View Full Version : White bloom on my silverware?
05-13-2004, 11:21 AM
In February, I bought a set of silver plated silverware. It was really cheap, so I said to myself, "to hell with careful handling--this stuff's going in the dishwasher, and if it tarnishes, I'll live with that." Three months later the tarnishing is minimal, but there is some kind of white mineral bloom in between the tines of the forks. Some of it has migrated to the flat parts of the forks, and it is difficult to scratch off. It leaves a slightly darkened mark when removed. I use Cascade Complete in the dishwasher, and also JetDry. What on earth is happening? Is it safe to continue using the silverware?
Also, is there a way to determine what metal is underneath the silverplate?
05-13-2004, 11:47 AM
Do you have "hard water" in your area?
I know you are not supposed to use lemon "scented" dishwasher detergent on cheapo flatware as it will kill the plating (some chemical reaction or something). But maybe you could try using something like Flitz (http://www.straightshooters.com/cleaning/flitzpolish.html) polish on the flatware to get the mineral deposits off. You could find stuff that would work at a kitchen specialty store like Sur La Table (http://www.surlatable.com/). Either that or buy some new flatware, dont use lemon scented dishwasher deterget and use some JetDry perhaps.
I have some cheapo flatware I bought at Target nearly 10 years ago, and it still looks pretty good, but I have never used lemon soap on them in the DW and I have lived in areas with really hard water.
05-13-2004, 11:54 AM
oops... I hit submit instead of preview... :o
The white stuff is likely meneral scale (hence the hard water question). So it is just a calcium carboante buildup on the flatware- just a mineral, so I don't think that it will hurt you to keep using them.
The metal underneath the plating is most likely steel.
And ignore my JetDry comment... as you mentioned that you already use it...
05-13-2004, 01:20 PM
Most silver salts are insoluble, and many of them are white. If your water is salty, you could be building up a layer of silver chloride. Your detergent likely contains an assortment of anionic surfactants (soaps) that form insoluble white silver salts.
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