Care and Maintenance of Your Flatware


Stainless Steel Flatware

When caring for stainless steel, contact with dissimilar metals, such as silver, during washings can cause discoloration or pitting. Discoloration can also be caused by certain foods such as salt, tea, coffee, salad dressing, vinegar and mustard that are absorbed by the oxide film on the steel. If using a dishwasher, do not overcrowd flatware and leave room for water to circulate. Pitting and spotting are usually the result of: (1) a high mineral content in the water; (2) detergents with a high chloride amount; or (3) food with a high salt content. An occasional cleaning with a good polish specifically made for stainless steel should quickly restore your flatware to its original finish.

Knives & Knife Blades

Knife handles and blades are made from hardened stainless steel. This grade of stainless, while being resistant to most foods and chemicals, is more subject to spotting and pitting than the grade of stainless steel used in other pieces. The conditions that most commonly cause the spotting or pitting are prolonged contact with foods that contain chloride such as salt, salad dressing, etc. Spotting will also occur if knives are soaked in water or are not thoroughly dried promptly after washing.

Silver and Gold-Plated Flatware

Never leave plated flatware unwashed overnight, as the acids in the foods could stain or pit the plating. Prolonged soaking should also be avoided and sponges or harsh detergents should never be used. The plated flatware should only require polishing a few times a year using polish that is specifically made for silver or gold plate.

Wash plated flatware by hand for longest life. Gold-plated flatware should be hand-washed only, using a mild, non-chloride detergent. Low temperature commercial or residential dishwashers should not be used for plated flatware because the chemicals used for sanitizing will corrode the plating.

Commercial Dishwashers

Note: RSS always recommends a high temperature commercial dishwasher for flatware because low temperature and residential units rely on the use of chemicals that usually contain chloride for sanitizing.

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