Real Simpleanswers your questions.

By Real Simple
Updated March 04, 2009

Q. My 18/10 stainless-steel flatware has changed in color. Can I bring back the original shine, or should I just purchase a new set?

Peggy Wong

Anthem, Arizona

A. While 18/10 stainless-steel flatware is made to last a long time without changing color, many years of daily use and washing will take their toll. The nickel in the steel creates the shine, and when it wears away, discoloration happens. Unfortunately, even polishing can’t return the original luster, but some of the discoloration can be removed. Just give each piece an extra scrubbing with soap and water followed by a food-safe stainless-steel polish. (Steer clear of abrasive rags and cleaners, as these will scratch.)

If the discoloration won’t budge, you can still use the stainless steel safely. Should you decide to purchase a new, shiny set, consider swapping it out from time to time with other pieces to prolong the original polished look.

―Nykia Spradley

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