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How to Clean and Care for Your Spoon Collection
The Value of Your Spoons
For me, spoon collecting is just a fun hobby, but for others they collect in order to make a profit someday. I do however, like to display my collection as conversation pieces and like for them to look as nice as possible. A lot of times collectors see the value in their collections, but it takes some time to make sure that the value is seen by others, especially if you plan to take your spoons to auction someday. Here you will find some cleaning tips and ways to find out how much your pieces may be worth.
Photo: Part of my spoon collection.
If you plan on selling your spoons at auction someday, ask an auction dealer or an appraiser before you clean your spoons, as some auction houses prefer to do it themselves or some damage could be done when cleaning on a regular basis. It is very important that unique markings be visible on the item; dates, brand, engraving, etc. When you are looking at selling, you will want to discuss how extensive of a cleaning should be done to assure that these markings are clearly showing.
Keep Your Spoons Looking Their Best
To keep your spoons in pristine condition, metal in particular, they should be kept in their individual original case. Many collectors like to display their spoons in cases, as I do, but unfortunately it can cause them to oxidize and wear, especially in very humid areas. If you do get a spoon display I would recommend one with a latch for closing instead of a magnet. Be careful when cleaning pieces in which something may be glued on, as the glue may come off. Also make sure to check which type of material your spoons are made of before choosing a method of cleaning.
Here are some tips on how to keep your metal spoons clean and get rid of tarnishing:
Save Money Cleaning Silver Spoons Using This Process!
The Materials You'll Need
All the products needed for using this method.
I have one of these helpful gadgets and it really comes in handy! It gives you the ability to boil water in seconds instead of minutes.
My favorite product to use when cleaning my spoon collection.
Have some baking soda on hand, as this will be what you will use to clean your spoons - set aside.
Might take a few minutes - some may not have an electric kettle, so I boiled water on the stove.
Line Container with Aluminum Foil
Put hot pads underneath the container. I use the foil shiny side up, but I don't think it matters.
Place Silver Spoons on Top of Aluminum Foil
I find it works best to line the spoons up, so they have least amount of contact with each other. You can see how tarnished and dirty these spoons are.
Cover Spoons with Baking Soda
I cover the spoons completely, some say it is better to use it sparingly though, so you will have to decide what you are more comfortable with.
Pour Boiling Water over Spoons
Pour boiling water over top, completely immersing the spoons. This reaction is instant, so pour slowly, as the water will bubble rapidly when mixed with the baking soda.
Let sit until tarnish and scum is removed, approximately 5-10 min, flipping every so often with a plastic or wooden utensil to make sure each part of the spoon touches the aluminum foil, as the reaction will cause the silver to be shined. You will notice a couple of the spoons have turned dark, that will go away as it come in contact with the aluminum foil.
Rinse and immediately dry with cloth, I like to use cloth diapers, and avoid touching the spoon with your fingers. I find that the faster you polish, the shinier gets.
Shiny silver spoons!
Extra Step - Vinegar Soak - To Remove Any Remaining Spots
If you still have spots, like I did on some of my pieces, after completing this process soak in vinegar for 2-3 hours. I even add a little baking soda to it. Polish with a little baking soda or toothpaste; possibly use a very soft toothbrush to do this. Rinse and dry/polish with soft cloth again.
Results - Large Serving Spoon
This process made this spoon look amazing!
Results - Italian and Oriental Spoon
These are two spoons that I received from my husband's travels that he found in a shop. They must have been under water or something because they had a large amount of calcium deposits. The spots aren't completely gone, but there is a drastic improvement!
Silver Cleaning from an Expert
An auction expert gives tips on how to clean silver.
If you decide you'd like to use a polish on your spoons, make sure to read the directions carefully and always use gloves.
I've seen a lot of good reviews on this product. Supposedly you can use it once and your silver will shine for a year or two.
For all types of metal.
Keep your wooden spoons from drying.
Materials Other Than Metal
For wood spoons it is recommended to wipe them with a damp cloth, if a thorough cleaning is needed use mild detergent and rinse, and rub with oil to avoid drying. As for porcelain, clean with soapy water and if there is rust clean the area with oil. If you have a piece that is ivory make sure to keep it out of the sun and dusted, do not soak, and if cleaning must be done you can supposedly use milk or plain yogurt.
Detailed carved wood set.
Porcelain spoons can be very delicate, but stay looking great for years.
These unique spoons have beautiful ivory handles.
What is Your Collection Worth?
The real question on most people's mind is what their spoons are worth. Many factors go into finding out the exact value of each piece in a spoon collection: material, age, rarity, design, condition, etc., so it is hard to determine an exact dollar amount. Here is a site that might help you get a rough idea of how much your spoons might be valued at:
The best possible way to find out the monetary value of your collection is to have an appraiser come and take a look at your collection. In the mean time, here are some items to help you find out what your spoons may be worth:
The Value of My Spoon Collection
I don't plan on selling my spoon collection unless one of my pieces were to make me a millionaire. I do have some pieces that worth more money than others because they were made by a company that stopped producing them or only a few were made. However, the sentimental value that I have for my spoons outweighs the monetary value ten fold.
Cleaning Spoons and Much More
Find out how to clean practically anything.
- How to...
Just type in "how to" and what you are cleaning and you are bound to find some great tips for your spoon collection.
What way do you like to use to clean your spoons? What type of spoons do you like to collect?