Probably the second week I was married
I decided that I wanted a silver punch bowl
for my 25th Anniversary
And I never wavered!
In 1994, a month or so before the anniversary
we were "junking"
And came across and F. B. Rogers silver punch bowl, tray, ladle and 19 cups
for like $100
Husband Jim bought it instantly
It was almost our anniversary
It was what I wanted
(and had wanted for almost 25 years)
And we were hosting a party that evening
So we could put it to immediate use!
I can't believe that it was so long ago
That I was gifted with the punch bowl.
It is pretty
But there is a downside . . .
For some reason the bowl and tray don't seem so difficult
It's those little punch cups
All 19 of them!
Those seem to be a pain!
I had the cups stored in the punch bowl
(you don't seem to see the tarnish quite so much)
And decided that today was THE day!
Very tarnished punch cups awaiting a good clean.
Years ago, I bought an aluminum plate and some "magic" crystals.
You put the plate in the bottom of something non-reactive (like enamel), add the magic crystals and hot water and your silver goes from black to silver!
A few years later, a church friend who happened to be a House Mother for a sorority at KU was telling me that they cleaned all of the silver in a sink lined with aluminum foil and instead of magic crystals they used Arm and Hammer Washing Soda
Everything ncluding their big silver punch bowl was cleaned that way
And you know sororities have lots of silver.
Once my "magic crystals" were gone, the aluminum plate disappeared
But then I tried the foil trick with the washing soda!
The Arm and Hammer Washing Soda
Available at almost any super market
(which means that if it is available at a super market in my little town, it should be available everywhere!
And then I became friends with Cass from That Old House Blog
And she posted about "The Lazy Lady's Silver Polishing"
Similar theory, different ingredients . . .
Plain old baking soda
An aluminum steam table pan!
(which I always have a supply of in the basement!)
My life was changed forever!
So the pan and soda were brought up from the basement,
the water heated
And unlike Cass, I put the soda in the water and then put the silver in
Just make sure that the silver touches the aluminum
You can see here that some of the silver is losing it's tarnish
right before your eyes!
And after, all bright and shiny!
You rinse well and then dry . .
And you have 19 perfectly shiny punch cups
To place around the silver punch bowl
(which was polished the old fashioned way -- with cloth and a polish!)
It and a silver serving piece reside on the bottom shelf of my old
walnut dining room server
The punch cups are quite shiny
And on this dreary day, the dining room is a sparkle!
There is a downside to polishing silver this way . . .
It turns quicker for polishes usually have an anti-tarnishing agent in them
But no black fingers and it is kinder on the silver
For polishes do take off a wee layer of silver whenever you polish!
I use this method mostly for the punch cups and the napkin rings
And sometimes for the silver if (heaven forbid) I'm having company and
to polish the silver!