Monday, October 25, 2010

Lemons, Dishwashers and Pitting

Did you know:
  1. One does not have to squeeze the lemon when one orders iced tea or any other drink that has either a lemon or lime on the rim of the glass. Just plunk the citrus into your beverage and it will dissipate and disperse into the liquid. No squeezing or citrus in your eye!
  2. Lemon detergent is for pots and pans only. Lemon is acidic and will, over time, eat the glaze off of your china and crystal, especially fine china and crystal with a gold rim.
  3. Washing sterling silver flatware in the dishwasher is fine as long as you do not mix it with stainless flatware or stainless pots and pans. It is a metallurgy thing. Silver and stainless as metals do not like each other and the stainless will pit out your sterling.
  4. Mixing sterling with stainless will force the base metal to come through the sterling. Then, you will be stuck rubbing the sterling with jewelers rouge to get rid of all those little black spots on your sterling called pitting.
  5. To get any pit out of sterling, drop lighter fluid onto the rouge and wipe the rouge stick with a soft cloth. Then rubbing always in the same direction, rub the cloth onto the sterling. Never rub in circles. With much elbow grease, the pit will eventually disappear.
  6. NEVER use jewelers rouge on silver plate. It will remove the plate. Sterling is usually 92.5 parts silver, while silver plate has only 10 microns of silver on top of the base metal. Antique silver has a heavy base metal of usually copper or nickel. New silver plate now has a light base metal of tin.
  7. Shocking fact: Yes! You may wash your antique china and antique crystal in the dishwasher. The following are a few rules you must follow for fine china and every day kitchen china, fine crystal and everyday glassware:
  • Never use lemon detergent on anything other than your pots and pans. Use plain detergent only. It is hard to find in the supermarket, but look for it!
  • Use only 1 teaspoon of the granular, plain detergent. Do not use those detergent tabs, they are contain a separate chemical "Jet dry" substance and are inconsistent and uneven.
  • Never use the heat cycle. It is too hot and the heat is bad for your porous china and will weaken it over time. It also will actually melt any gold rims.
  • Always use the "Air Dry" cycle.
  • Always use the "Gentle" cycle.
  • Load and unload your china and crystal evenly and nicely. Space is the place. Do no jam or overload your dishwasher. If you have to run more than a few loads, do so. Items often shift in cycle. Avoid breakage.
Be kind to your fine china, crystal and silverware and it will last a few lifetimes!