What causes silver utensils to tarnish and how to prevent that?

  • 1
    Careful with preventing/cleaning signs of aging on silver. Tarnish and polishing contribute to the development of patina (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patina), which is considered important by collectors. I've heard of people who drastically reduced the value of their silver collection by cleaning the patina off.
    – Scivitri
    Commented Dec 17, 2011 at 18:18

1 Answer 1


Silver tarnish occurs because of exposure of the silver to trace amounts of sulfur in the environment, mainly in the form of hydrogen sulfide gas, but also from rubber.

The best way to prevent silverware tarnish is to store the silverware in a container which (a) limits their exposure to air, and (b) retards tarnish. The simplest of these is sliver cloth, a heavy cloth which has been treated with chemicals which absorb sulfur. We have an entire drawer of sliver under silvercloth, and I don't think I've polished it since we bought it.

  • Thanks, if you have silver anklets, what to do in that case? Never wear it? :D :D Commented Dec 17, 2011 at 7:08

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