Caring for silver can seem like an overwhelming process. There’s a reason the trend away from sterling silver flatware towards more user-friendly cutlery has occurred over the past few decades. Silver can seem temperamental and high maintenance, but with a few simple steps and tools, including the right polishing and cleaning brush, its easy to keep your silver items looking beautiful. As pointed out by world-famous auction house Christie’s, taking care of your silver is as easy as properly storing it and using the right tools.
We recommend using a horsehair brush since its bristles are tough enough to rid silver of tarnish, rust and dirt, but soft enough that it won’t scratch the silver. We’ve included two horsehair brushes on our list as well as a more robust electrical cleaner which is designed for larger pieces of silver as well as other metals and various materials.
The good news is that it’s possible to clean your silver too much, as pointed out by Christie’s, which gets you off the hook from weekly cleaning sessions. Properly drying your silver and using a brush or buffer to keep it clean and polished are essential steps in helping the item retail its original beauty. From family heirlooms to everyday pieces, these brushes will help care for and rejuvenate any silver items.
1. Dremel Versa Cleaning Tool
If it’s dirty, you can clean it with the Dremel Versa Cleaning Tool. With four changeable heads, including a non-scratch pad for silver, pots and pans, an eraser pad for shoes, floors and counters, a bristle brush for grout, grills and cars, and a heavy duty pad for scum and baked-on food, the Dremel can handle just about any mess in and around the home and office. The rechargeable brush can last two hours on a single charge, has a self-cleaning setting and has a splash guard in place when being used with liquid cleaners.
Pros: The Dremel is ideal for large silver items like stainless steel pots and pans, silverware, belt buckles, picture frames and more.
Cons: The Dremel has more attachments and power than necessary for small silver objects like watches and jewelry.
2. W. J. Hagerty Complete 4-Piece Silver Care Kit
Treat fine silver with the care it deserves using the W. J. Hagerty Complete 4-Piece Silver Care Kit, which comes with everything you need to keep silver looking new. The company has been keeping silver bright and clean since 1895 and their latest kit features an 8 oz jar of polish, a 7 oz jar of foam, a polishing cloth and a horsehair brush to help get dirt, grime and rust off silver.
Pros: The W. J. Hagerty set is both endorsed and certified kosher by the orthodox Jewish congregations of America. In addition to cleaning silver, the kit can also be used to clean gold.
Cons: The kit does not come with gloves, which are recommended when using silver polish, although W. J. Hagerty does sell gloves separately.
3. Simple Shine Horsehair Silver Brush Set
Made with 100 percent premium horsehair, the Simple Shine Horsehair Silver Brush Set comes with a sizeable all-purpose brush for more significant pieces and a detail brush that is perfect for getting into small nooks and crannies that can’t be reached with polishing cloths. Horsehair is the only bristle that won’t scratch silver, making this an excellent option for anyone looking to clean or polish their silver pieces.
Pros: The Simple Shine brushes can both clean and polish silver at the same time, perfect for jewelry, coins, silverware, furniture, watches and more.
Cons: The Simple Shine brushes can be used in conjunction with silver polish, foam, paste, wash and spray, but unlike the W. J. Hagerty kit which includes these items, they must be purchased in addition to the Simple Shine brushes.