Treatment and Care
When cleaning tarnish, use a soft-bristled brush or clean cotton cloth to dust the item as a first step. This is important since dust can scratch the finish if not removed before cleaning.
Wash the item by hand with warm water and a gentle dishwashing soap, but don't soak the silver in water for any length of time. Rinse the piece well with clean water, distilled is best, and dry immediately with a soft, lint-free cloth. A hair-dryer set on warm helps to dry hard-to-reach places.
Wearing plastic gloves rather than rubber (rubber can react adversely with the silver) lay the item on a soft towel work surface. Use a soft cotton cloth or sponge and a good non-abrasive commercial silver cleaner or polish. Apply the polish in a gentle circular motion. For intricate areas, use a cotton-tipped swab to apply the cleaner. Make sure all polish is removed when you're finished, using additional cotton swabs if needed. Once the piece looks clean and shiny, stop polishing even if you're still seeing dark residue on your cloth.
Wash the piece again and dry with a lint-free cloth. Items not used for food consumption can be waxed with a thin coat of microcrystalline wax to protect against tarnishing, if desired.
Care of Antique doors and tables
To keep the antique door tables in good condition, prevent cracks and restore finish after water damage a process must be followed. This simple process involves a regular wax using natural bleached beeswax. In air-conditioned rooms a table should be waxed every six months or as wear shows. Wear is noticed by a drying of the wood, not visible all over the surface but beginning in patches on the wood. In most cases a light coat of the wax can be brushed on the surface and then buffed off with a soft clean cloth. This can be repeated as often as necessary.
If the wood suffers from water damage, the area can be lightly buffed with very fine steel wool to remove the layer of wax and expose the area underneath. This area can be then re waxed in the same manner as mentioned above.
Avoid the use of Industrial " Wax" cleaners or sprays, as these will not enhance the appearance of the wood.
If the table does suffer damage it is advisable to be repaired by an experienced woodworker. All the above mentioned also applies to antique doors.