You bought stainless steel flatware because it’s a household necessity, and it’s made to last a long time. However, years of regular use, washing, and drying all tend to take a toll on the finish. Actually, there is nickel in your stainless steel which makes it shine. When the nickel begins to wear away, you have discoloration and a dull finish. If your flatware has seen shinier days, you might be tempted to go out and buy a new set. But try this first! This life hack for cleaning your stainless actually makes it possible to remove some of that discoloration and restore some of the shine to your flatware.
1. Soak & Scrub
Instead of just throwing your flatware into the dishwasher, give each piece a little extra TLC. Soak it in hot water with a little bit of ammonia (about a teaspoon per gallon), for about 30 minutes, then rinse with hot water and dry with a soft cloth.
You’ve heard of polishing your good silver, but have you ever given that same attention to your everyday flatware? If not, give it a try. Grab some food-safe stainless steel polish and follow the directions to polish up your knives, forks, and spoons. You’ll likely see a big difference.
3. Proper Care
To prevent further discoloration of your flatware, rinse it immediately after each use. Acidic foods like salt and lemon, or condiments such as mustard and mayonnaise can cause corrosion or even pitting. You can put your stainless steel flatware in the dishwasher, but hand washing is actually best for a longer lasting shine. However you wash your flatware, immediate drying is best. Also, never apply detergent directly to your flatware.