it our of rotation.)

One of the things I am treasuring now is my mom's set of silverware. When I was a kid, my brother and I would argue about who got to polish the knives (the easiest) when my mom pulled them out for Christmas dinner. That was the only time we ever used it. 

But I am loving having it now - And using it.

Because it was not used very often, it is in terrific shape.

But it still needed polishing. 

This is a mix of my old stuff and my mom's old stuff, which is now my new old stuff.

Have you ever used that pink paste silver polish? Holy cow, that seems pretty toxic to me. It smells bad and I never feel like I can get it all washed off.

I have seen lots of natural cleaning products online and lots of home recipes for cleaning all kinds of stuff. I did some research for about 2 minutes and found just what I was looking for:

Clean silver utensils naturally to get rid of tarnish.

An awesome way to polish naturally, with cheap ingredients and bonus - No hand polishing!

If you have any silver to polish, totally do this - I highly recommend it!

Another before photo. They may not look super terrible, but after they came out clean and sparkly, it was a huge difference.

Basically, you line a pot with aluminum foil, place the silver on it so that every piece touches. I'm not sure if they could overlap, so I didn't let them, just to make sure.

Cover the silverware with water. And the final step - sprinkle with baking soda (seriously, baking soda is good for cleaning everything!)

After about a minute of boiling, they are done! 

Seriously, so easy.

I had lots of silverware to polish (with the two sets) and by the time I was done, I was looking around for more stuff to polish. It is super rewarding, especially if you have ever had to polish the forks (the hardest), which I often had to do because my brother always ended up with the knives.

So sparkly! So shiny! So not toxic!

(The ones on the left are my new old forks, the ones on the right are my old old forks.)

I'm sure these have never been this polished. I know this because I used to polish them, and I was not that great at it.

But now I am. Everyone can be!

Did you wonder where the tarnish went? 

Um, check out this aluminum foil.


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