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topic 11611

Silverware plating problem


A strange problem. I bought several sets of "silverware" (knifes, forks, spoons) several months ago. The packages said it is made of stainless steel and electroplated with gold (looks nice when new). After several months there a lot of dark spots and, occasionally, places that look like rust. Well, I opened another package (did not really need more than one) and, besides the silveware, found a note inside that said (among other things) "do not wash with lemon-scented detergents". Since the package proclaimed it "dishwasher-safe" that is likely what I have been doing.

The problem manifested only on gold plated surfaces. The pure stainless steel (visible on working parts of knifes) is fine.

The thing is I am really lost about what is going on. I do not think that either stainless steel or gold should react with such a weak acid as contained in lemon juice. And, what if I have food which contains lemon ? The other possibility is that lemon-scented detergent do not contain acid from lemons, but then again what could it be ? Are pine-scented detergents safe ?


Vladimir Dergachev
- Ann Arbor, Michigan

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