How To Polish Silver

Silver Plate Flatware
Confession:  I love polishing silver!  
I know this is weird, but for some reason I find it very therapeutic ~ and of course the instant gratification of something going from dull to shiny is pretty great as well!
My collecting of silver plate flatware started long ago while antiquing with my Mom and Grandma and to this day I'll still buy a piece if the price and pattern is right!
Next week I'll put a post up about how to pick out silver plate flatware, but in the meantime, lets get to the cleaning!
Whether your purchasing old and tarnished flatware or yours is in need of maintenance, the first thing is to find a good and reliable silver cleaner. 
One of my personal favorites is Wright's!  I go back and forth between the cream and polish depending on what I'm polishing.  For silver plate flatware Wright's Silver Cream is great because it comes with its own nifty little sponge that easily does the trick!  
You'll also want to wear rubber gloves while polishing.
In shopping for polishes be careful of the cleaners that are pure liquid ~ while they make the job easy, I've learned the hard way that they tend to strip the silver from the utensils!  
I would avoid these! 
If I'm planning on polishing a lot of flatware, I'll separate them between forks, spoons, etc and typically polish in batches of six-eight.  If newly purchased, you'll want to wash them first to get off any initial dirt and grime. Now to the fun part!
Utility sinks are great if you have one, otherwise the kitchen sink is fine!  I'll start with a dime sized amount of cream on my sponge and vigorously scrub back and forth until the sponge is black from tarnish ~ at this point, rinse the sponge and start again on another fork.  Keep doing this until your batch is finished, but be careful not to have the polish dry on the fork itself.  Rinse the batch in hot water, then start again on 2nd coat.  You'll want to keep doing this until tarnish is no longer coming off ~ this can take just one coat, or I've even had situations where it's needed up to eight!
Once you're finished, wash and rinse using a mild dish washing soap.  
Then use a clean lint free towel to dry and buff your newly polished silverware!
Because I love a good before and after:
We use our silver plate for our everyday utensils and on a daily basis 
wash them in the dishwasher.  Just be sure not to wash any stainless steel items 
during the same cycle or it will strip the silver!

Do you collect any silver plate? 
Or have any good polishing tricks?
You know we LOVE comments!