A guide to keeping your cutlery looking its best

Date Posted:20 January 2020 

How to wash and store your cutlery to keep it looking like new for many years

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is one of the most durable metals available with it's exceptional ability to resist stains, rust and corrosion. Contrary to popular belief, stainless steel is neither stain nor rust proof and even the finest alloy will suffer if not cared for. So please consider the following to keep your cutlery looking its best for years to come.

Prolonged exposure to foods that contain Chloride such as; mustard, table salt, eggs and jam can stain if not rinsed off immediately. Some of the minerals and salts in tap water can cause pitting and staining.


Wash in hot water and a good quality detergent. Rinse in water of at least 80 degrees celcius.If using a dishwasher, remove the basket shortly after the drying cycle and allow cutlery to air dry. Cutlery should not be left wet or in a damp place overnight. Cutlery must be completely dry before stored.

  • Keep silver-plated and sterling-silver cutlery separately from stainless steel - if they touch whilst they are wet, your silver may be damaged by a chemical reaction.
  • Dishwashing: Please do not use detergents that use hydrocholorite or have a lemon base to them. These ingredients can be highly corrosive.
  • Place the cutlery handles down into the basket and keep knives away from other pieces of cutlery.
  • Do not over crowd the compartment. This helps reduce drainage and scratching. 
  • After the wash-cycle, dry knives with a clean, dry cloth. The steel in knives is made from a different stainless steel and is more prone to corrosion and rust marks.

Special cleaning of stains

Staining of stainless steel is a rare phenomenon that in most cases is due to something that becomes firmly deposited onto the steel, rather than to any attach of the steel itself. The most common cause of staining is attack by one of the propriety checmial dip solutions used for remaining tarnish from silver. These dips contain acids that etch the steel, ultimately etching it a dull grey. Do not use chemical dip solutions. Dip solutions can stain or even etch stainless steel knife blades.

Use a mild abrasive or metal polish to remove discolourations and revive the finish of your cutlery. Water stains can be removed by rubbing either alcohol or salad oil into the pieces. To keep the shine on your cutlery use a sponge with white vinegar.

Common markings and causes

  • Rust marks - Stainless Steel is rust resistant. It can receive deposits from other items in the sink of dishwasher
  • Rainbows - Detergents can cause this discolouration if not rinsed. Hot fat, vinegar, wine and citrus juices can cause discolouration
  • Chalking - The use of un-softened water or not drying cutlery properly can leave a chalky residue
  • Pitting - Knives are prone to pitting as the blade is hardened as part of the manufacturering process. After a period of time, salt and food acids can cause pitmarks.

Comments (1)

Keeping your cutlery looking good

By: on 2 December 2021
Do you have a guide to stop guests stealing my cutlery

bnbsupplies Response
Interesting question, because the four things that most commonly disappear from Airbnbs / Short Stay Accommodation are teaspoons, facewashers, bath plugs (I assume these are accidentally scooped up from the bath with the towels by housekeeping) and clothes hangers. We don't have a guide, but I'll give it a go! So to begin, you have to assume your teaspoons will need replacing and either purchase extra to begin with, or purchase cutlery that you can easily replenish in the same style or colour. Secondly, don't make them too pretty. If you want to make a statement with something in your kitchen, do it with a picture on the wall. Or a centrepiece on the table, or a great wall clock. Don't buy cutlery that will create temptation. Thirdly, make it easier on housekeeping by not having too many. It's easier for housekeeping to keep track of your cutlery if you have just enough and exactly what you need, and guests are less likely to help themselves if they think the item will be noticed missing. And finally, if you really want to set a clear expectation, you could have a friendly little note in your kitchen, detailing exactly how many knives, forks and spoons are in the kitchen, and what the cost will be for any missing items on checkout. I would suggest making that as fun as possible so that you don't appear unfriendly or inhospitable. Hope that helps! Kellie

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