How to Clean & Care for a Silver Plated Tea Set

Updated February 21, 2017

Silver tea sets, whether solid or silver-plated, are valued for their beauty and craftsmanship. Silver tea services are often handed down through generations of a family and displayed prominently in the home. A tea set usually consists of a tea pot, cream pitcher, sugar bowl and waste pot. Some sets may also include strainers and other accessories. You must properly clean and care for your silver-plated tea set to protect the finish and insure your heirloom will last for generations to come.

Wash the silver-plated tea set after use with a non-lemon-scented detergent and dry with a lint-free cloth.

Remove light tarnish with a non-aloe hand sanitiser on a cotton ball. Rub lightly, then dry with the cotton cloth.

Apply silver cleaner to remove more advanced tarnish. Pour a small amount of cleaner onto a soft cloth and gently smooth onto the surface of the silver set. Rub gently until the tarnish is removed. Polish with a soft cotton cloth.

Remove polish from crevices or engraved designs with the horsehair brush. Use the toothpick to remove polish from tiny crevices.

Clean tea stains inside the tea pot by applying silver cleaner to a cellulose sponge and wiping out the inside. If the teapot opening isn't wide enough to fit your hand in, attach the sponge to a wooden spoon or dowel with thread and use this to apply the silver cleaner to the pot's interior. Wipe out with a soft cloth. Use a cotton swab dipped in silver cleaner to clean the spout of the tea pot.


Use the least abrasive silver cleaner possible and avoid rubbing too hard. Abrasive polishes can remove the silver plating on a silver-plated tea set.


Do not clean silver in the dishwasher.

Things You'll Need

  • Non-lemon-scented detergent
  • Lint-free cotton cloth
  • Non-aloe hand sanitiser
  • Cotton ball
  • Silver cleaner
  • Horsehair brush
  • Toothpick
  • Cellulose sponge
  • Wooden spoon or dowel
  • Thread
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About the Author

Cynthia Myers is the author of numerous novels and her nonfiction work has appeared in publications ranging from "Historic Traveler" to "Texas Highways" to "Medical Practice Management." She has a degree in economics from Sam Houston State University.