Flatware comes in a variety of materials including stainless steel, sterling silver, and metals combined with other materials like resin, wood, and plastic.
Stainless steel flatware
For daily use, please look for stainless steel cutlery. Stainless steel flatware is mainly made of chromium and nickel, which is durable and corrosion-resistant. When buying stainless steel cutlery, you will notice numbers such as 18/10, 18/8 or 18/0, which represent the percentage of chromium (first number) and nickel (second number) in the metal.
Many experts recommend choosing 18/10 stainless steel because the nickel content improves durability and adds a soft silver luster to the tableware. This is also the reason why flatware is more expensive.
However, this number is not all, most reputable manufacturers sell flatware that is durable and rust-resistant, regardless of the type of stainless steel used. If you are looking for durable goods with great value for money, 18/0 is still a good choice; you will not get the highly polished surface and excellent rust resistance provided by nickel.
Stamped vs. forged stainless steel
You may also notice the product description mention whether the flatware is stamped or forged. Stamped stainless is cut out like a cookie cutter from a big piece of stainless steel, while forged flatware is made from a heated block of steel that's pounded into shape. Because of the heating process, forged flatware is much more durable than stamped. If the product description doesn't include if it's stamped or forged, compare the knife blade to the handle. If they are similar in thickness and lightweight, then it is likely to be stamped and it will not be as durable as forging in daily use.
Sterling silver is also very durable, but it is more expensive than stainless steel and needs to be polished because it loses its luster and forms a dark coating over time when exposed to gas in the air. We think stainless steel is the best choice for most people, but if you are a collector or like retro aesthetics, you can choose sterling silver. If properly maintained, a set of 925 sterling silver suits can be used for many years, add value, and become a family heirloom that you can pass on from generation to generation.
How to care?
The best way to care for flatware is to hand-wash and dry it. If a flatware set cannot be washed in the dishwasher, it is because the temperature of the water mixed with the dishwasher detergent is very high. There is an electric heating element at the bottom of the dishwasher, which can be heated to almost boiling. This is used together with dishwasher detergent, which is a high-temperature corrosive detergent (stronger than dishwashing detergent) and can remove food without scrubbing. And debris. High temperature and detergent will remove the natural patina and discolor the tableware.
Hand washing isn't realistic for many people, though. You can do a few things to make sure your flatware stays in the best shape possible even if you're using the dishwasher. Oneida, a flatware brand, offers a few tips on loading your flatware in a dishwasher:
• Load forks and spoons with the handles down and tines and bowls up.
• Put the sharp side of the knife down in a separate basket to avoid potential scratches
• Remove flatware after the last rinse cycle and dry them by hand, as the hot air will cause corrosion over time.
• If your flatware is discolored due to hard water, please use a high-quality stainless steel polish and follow the instructions.
We suggest: you shouldn't soak flatware in water for a long time, and avoid prolonged contact with tea, coffee, eggs, mayonnaise, vinegar and salt, because the acid and protein in these foods will corrode the tableware. Avoid using strong detergents, especially those containing citrus flavor additives, and do not pour the detergent directly on the dishes. Following these steps will help you extend the life of the flatware.