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My Everyday Silverware

sterling silver

Last year, I posted a photo of my everyday silverware drawer on IG. Apparently, I shocked a lot of people when I admitted that I use my sterling silver flatware a lot. Contrary to most, I use my silver every single day. As in the good stuff. 

This is my silverware drawer. It has a combination of sterling silver and silverplate.

This drawer holds my sterling silver (Wallace Rose Point) and my Vintage silver plate (Rogers Bros. Vintage). I love both of these patterns so much that I cannot imagine only using them for special occasions. So I use them every day.

sterling silver patterns

I love using Rae Dunn to store some of my silverware

And the most shocking part? I put the silver in the dishwasher. All of the time. My grandmother would be shocked and for sure take back all of the silver I own. Some may call me foolish but I think it’s too pretty not to enjoy all of the time. And even though I put it in the dishwasher, it still looks as good as the day I got it. Of course, this does not mean that I can guarantee the dishwasher won’t harm your silver. But for me, after thirty years, it still looks perfect.

sterling silver flatware

For the engagement party we hosted this summer, I had enough silver and silverplate flatware to serve 65 people. 

using sterling silver

I love nice flatware. I also combine all of the patterns I own when I set a table. I never even try to make it match!

sterling silver at breakfast

And yes, I even use my sterling silver at breakfast.

Some may call me foolish but I think sterling silver too pretty not to enjoy all of the time. And even though I put it in the dishwasher, it still looks as good as the day I got it. Of course, this does not mean that I can guarantee the dishwasher won’t harm your silver. But for me, after thirty years, it still looks perfect.

sterling silver dining outside

Can you guess what surprised me the most about the reaction to my post about this on Instagram? Lots of people pulled out their silver and started using it again!


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37 Responses

  1. I knew you and I would be best friends….I love your silverware useage and I do too! Looks like we even have the same patterns. I preach all the time that you must use the good stuff to have the memories that go with it…or the next person at the estate sale won’t care at all. The memories are what make the items so valuable. HUGS!!!

  2. My sterling lives hidden and it makes me so sad! My mother URGED me my entire adulthood to make sure a piece NEVER went in the dishwasher because it would “pit”… so now I need to know more details… does your dishwasher have a heating element? (Bosch does not) and have you used all types of soap or found one to be better than others? TY marcy

  3. As the [rebellious 😉] daughter of a mom who brought out her silver two or three times a year, I absolutely agree about everyday use. Our families are our most special guests.

  4. Yep…I use mine too and have always put it in the dishwasher…it still looks perfect and I don’t use a certain detergent…seems such a waste to only use a couple times a year!

  5. What a wonderful idea! I’m pulling some of mine out right now! I have mine, my mother’s and both of my grandmothers’!

  6. I inherited a beautiful set of real silverware from my great grandmother. I use it at every family occasion. One time while cleaning it, I found a serving spoon that she had put a piece of tape on with her initials. ABR. I was so excited to find it, and cherish that spoon! My mom recently passed, and while going through her things I got another set of silver. So now I will be passing to my children, one set each. And they have been brought up to know it is a family heirloom and they cherish it as well. I never put mine in the dishwasher, I’m too afraid! But I may start using it with every day meals now that you have inspired me….thank you!

  7. You are so smart! My mother sacrificed to see that I got nice silverware and I rarely use it. I’m gonna give this try and test out a few pieces in the dishwasher. I am singing your praises!

  8. I have never put my silver in the dishwasher! I have several sets that are carefully stored in their wooden boxes. It would be a leap of faith for me to throw them all together – I’m a bit anal about keeping all the patterns separate. However, I love the fact that you use yours everyday. Maybe I need to branch out and throw caution to the wind!!! Ha!

  9. Fascinating! I love that you do this. Two questions. Do you use a special dishwasher setting? Do you still have to polish?

  10. I’ve heard so many people say that the best way to make silver last is to store it in a tight place so that it doesn’t tarnish. But a jeweler once told me that the best way to keep your silver looking it’s best, is to wear it. ( In this case use it). And to clean it, he said to just shower, do dishes, and wash my hands wearing the piece of jewelry. I own a lot of silver jewelry and I never polish it unless it’s been stored for a long time. So I can see how the same is true for flatware.

  11. My mother in-law would like to give me not only her silver, but her grandmothers and aunts. I was dreading storing all of it. Now, I am excited to know I can use it everyday and throw it in the dishwasher to clean. Whew! Thanks!

  12. Six years ago, this coming weekend, we hosted our son’s wedding rehearsal dinner at the wedding venue (our back yard). I pulled together all of my sterling and plated flatware to serve 60 people. Not quite trusting, I listed the number of pieces used from each of my sets. Thank goodness for that, as I had to go through the trash to retrieve some pieces! How gratifying, though to be able to use it for such a memorable occasion! I am intrigued by the number of people who say they use their sterling every day…and I just may start doing that, too!! Love your blog.

  13. I’ve not had the same luck. I used my mother’s silverplate and ran thru the dishwasher and it turned black. I kept it not using it until recently when I ran it thru a water bath and renewed the silver. I won’t ever put it in dishwasher again. I wonder why I had this experience when other didn’t.

  14. I use mine often, and nearly always put it in the dishwasher. Every so often, I give it all a good polish and its in great shape. My mom was always careful to “count” the pieces before putting it away and I have done the same…definitely need to do that each time as I have picked a couple pieces out of the trash! But wonderful to use it often!

  15. I started to do the same about a month ago, but I have noticed a few pieces starting to turn black. what is the best way to clean it?

  16. I STILL have my Mom’s silver flatware out from Thanksgiving as I love the beauty and sentimentality of it!
    Each and every piece is precious to me!
    I’ve been wanting to begin to you use it daily. I am SO HAPPY I found your blog!
    I’m donating my boring normal flatware and replacing my silverware drawer right now with my beautiful silver!!
    Thank you so much for this wonderful idea!!

  17. I love mismatched silverware, dinnerware, glasses, etc…we grew up that way..I enjoy your posts..i just LOVE your red, pink, flash glass, depression, etc…just stunningly beautiful..love those flash glass, i think that’s what they are called, coin rimmed plates…everything is tastefully decorated

  18. I use mine too more frequently but I have read where the dishwasher loosens the knives. Obviously you haven’t had a problem! Glad to know!!!

  19. I had a bit of bad luck with some dishwasher *powder*, but currently I am using Finish brand liquid soap and rinse both which has not caused any problems on anything, except silver (because I have not tried it).. I think I’ll try a piece of 1847 Rogers solide sterling in it to see what happens.

  20. I don’t have any real silver but do have 4 sets of really nice silver plate utensils. I always try to use the same pattern for each place setting when I need to use it all. Thanks for telling me it’s okay to mix it up!!!! Now I will not stress over it!

  21. News for all!!!
    The trick to keeping your silver flatware
    Safe while washing in dishwasher is not to mix it with stainless flatware.
    The metals should not touch.
    This will avoid pitting etc.
    My Mom taught me this years ago as she has put her silver in the dishwasher.
    Enjoy your silver ladies

    1. I also remember reading that it’s ok to put silver in the dishwasher as long as you don’t wash it with stainless. I have yet to put my silver in the dishwasher, but if I start using it daily I will definitely have to give it a try.

  22. Why would you want to remove layers of silver every time you clean or polish? As Vicky notes above, the aluminum foil-soda method converts the tarnish back to silver, freeing the sulfur that bound it. If you insist on using a harsh dishwasher and polishing with paste or liquid, you will eventually remove the plate, and your 3D sterling patterns will become flatter. Keeping things nice requires a little work…

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I'm Leslie,
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