Like so many of you, I have used the government enforced “lockdown” period to catch up with some long overdue chores. One of those on my list that didn’t manage until last weekend was cleaning the family’s silver.

Several years ago my step-grandmother passed away. The task of clearing her house fell on my parents. It was immense. They spun on the spot.

Fortunately, they had the good sense to enlist help and it wasn’t long before I helped bring order to the chaos. Black bin bags were filled and taken to the local amenity tip. A whole collection of shopping trolleys taken to the nearby charity shop.

Anything that appeared to have value, be it monetary or sentimental, was put on one side.

My grandparents, if nothing else, certainly enjoyed the finer things in life. Once retired they sold their home to an insurance company to finance a series of luxury cruises.

When they weren’t cruising they appeared to replicate the high-sea lifestyle in their 2 bed-semi. A drinks cabinet housed an assortment of alcoholic beverages and a whole host of highball Martini glasses.

Then there was the silver. Cake forks; salad servers; teaspoons; egg spoons; a teapot; tea-leaf strainer; milk jug; sugar bowl and tongs; and a sandwich platter. I’m not sure if they ever entertained royalty but they certainly had the where with all to do so!

So last Sunday I set about bathing the silverware in a Quickshine solution. The manufacturer claimed that “dirt and tarnish float away right before your eyes – and you don’t even have to get your hands dirty”.

That sounded like my sort of work.

The tea-set seemed an obvious place to start. I put the Quickshine sachet into a plastic bowl and added the individual pieces. I took care to ensure that they were connected to the sachet, either directly, or via each other.

I added sufficient boiling water to cover the pieces as instructed.

I left for it for 5 minutes as instructed and then rinsed with warm soapy water. A quick wipe dry and, like magic, the tea-set shone like new.

Without further ado we set-up a table in the sunshine and enjoyed a high tea to celebrate the fact that every cloud has a silver lining.

HACK

There is also a Quickshine product for jewellery that works in a similar fashion. I used it with really good results. I did find however, that for more tarnished items, it was necessary to use a silver polish to add the final shine. This was also true of the decorated silver cutlery after it had been bathed.