Mix in a cup or saucer a paste of powdered magnesia, and the best and clearest lamp oil, (whale oil,) and cover with this paste the silver that is to be cleaned. Let it rest a quarter of an hour or more; applying the paste to all the articles you intend cleaning before you begin to remove it from any one of them. Afterwards wipe it off, entirely, with a soft linen rag, and then proceed to polish the plate with a soft buckskin, and some dry magnesia. Finish with a silk handkerchief. The longer you rub, the brighter will be the silver, but you must change frequently to clean parts of the buckskin. If the silver has much chasing or ornamental frost-work, it may be necessary to take a small soft brush to clean out all the hollows and crevices. But, if possible, avoid using a brush, as it wears the silver thin.
Silver may be kept continually bright with very little trouble, by cleaning it three times a-week, or every day, with dry magnesia rubbed on with a bit of clean shaggy canton flannel that has never been washed. Scraps and clippings of woollen flannel should never be used for cleaning plate, as its roughness may scratch it.
Dark stains on silver or gold may be immediately removed (however bad) by the application of a little sulphuric acid poured into a saucer and rubbed on with a soft rag. Then polish with magnesia and canton flannel.
The colour of silver will always be injured by keeping it in a room where there is a coal fire.
The cases of gold or silver watches may be cleaned, as above, with powdered magnesia and canton flannel.