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My Everyday Silverware

I shocked a lot of people when I stated that I use my sterling silver flatware every day. But that wasn’t the most shocking part. Guess how I clean it every day?

Sterlng Silver Flatware

A few years ago I  shared this photo of my sterling silver flatware on my blog.  I casually mentioned how often I use my sterling silver flatware,  along with my silverplate flatware. Apparently, I shocked a lot of people when I admitted that I use my sterling silver flatware all of the time. Contrary to most, I use my silver every single day. 

Sterling Silver Flatware Drawer

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). It also has some of my mom’s sterling silver flatware. If any of you recognize the silver pattern, please let me know. I love all three of these patterns so much that I cannot imagine only using them for special occasions. That is why I use them every day.

sterling silver patterns

And the most shocking part? I put the sterling silver flatware in the dishwasher. All of the time.

I know, right now some of you are following me. But wait!  Read a bit more.

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 almost two years ago 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! 

And sometimes, it accidentally matches. 

Sterling Silver on Thanksgiving

And yes, I even use my sterling silver at breakfast and in my coffee every morning.

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 in the Dishwasher

My friends at Today.com said, “Surprisingly, silver and silver-plated flatware can be washed in the dishwasher, with a few caveats. Make sure to use a detergent that does NOT contain lemon or other citric acids, or it could damage the metal.”

sterling silver dining outside

The most important message you should take from this blog post is that you should take your silver out of the lined wooden chest and use it! You can still hand wash it but use it. It’s too beautiful no to use it more often.

So what happened when I posted this idea last time?

Lots of people pulled out their silver and started using it again! And that makes me very happy.

 

For more real-time updates, follow me on Instagram @My100YearOldHome

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ABOUT LESLIE

Welcome to My 100 Year Old Home. I started my blog so I could share my passion for entertaining, décor, cooking, and crafts. You will find all this and more right here. Read more…

90 Responses

  1. I have a set of sterling flatware that I got when I was 12. I don’t care for the pattern anymore so I gave it to one of my sons. I had put it in the dishwasher and it didn’t hurt the silver part but permanently stained the knife blades. I believe the blades were stainless so that really surprised me. I have my Mom’s set of silver plate and I do use that.

    1. That is special that you were able to share with your son, and thank you for sharing about your experience!

  2. God wakes us up daily… and for me this is a very Special occasion to use your best Silver. I agree “why” place it in a drawer! ??? So silly.
    I love all your Blogs and post everything you do is so beautiful. God has given you such a blessing and talent. God Bless you and Keep Using that Silver. ❤️❤️❤️❤️🙏🎉

  3. Leslie, after reading this blog, I got up from my chair and walked into my butler’s pantry and pulled out the silverware chest. Next I went to my stash of beautiful placemats and then chose a bunch of seasonally appropriate cloth napkins (I literally have hundreds). Next up was getting out an assortment of seasonal dishes that are underused. I have beautiful mix and match seasonal linens and dishes that get used very sporadically and lately not at all. This was the ultimate epiphany. If the pandemic has taught me anything, it’s to live and love in the moment, count your blessings when everyone you love is healthy and safe and to not sweat the small stuff. I still don’t know if I’m brave enough to put the silver in the dishwasher, but we certainly will be dining in style tonight and hereafter!

  4. Lindsay, perhaps you should do a complementary post to Leslie’s silverware post on how you store your hundreds of cloth napkins. I don’t have that many, but I do have quite a few and the drawer where I store them is packed tight. I find myself using the same ones because it’s easier to get them out!
    I’d love to have hints on storage of placemats, napkins, chargers, and am really enjoying the “resurrecting” of this earlier silverware post!

  5. You’ve inspired me to take out my silverware sets! They have been sitting on a shelf in my closet which is not the original intended use, is it? Thanks for the info!

  6. In response to the storage of my hundreds of napkins….I wish I could say I have a beautiful armoire tucked into the corner of my oversized dining room (not) that houses all of my linens. But alas…no. They are stashed all over the house. I will say that I am blessed with with a large butler’s pantry where much of my stash of linens are housed as well as seasonal dishes. The rest? Well they are everywhere. A chest in the living room, a chest in the family room, on an entry closet shelf, a large library piece (lower storage area) in a loft study, the dining room buffet and a guestroom closet where tablecloths are hung. Whew! After rereading this, I think I need an intervention!

  7. Thank you! We have Millenials and their style is both minimal and modern….SO, out came the silverware! They won’t want it; covid means just our empty nest…so…boom…out they came!

