Consumer Reports: Outstanding Silver Polish

Silver is one of the most popular precious metals. It's used in everything from jewelry to sterling collectibles for fine dining. Silver will never go out of style. Think of the classics: tea services, flatware services, large serving trays. Consumer Reports just tested six silver polishes, including Wright's, Weiman, and Tarni-Shield.

Silver tarnishes simply by being exposed to air. That's because hydrogen sulfide gas, in trace amounts, reacts with silver to form this blackish film. Testers cleaned and polished heavily tarnished silver following manufacturers' directions. Testers found all the polishes readily cleaned and polished the silver. Five leave a lustrous, bright shine. The sixth, Gorham Anti-Tarnish, leaves a soft satin finish, like the spoon on the right.

The polishes also promise to protect, and to prevent tarnish. Consumer Reports exposed the polished silverware to hydrogen sulfide gas and found that they did resist tarnishing, just as the manufacturers had claimed.

Consumer Reports top-rated Wright's Anti-Tarnish Silver Polish. It delivers a very bright shine that resists tarnishing.

Consumer Reports says to reduce tarnishing, try to minimize silver's exposure to air. That's why you see silver stored in felt- or velvet-lined bags or chests. And one more thing: Never wash silver in the dishwasher because some detergents can damage the finish.

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