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How can I get rid of tarnish on stainless steel cutlery?

(44 Posts)
MirandaGoshawk Wed 02-Oct-13 16:07:45

I know it's not supposed to tarnish, but some of my spoons have almost black bowls & DH says it affects taste. They are a few years old now & I suppose it takes a while to build up.

Any ideas?

PigletJohn Wed 02-Oct-13 17:30:14

green nylon scourer when you wash up

it is probably tea stains.

I presume you haven't got a dishwasher.

Onesleeptillwembley Wed 02-Oct-13 17:31:59

It sounds like you don't wash them very well. You need to wash up properly.

FriendlyElephant Wed 02-Oct-13 17:33:57

Soak them in bleachy water then give them a good scrub with a scourer or brillo pad.

MirandaGoshawk Wed 02-Oct-13 21:48:15

shock Yes I do have a dishwasher

and it's not tea stains - they are dessert spoons/tablespoons and not used for tea! Although they are used to stir the coffee pot...

shall try the bleachy water + dishwasher

MirandaGoshawk Wed 02-Oct-13 21:50:04

Think you might have the wrong end of the stick - it doesn't look like dirt or stains, but like dark-tinted glass as opposed to mirror, IYKWIM.

FamiliesShareGerms Wed 02-Oct-13 21:51:46

Quick soak in bleachy water. Rinse in very hot plain water and give a good scrub. Sorted

PigletJohn Wed 02-Oct-13 21:59:23

sometimes stainless does tarnish to a dull grey. I have rarely seen it on teaspoons and some very hard (old) chefs knives but nothing else. I think it is the alloy used but it might polish off.

Let us know what (if anything) works.

MirandaGoshawk Thu 03-Oct-13 10:53:33

This morning I noticed that the grapefruit knife is also black - I have half a grapefruit every morning and use a big spoon, so this would explain why the dessert spoons are far worse affected than anything else.

So I think Piglet is right, it's the alloy used and not my lack of hygiene. They were Aldi specials, some years ago, after all hmm

Only a few drops of bleach left (someone DH has used & put back empty bottle) so will try later when I've bought new, but so far the bleach has made no difference at all. But will report back later.

mum23girlys Thu 03-Oct-13 10:59:58

Try rubbing toothpaste on them then rinse off with soapy water and dry straight away. Worked for my silver earrings last week

sebsmummy1 Thu 03-Oct-13 11:11:54

I find those white sponges you can buy that you just dampen work pretty well. I find our cutlery tarnishes over time as we use a dishwasher. I'm assuming ill have to get some specialist cleaner at some point and give them a good spruce up.

valiumredhead Thu 03-Oct-13 12:24:39

Apparently this happens when the cutlery touches something else ss,and iirc that's one of the reasons dishwashers have drawers at the top now so they can be separated instead of baskets.

HotelTangoFoxtrotUniform Thu 03-Oct-13 12:33:42

I've had success using hot water, bicarb and tinfoil.

Instructions here - it really does work!

sebsmummy1 Thu 03-Oct-13 12:50:30

Valium I didn't know that! We are just about to buy a new dishwasher and I need to make sure it has a cutlery drawer at the top!! Thank you x

MirandaGoshawk Thu 03-Oct-13 12:59:24

Oooh Sebs that looks fab! Will have a go right now!

SirChenjin Thu 03-Oct-13 13:02:41

It's a chemical reaction, not a case of washing up incorrectly! Can't remember why, did chemistry too long ago, but the tinfoil thing works. Bleach won't, I'm afraid.

valiumredhead Thu 03-Oct-13 13:12:45

sebs - I thinkmost of the new ones do now as it frees up space at the bottom of the dishwasher.

PigletJohn Thu 03-Oct-13 13:28:10

the top trays are handy for big utensils, but I don't believe that stainless touching stainless causes tarnish. My dwrs are always crammed with ss items.

it might be a harder alloy; or it might be the acid grapefruit juice. Otherwise it can be prolonged immersion in water, or contact with chemicals or incompatible cleaners.

valiumredhead Thu 03-Oct-13 13:29:49

PJ - when I bought new cutlery recently -- got it from Tesco, the Allessi coupon deal-- it had a warning in the packaging, it said it mustn't touch other cutlery as it might tarnish.

sebsmummy1 Thu 03-Oct-13 13:44:19

We'll actually that does make sense as I have some cheap cutlery that seem to 'bleed' over the more expensive cutlery and I keep throwing pieces of the cheap stuff away as it's driving me mad.

MirandaGoshawk Thu 03-Oct-13 14:59:07

Well the experiment is underway and it seems to be working!

DH (a scientist) looked at it and said "Ah, electrolysis" fat help he's been which sounds impressive. Anyway - the foil is going brown and the spoons do look brighter, but it is taking a long time - they've been in an hour so far, must be really bad!

I do have some other spoons that are still shiny, so yes, I reckon it is the make of spoon coupled with the grapefruit acid.

Thanks to Seb's!

SirChenjin Thu 03-Oct-13 15:58:17

Did you use bicarb of soda or baking powder Miranda?

MirandaGoshawk Thu 03-Oct-13 22:30:03

I used bicarb (which is presumably stronger than baking powder).

It worked a bit but not enough. I googled and it said to boil for five minutes in a saucepan lined with foil and a teaspoon of bicarb & a teaspoon of salt, wait for the water to cool, rinse & polish.

Welll I've done that & they look as if they're coated with some white stuff - weird! Have polished up a bit but will stick them in the dishwasher tonight & see what happens. Maybe I put in too much bicarb/salt I know I used loads

MirandaGoshawk Fri 04-Oct-13 10:46:40

OK, I knw you're eager for an update hmm so - dishy did nothing. They still look tarnished but now with an extra cloudy layer! So I think I used too much bicarb. The foil did get dirty, so will try this again, using the recommended levels of bicarb & salt rather than over-doing it.

Last night I rubbed some jam off a knife - the jam had been there since breakfast - and it left a tarnish mark that is still there after being in the dishwasher! So I just think my cutlery has lost its surface 7 I'll have to shell out for new.

SirChenjin Fri 04-Oct-13 13:44:57

Oh no - I was hoping this would rescue my tarnished spoons. Think I'll be forking out too!

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