Thanksgiving Silver Care: Tips from the Experts

As the holiday season approaches, thoughts turn to gathering with loved ones, indulging in delicious feasts, and creating cherished memories. Thanksgiving, in particular, is a time for reflection and gratitude. It’s also a time when many of us bring out our finest tableware, including silverware, to set an elegant and festive dining table. But caring for your silver items can be a daunting task. We’ve gathered some valuable advice from the pros to help you navigate the art of silver care during this Thanksgiving season.

Prepare Slowly, Not All at Once

One of the keys to successfully maintaining your silverware is taking a gradual approach. Polishing silver should be a process rather than a last-minute panic. Our top holiday prep tip? Take it slowly! The secret to having beautifully polished silver is to polish a few pieces each week so it can be manageable.

If you possess multiple sets of silverware, consider storing the overflow in a cloth-lined drawer or a dedicated silver chest. This keeps your silver shiny and ready to use at a moment’s notice. Set your Thanksgiving table the week before the big day to avoid any last-minute rush. This way, you’ll have ample time to ensure everything is shining and polished to perfection.

For Professional Polishing Help, Drop Off Items in October

While some may find satisfaction in hand polishing their silver, others may prefer the expertise of a professional. If you fall into the latter category and want to have your silverware professionally polished before the holidays, heed the advice of experts who suggest beating the holiday rush by reaching out to a professional as early as October.

If you’ve recently acquired silver items that require extra love and care, perhaps from an antique store or as heirlooms from family members, Rick Biro recommends beginning with hand polishing. “Hand polishing is always best,” Rick emphasizes. “If it doesn’t come as clean as you’d hope, the next step is to bring it to a professional.” Planning ahead and promptly addressing any issues ensures your silver is in tip-top condition for Thanksgiving.

Turn Polishing into a Family Project

Caring for your silver doesn’t have to be a solitary endeavor; it can become a delightful family tradition. We encourage transforming silver care into a fun and stress-free activity for the whole family to enjoy. “Make it as fun and as stress-free as possible!” Rick advises. “If you are dreading it and feel overwhelmed, you are passing that energy on to your family, and it will stick.”


One way to involve the younger members of your family is to teach them the art of silver polishing. Rick suggests having aprons at the ready or step stools with their names on them to get little ones excited about the task. “It’s a great time to talk about why these pieces are special,” he adds. “The more invested your children are in the process, the more important these heirlooms become to them.”

Thanksgiving is a time for gratitude and family, and by following these expert tips, you can ensure that your silverware shines brightly and becomes an integral part of your holiday traditions. So, take it slow, plan ahead, and involve your family in caring for these cherished pieces – they will surely become treasured heirlooms for generations to come.

Avoiding Common Silver Care Mistakes

Taking good care of your silverware ensures it continues to shine brilliantly and grace your Thanksgiving table for years. To help you avoid some common silver care pitfalls, we’ve distilled expert advice into these straightforward tips:

Choose a Gentle Cleaning Cloth

Use a 100% cotton cloth for polishing. Avoid abrasive sponges or toothbrushes with rough sides, as they can scratch the soft surface of silver.

Skip Quick Polishing Hacks 

Quick fixes like aluminum foil and baking soda may seem tempting when you’re short on time, but they can strip away beautiful oxidation and leave yellow stains. Approach these hacks cautiously.

Opt for Effective Polish Products

For effective and gentle silver polishing, Rick recommends a Silver Butler Cloth that is activated by moisture. Another favorite is Town Talk pink paste polish. Both options provide outstanding results without excessive effort.

Don’t Delay Cleanup

Keep food residue from sitting on your silver for a short time after your Thanksgiving feast. Even an hour can cause staining and tarnish, especially with salt, eggs, mayonnaise, and acidic dressings. Promptly remove these substances to preserve your silver’s shine.

Avoid Contact with Stainless Steel

When washing flatware, place a dish towel at the bottom of a stainless steel sink to protect your silver. If you’re using a dishwasher, separate your silver from stainless steel items to prevent scratching and denting.

Choose Mild Dishwasher Soap

When washing flatware in the dishwasher, use mild dishwasher soap instead of harsh citrus detergents. Citrus detergents can cause spots, pitting, or discoloration on your silver.

Store Silver Properly

Avoid plastic wrap and rubber bands for storage. Instead, invest in silversmith cloth bags and wrap individual pieces in tissue paper before storing them. This prevents permanent marks and keeps your silver looking pristine.

Use Your Silver Regularly

Contrary to what you might think, using your silverware year-round is beneficial. Daily use can enhance the patina, making it easier to maintain and reducing the need for extensive polishing.

By heeding these silver care tips, you’ll ensure that your precious silver pieces remain in top condition, ready to shine brightly on your Thanksgiving table and any other special occasions throughout the year.