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10 March 2015

Your Grandmother's Silver...

Today, I decided to polish the silver. Don't I sound posh? I have a few pieces of silver (silverplate actually) that I display in my dining room.  They aren't family heirlooms. Well, at least they aren't my family's heirlooms. I bought them years ago at a Goodwill store in Virginia Beach, Virginia.  I don't remember exactly what I paid for them, but if I had to guess, I am betting I got all the pieces for somewhere in the neighborhood of $20. Total. That Goodwill store was awesome. It is the one where I bought my dining room set - table, 6 chairs, china cabinet, and buffet for.... a whopping $250. Total.  So, these pieces of silver were somebody else's once upon a time. I like to think about their story.  Did someone proudly display them and then they were inherited by someone who didn't appreciate their beauty, so they were donated to the Goodwill thrift store? I have to admit that when I bought them, they were badly tarnished. Perhaps as badly tarnished as they are in this picture... 

I purchased a bottle of silver polish, gathered some rags and set to work. I channeled my inner Downton Abbey, and got to it. I poured, I rubbed, I poured, I rubbed, I wiped, and I poured and wiped some more.  For two solid hours.  TWO hours, people!  I thought at one point, I think it was the one hour mark... "Maybe someone got rid of these because they required so much time to polish them and keep them looking pretty." and then "wow, you have to use some serious 'elbow grease' to work off this tarnish"  Are you familiar with the term 'elbow grease'? I assume it is a Southern saying, because frankly, it just sounds like a Southern saying... elbow grease... what IS elbow grease anyway? 
I got to thinking about how much time I had already spent polishing, and I looked over at the other pieces that I hadn't yet polished.   I don't know how much time will pass before the tarnish sets in and they need to be polished again. But, two hours, in the span of a month, let's say, really isn't all that much time. Surely I waste two hours per month on facebook, or surfing the web, or... ahem... blogging, so I can spare the time to restore these pieces of silver to their former beauty.

At the end of the two hours, my hands looked like this. Scary.  If I were a manicure type of girl, I would probably be horrified. But, as it is, I just washed them really well with soap and they came clean.

By the end of the two hours, I had some pretty polished silver. Check out that dishcloth I used to polish with.  Toward the end, it became a game to try to find a tiny spot of white that still remained.

And here is my magic solution... Goddard's Long Term Silver Polish.  It had better be LOOOOOOOONG term.  And guess what? I used the entire bottle. The whole thing. Of course, when you haven't polished your silver in a decade, I imagine that is to be expected! ;)

Check out that shine! You can totally see your reflection in the surface - or my reflection, at least! I am wearing a black and white houndstooth vest.

My thoughts are, if you have your Grandmother's silver, get it out of storage, or out of the back of your china cabinet and polish it up. The repetitive process of polishing was really kind of theraputic. And I was alone with my thoughts (and a little Bruno Mars and Megan Trainor music playing) for two hours. And if you don't have Grandmother's silver, start haunting thrift shops and see if you can pick up someone else's Grandmother's silver and bring it back to it's former glory. I promise you will enjoy having it around.

"Fewer and fewer Americans possess objects that have a patina, old furniture, grandparents' pots and pans - the used things, warm with the generations of human touch..."
- Susan Sontag, On Photography

1 comment:

  1. I decided to unpack the Mayflower Spode today and use it - since you didn't take it with you to England, and, of course, you know we use the "real" silver. Are you ready for any of this? Love, Me.