  8. I too use my silver for everyday! Mine are mismatched pieces I’ve picked up here and there at flea markets and antique shops. My husband knows which pieces are my favorites and they are always waiting for me next to my plate! 🥰

  9. Is this real ?
    The coveted family silver it’s been sitting in a storage area in my fathers house and he’s 93 , it was my great grandmothers it’s from Tiffany. It is mine to use since I’m the oldest with my grandmother‘s name luck of the draw !
    The silver is coming out about two weeks before Thanksgiving for the obligatory polish then I’m going to bring it to my home and put away my everyday!
    This feels almost naughty . Life is sailing by and every day is a real gift!
    Here I go over the cliff!
    Appreciate the permission.

  10. Thanks so much! I wandered upon this article. I have three sets of sterling flatware, which I will now start using thanks to you and your followers. I thought that I would need to polish them every time that I used them. I will save the other flatware for picnics or casual cook-outs.
    I also have hundreds of seasonal napkins along with a big bag of linen napkins that a friend recently gave me. Those will come out of the trunk of my car.
    I will begin to collect old plates and bowls.
    The pictures are an inspiration… I have become a follower.
    One question – can you suggest a safe dishwasher soap?
    Thanks a million times!

    1. Suzanne, we seem like kindred souls! I am so happy that you found me. Check out my post today about my butler’s pantry, I talk about the green napkin drawer and the white napkin drawer 😊 So glad to have you follow along!

  11. I have a set of Rogers Bros First Love silver plate. I noticed the knife blades are stainless. Wondering if I could run those in the dishwasher, since it’s recommended to not mix stainless and silver in dishwasher. Anyone tried it? Also wondering what kind of dishwasher detergent has worked for others?

    1. Thank you for reaching out Jill. I put all of my sterling and silverplate in the dishwasher. Today.com says, “Surprisingly, silver and silver-plated flatware can be washed in the dishwasher, with a few caveats. Make sure to use a detergent that does NOT contain lemon or other citric acids, or it could damage the metal.”

  12. Would you mind sharing what dishwasher detergent that you use when washing your sterling silver flatware in the dishwasher? I was also wondering how often do you polish your sterling silver flatware and what brand of polish do you polish it with? Thank you for sharing!

  13. If you were to buy a new cutlery set now, would you buy silver plate or high quality stainless? I need to buy a new set, and unlike so many here, I haven’t inherited a lovely silver set. I am trying to decide between Carrs Old English in stainless or silver plate. I love the look of the silver plate but am worried about the upkeep. Since the design is simple, it looks pretty good in stainless, but obviously the metal is not as warm.

  14. Just got home from visiting my 84 year old mom after not being able to see her for a year and a half (pandemic). She gave me her sterling silverware as she doesn’t use it anymore. It was in its wood box under the guestroom bed. I have loved it since I was little and have used it quite a bit since getting home. I do hand wash it however.

    1. I am so glad you finally got to see your mom again! How wonderful that she gave you her silverware, that is so beautiful!

  15. Hello Leslie,
    Thanks for your post about silverware.
    Wondering what the difference between sterling silver and silver plated is?
    Also, do you have any recommendations about where to buy a good starter set?
    Thank You

    1. Hi Elaine! Silver-plated is a lighter silver color because it has only a thin layer of silver. Sterling silver has a much darker color. Definitely, Amazon! Go look today on Prime Day!

  16. Being from the deep south I love fine china and sterling silver. All the nieces/granddaughters picked out their patterns at an early age even if they weren’t married and we got beautiful pieces at Christmas from aunts and grandmothers. I chose mine when I was a freshman in college. I chose Autumn by Lenox for my china and Grand Duchess by Towle as my sterling silver. I even remember my aunt’s patterns of silver: Rose Point, King Edward, Buttercup, and my mother’s was Prelude. I think it’s wonderful to use it daily. Why have it if you’re not going to enjoy and treasure it.

  17. So happy to have found your blog. Just wanted to contribute that I have a second set of sterling that I’ve collected over the years in addition to my wedding silver and I used it every day along with my stainless. I have put a few pieces in the dishwasher with the stainless by mistake and it has come to no harm. The only thing I will say is that it will take the oxidation out of your pattern so that the design doesn’t stand out as well. Mine has an ornate pattern so it’s more noticeable when this happens. It takes awhile for that to build back up. Your patterns are lovely. The only one I recognize is the Rose Point by Wallace. A lovely old pattern.

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I'm Leslie,
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