Here's how to keep your sterling silver gleaming for, and after, the holidays:
Rinse silver immediately after use. Soaking it in water for an extended period can damage the metal.
Wash silver in hot, soapy water and rinse in hot, clear water, and dry immediately. Wash flatware pieces by themselves to avoid scratches.
If using a dishwasher, remove silver before the drying cycle and hand-dry it. Excessive heat can cause damage. Avoid detergents that are lemon-scented or contain chlorides, which damage silver.
Wash silver separately from stainless steel.
Store sterling in an airtight silver chest or in protective cloth bags.
Source: Reed and Barton Silversmiths
(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society