Darkened stainless steel flatware

Discussion in 'Chemistry' started by MacGyver1968, Aug 6, 2011.

  1. MacGyver1968 Fixin' Shit that Ain't Broke Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    7,028
    I have a set of stainless steel flatware that has darkened over the years...some of the spoons almost appear black. Does anyone know of a household chemical I could dip them in to remove this darkening? There are commercially available stainless polishes, but I would prefer not to have to rub down every piece. Just wondering if their something I could soak them in and avoid the polishing.

    Thanks,
     
  2. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement



    to hide all adverts.
  3. jmpet Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,891
    eBay sells coin dip that they use to clean coins. But the active ingredient is HCL which removes a layer of the metal.

    Try putting them in the sink then use a wet toothbrush and baking soda to scrub the silverware- that should remove the oxidation.
     
  4. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement



    to hide all adverts.
  5. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    15,058
    Try with vinegar (5% or 9%) or lemon juice.

    You may have to experiment with how long to leave the stainless steel items in.

    Some polishing may be necessary.

    At the end, thoroughly wash and rinse in clean water.
     
  6. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement



    to hide all adverts.
  7. MacGyver1968 Fixin' Shit that Ain't Broke Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    7,028
    Thanks,

    I tried vinegar, but it really didn't do much. What about ammonia?
     
  8. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    33,264
    If your flatware is still relatively new and in good shape – there are a number of possible ways to clean it up and restore some of its original shine. One such method used to remove streaking is to take a soft dish towel rub a little Olive Oil on the flatware….this should remove streaking. One can also polish and shine stainless steel by using Vinegar and a soft cloth to wipe the flatware – this is also good to remove heat stains from the flatware. If you don’t have any vinegar, club soda can also be used as an alternative.


    or

    Clean your food prep area with natural, food safe ARM & HAMMER® Baking Soda instead of harsh cleaners. Sprinkle ARM & HAMMER® Baking Soda onto a clean damp sponge or cloth and wipe clean, rinse thoroughly, then dry. Great for counters, stainless steel sinks, cutting boards, microwaves, plastic containers, lunch boxes, back splashes, oven tops, range hoods and more!
     
  9. leopold Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    17,455
    stainless steel doesn't oxidize.

    mac,
    the fact that the pieces turned black leads me to believe you might have yourself some silverware instead of stainlessware.
     
  10. MacGyver1968 Fixin' Shit that Ain't Broke Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    7,028
    They are definitely stainless not silver...they have it stamped on them. It's weird how the spoons are more effected than other pieces.
     
  11. Pinwheel Banned Banned

    Messages:
    2,424
    Stop dinning on crude oil.
     
  12. MacGyver1968 Fixin' Shit that Ain't Broke Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    7,028
    It keeps me regular.
     
  13. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    51,740
    Actually, what happens is that impurities in the stainless steel tend to migrate to the surface, and show up as rust, it's a well known phenomenon. All you have to do is rub it off.
     
  14. MacGyver1968 Fixin' Shit that Ain't Broke Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    7,028

    Hehe....I'm good at that.

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!



    I was just hoping for a lazy man's solution...something I could soak them all in and remove the darkening. I have some polish powder that does remove it, but leaves the metal with a dull finish.
     
  15. scheherazade Northern Horse Whisperer Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,788
    I don't know if it will work on your cutlery, but for a quick touch up of my earrings I apply a light coating of toothpaste, and allow it to dry. I come back in a while and rub it off with warm water and a very soft old toothbrush and then dry and wipe off any residue with a soft cloth.

    Seems to reduce the amount of 'elbow grease' and time required in cleaning.

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

     
  16. spidergoat Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    51,740
    You just need a finer polishing powder.
     
  17. scheherazade Northern Horse Whisperer Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,788
    I believe the desire is to reduce the amount of energy that needs to be expended in this undertaking, lol....

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

     
  18. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    Messages:
    24,690
    No such luck. The kitchen is (still) a woman's domain and women don't stay up all night trying to figure out a way to make their work easier, the way we do. They'd rather have the sleep.

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!



    Have you tried using any of these suggested chemicals in a dishwasher instead of doing it by hand? If it can spray hard enough to strip baked-on General Tso's Sauce off of a broiler grill, it might do the job you're looking for.
    Have you looked in Pep Boys or Advanced Auto Parts? Stainless steel trim on cars gets pretty funky and you can buy stuff that will make it look like new.

    How old is this flatware? It's really not like silver; it won't last forever. It's just cheaper.
     
  19. Trippy ALEA IACTA EST Staff Member

    Messages:
    10,890
    One thing I have noted in doing some (limited) research on this.

    Most of the discussion is on ways to blacken stainless steel, which involve the use of vinegar and such, which led me to wonder.

    Have you tried using a mild base?
     
  20. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    15,058
    You could always try heating the vinegar. It will smell badly and may result in nasty reactions.

    Another way is to make a mixture of powder detergent for laundry (for high temperatures) and water, and then boil the items in it for a while (an hour or so, not with the bubbles running over).
    It smells horribly and I don't think it is healthy, but it is a proven way to clean enameled pots without rubbing.
     

Share This Page