Do you know Warren Buffet’s expression “have some skin in the game“? American readers will likely be familiar with the phrase…those of you elsewhere might not be. Quite possibly your reaction might be “no, and whatever it is sounds revolting”. Rest assured it’s not that bad, it essentially means you have a stake in the outcome. As I’m always going on about putting your precious vintage silver in the dishwasher, I thought I provide a status update and show you how mine is faring.
Being the first week of January and having all sorts of good business intentions about audits and benchmarking, it seemed sensible to extend that to the condition of my silver too.
Silver in the Dishwasher
First of all, let me provide you with some bona fides about my having some skin in this game. The photos below show 3 of my Louis XV forks c.1890’s and 3 of my Georgian spoons – all of which are pre-1800, in fact one is 1776. Whether or not they are to your taste, I hope you can agree that they are pieces worthy of cherishing.
Confession time. I can not recall the last time I polished any of them. You’ll remember in the post about silver tarnish that we examined the difference between cleaning and polishing. These pieces have been cleaned many hundreds of times in the dishwasher (possibly 3 years worth) but have not been polished.
I’ll let the photos do some talking…
I photographed them on bright white paper in bright light to really bring out all the flaws. The worst offender is the very tips of 2 forks – they are a bit dark. Essentially this is how these same pieces looked on the Christmas table about 10 days ago. And yes, I managed to remember to photo the dessert but not the silver…which if I had known I was going to write this post would have been very handy as proof of my flouting the rules of “thou shalt polish the silver prior to each special occasion”.
Let me be absolutely honest
If it wasn’t for this post I would not have bothered to polish these 6 pieces. The dark tips on the forks come and go depending on how recently we have eaten something they react to, like eggs or mayonaise that kind of thing. A few washings from now and they would have receded. However, in my spirit of benchmarking here are photos of the exact same pieces after I’ve gone over them with some polish.
Important note – “polishing” in this instance has not been a laborious, elbow grease intensive effort. I got the pieces wet and after putting some polish on the sponge that comes with the Goddards, simply wiped it up and then down the silverware, then rinsed. I used more effort drying them with the tea towel – so they didn’t leave damp marks on the white paper I was using as the photo background.
First things first, despite hundreds of cycles in the dishwasher these pieces have not been harmed in any way shape or form. No white patches, dark spots, pitting or any of the other dreaded consequences that so many of us have been warned about.
Second, have they benefitted from this polishing? It’s kind of like the difference between washing your car and washing your car then waxing it. Subtle but undeniable, but I wish I had a photo of pieces that had not been used for 2 or 3 years to see how they would have compared.
Maybe next year…
Less tangibly, but more importantly, is that my family, friends and I have had the pleasure of using these pieces every day for the last couple (several) years. It hasn’t been a hassle requiring hand washing and kid gloves.
What are your thoughts? Bueller, Bueller….