"I had never noticed that you had silver candlesticks."That indicates that my silver candlesticks are usually so black and tarnished that she really hadn't seen them. And yes, she has been over many times, including Friday nights when the candles are lit.
Everyone knows that my housekeeping skills are horrendous, and at my age, I don't expect things to improve. So, when friends I hadn't seen in person for decades said, since they're not far from Shiloh for a few days, and they'd like to drop by, I welcomed them. They had apologized for the timing since it's pre-Passover madness season and asked what my plans were. I mentioned polishing the silver.
"I'll polish your silver. It's my favorite job." My friend replied.I figured she was joking. She had no idea how disgustingly black and tarnished my silver was. But I set up the silver for me to polish and moved, cleaned the cabinet where my candlesticks are displayed.
I knew that if I didn't get the silver polishing done before Shabbat, it wouldn't be done before Passover. Shabbat HaGadol, the last Shabbat before Passover, is my general cut-off for non kitchen cleaning, even though this year with a whole week before the Friday night Seder, I'm making some exceptions.
My silver had been looking awfully black and tarnished for years, ever since I bought bargain priced Hepi silver cleaner, which seemed to have damaged more than shined them.
When our friends came in, she quickly rolled up her sleeves, donned the disposable gloves I offered, took the soft rag, applied a generous squeeze of Hagerty silver cleaner and began to rub off the tarnish. Suddenly I saw real shine. It had never happened like that when I tried to polish silver.
What had my friend done differently to make the silver shine?
She used a dry cloth, not the "damp cloth" recommended by the manufacturers of the various silver polishes I've bought and unsuccessfully used. Apparently, water not only dilutes the polish, but it's not good for the silver. After polishing, she buffed it with a clean dry cloth. I was instructed that only the cups or other eating implements should be washed.
After my friends went back to their vacation tzimmer, I polished not only the rest of the candlesticks, but all the other silver I could find in the house. Even more amazing than the shine, was that I enjoyed doing it. The reason I enjoyed the polishing was that I had excellent results with very little work. Gd willing, with this new cleaning tip, my silver will shine all year long.