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"Stainless Steel Flatware isn't sparkling"


For years I have been trying to find out how to bring the sparkle back to my stainless steel flatware. It's a rather large set of service for 12, passed down in the family. Most of the pieces have taken on a blackish blue color (especially the teaspoons) and I have tried several ways to restore their shine and beauty such as polishing cloths, tartar, bleach. Nothing seems to work. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Sheron Davis
- Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania



Can't tell from this distance, but I would suspect that your flatware is not stainless. Have never seen that material do what you describe. Are you sure it isn't silverware. Silver has a tendency to tarnish in those hues.

Good luck !

Bill Miller
- Shinnston, West Virginia



I do not know how to tell you what to do with this without looking at the parts, but we have taken a proprietary product based on citric acid and put our flatware in a crock pot and heated it up. It looked great afterwards. Call us if you need further help.

lee kremer
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Lee Kremer
Stellar Solutions, Inc.
supporting advertiser
McHenry, Illinois

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Cleaning of stainless steel flatware sometimes depends upon the nickel vs. chromium content of the flatware - if you see that your flatware is 18/8 or 18/10 or even 18/0 - this may make a difference.

Remember - don't spill the dishwashing detergent on the flatware as it will create dark spots, and never wash sterling silver with stainless steel flatware.

Jon Grif
- Chicago, Illinois

"Stainless Flatware Guide"
from Abe Books


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"Stainless Flatware Guide"
from Abe Books


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(finishing.com earns commission on what you buy after clicking)

  -- this entry appended to this thread by editor in lieu of spawning a duplicative thread

Recently while shopping for flatware I noticed that there is now 18/0 stainless steel available, I am not at all familiar with this type or grade. Can you please tell me whether it is as durable as 18/10 & 18/8 stainless steel, is it as safe for table use etc.?

Thank you for your time.

Lori Green
- Gastonia, North Carolina


Here is a link describing the difference between 18/0 and 18/8 stainless steel.

Hope this helps!

Pat [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Los Angeles, California


Which is better for durability and quality when talking about flatware, the 18/8 or the 18/0? While I now know that the /8 means 8% nickel and the /0 means 0% nickel, I'm not sure what nickel does to the composition so I can't answer my own question! =-)

Amy Young-Leith
student - Bloomington, Indiana

February 9, 2011

Hi, Amy

Adding nickel to stainless steel makes it more corrosion resistant, more expensive, and non-magnetic.

18/8 is "better" than 18/0 by just about any measure. But some people try to avoid exposure to nickel in any form. I personally don't think it's important for stainless steel to be nickel-free, since even implants are made of 18/8 or 18/10 stainless steel, and merely being allergic to nickel doesn't mean you're necessarily allergic to stainless steel, but I suppose it's possible for some people.


Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey

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