storing silver in zip lock plastic bags

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DianaGaleM
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storing silver in zip lock plastic bags

Postby DianaGaleM » Tue Jul 15, 2014 11:49 pm

Does it harm silverware to store it in zip-lock plastic bags?

JLDoggett
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Re: storing silver in zip lock plastic bags

Postby JLDoggett » Wed Jul 16, 2014 12:02 am

Only if completely wrapped in a couple of layers of acid-free tissue.

DianaGaleM
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Re: storing silver in zip lock plastic bags

Postby DianaGaleM » Wed Jul 16, 2014 3:24 am

Thanks, I was afraid that would be too easy a solution. Can you tell me what it does to the pieces? Are zip-locks safe for goldplate or stainless?

JLDoggett
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Re: storing silver in zip lock plastic bags

Postby JLDoggett » Wed Jul 16, 2014 11:52 pm

As plastic ages it off-gasses sulfur and acidic fumes that can leave permanent marks on metal stored in them.

AG2012
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Re: storing silver in zip lock plastic bags

Postby AG2012 » Sun Sep 07, 2014 3:41 pm

Some of my gilded Anton Michelsen Christmas spoons were sealed in plastic bags decades ago and still not a single spot of tarnish.If it stays like this for another 20 years they will probably survive me. Unfortunately it seems the air we breath has more acid fumes than emitted by decomposed plastic bags.

DianaGaleM
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Re: storing silver in zip lock plastic bags

Postby DianaGaleM » Mon Sep 08, 2014 5:59 am

Thank you for your input. I do have a conundrum...

I would call my collection a "thematic" one. That is, rather than collecting many pieces of one pattern, I'm collecting single settings of many patterns, often one piece at a time for rarer patterns. This collection does not lend itself to storage in a standard silver chest or in wraps, in part because, if stored that way, I cannot quickly see what I do and don't have.

What I would love to find is cheap "liners" for individual settings, such as these:

Image

Image

The "amorphous" one is actually better because it's more flexible. I don't suppose there's anything out there that consumers could purchase that would be similar.

In the meantime, I've been storing them in zip-lock bags to keep them from getting mixed up. I've done this for several years with no apparent effect, but I worry about the long-term consequences.

Diana

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Re: storing silver in zip lock plastic bags

Postby DianaGaleM » Wed Nov 19, 2014 7:14 pm

Not wanting to seem argumentative by bringing this up again, but...

I just had occasion to pull out a place-setting of silver-plated flatware manufactured in the 1950s that I had the good luck to find "new in box" a few years ago. I want to photograph the set, but it would mean breaking open the individual plastic tubes/bags in which each piece is sealed. So, rather belatedly (duh), it dawned on me ...

These pieces have been in plastic bags for at least 50 years, and it doesn't appear to have had any detrimental effect on them. They aren't even tarnished. Then it further dawned on me that almost every piece of new silverware I've bought or used pieces I've bought from a well-known seller of "replacements" has been encased in an individual plastic bag, either heat-sealed or zip-locked – most with a bar code label stuck to the outside either by the manufacturer or the dealer.

Some of these items were likely stored for years this way before I bought them, and virtually all of them have been stored this way since I purchased them. None of the pieces I have, so far, show any signs of being damaged by being stored in plastic bags. So...

Does anyone know of a source for these long, skinny plastic bags (zip-locked or heat sealing), so I don't have to use bulky "sandwich bags"?

AG2012
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Re: storing silver in zip lock plastic bags

Postby AG2012 » Thu Nov 20, 2014 7:08 am

Hoping I understood well.
Small, real zip-locked plastic bags are not available as far as I can tell. But you can easily search for small ploypropylene or polythene
`` reclosable ziplock bags`` in various sizes. Although often described as Ziplock Bags there is actually no zipper and they are closed by pressing groove to a corresponding ridge, so better term should be ``grip seal``.
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DianaGaleM
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Re: storing silver in zip lock plastic bags

Postby DianaGaleM » Thu Nov 20, 2014 9:58 am

"Zip-lock" is a commercial brand of household plastic bags here in the U.S. that work as you describe: by pressing a ridge on one flap into a groove on the other. I probably shouldn't have used the brand name, though it's rather like Americans using "Kleenex" as a generic term for facial tissues, regardless of the brand. The company that invents and establishes the product has the benefit of their product name becoming "immortalized" in the language as the general term for the product. If I said "grip seal" to most Americans, I'd get a blank look. If I say, "Zip-lock," they know exactly what I mean.

I found a source for small ones, but in the proportions of 2x3, 3x5, and 4x6 inches, intended for packaging jewelry and crafts items. So far I haven't found long, narrow ones, but I'll keep looking.

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Re: storing silver in zip lock plastic bags

Postby JLDoggett » Sat Nov 22, 2014 3:12 am

I have observed over the years that all plastic bags are not the same. Some are fairly inert others off-gas excessively. I never recommend them for fear of someone getting the off-gassing ones and damaging their pieces. I suggest if someone wants to see how stable the plastic is: fold several sheets of printer paper and put them in a bag, zip it closed and leave in a drawer for a couple of months. Some bags will cause the paper to yellow, others will not. If the paper yellows never use those bags, it it does not change, use if you must. I will cringe in silence.

DianaGaleM
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Re: storing silver in zip lock plastic bags

Postby DianaGaleM » Sat Nov 22, 2014 5:21 am

I've found a source for plastic "reclosable" (zip-lock/grip-seal) bags in a huge variety of sizes, including some elongate ones that would be good for storing individual pieces of flatware (e.g., from 2 or 3 inches wide and from 4 to 12 inches long). The manufacturer's specs show these are 100% low density polyethylene; FDA and USDA approved; and free of sulphur, latex, BHT, amide, amine, and silicone.

I just checked the Ziploc web site. The only ingredients in their sandwich bags are Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE) and Linear Low Density polyethylene (LLDPE), plus two dyes for color. The FDA has approved both LDPE and LLDPE for use in contact with food.

I've had silverware stored in Ziplocs for years without problems, so it sounds like as long as the bags are 100% LDPE, they should be OK to use. Still, if I get an assortment of these, I'll store some scrap silver in them for awhile to see how they fare, then let you know. Or does paper show the reaction more quickly?

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Re: storing silver in zip lock plastic bags

Postby JLDoggett » Sat Nov 22, 2014 11:04 pm

I would say the paper reacts much more slowly, but better yellowed paper than heavily oxidized silver.

Wolfrott
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Re: storing silver in zip lock plastic bags

Postby Wolfrott » Mon Nov 16, 2015 12:17 am

Yes, plastic bags release gases so it's pretty harmful.

Acid free paper and cotton wraps work best.

DianaGaleM
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Re: storing silver in zip lock plastic bags

Postby DianaGaleM » Mon Nov 16, 2015 9:11 am

Yes, that is the traditional view, but the fact is only some kinds of plastic bags release harmful gases. Not all do.

As long as you make certain the bags you are using are 100% low density polyethylene — approved for food storage — it appears you can safely store silver in them.

Certainly, if you don't know what kind of plastic the bag is made of, I wouldn't use it.

samtron76df
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Re: storing silver in zip lock plastic bags

Postby samtron76df » Wed Jan 04, 2017 3:12 pm

New to the forums but have experienced negative results with storing silver in a zip lock bag - the type that has white writing on it and a white space for you to mark the bag. This area of the bag was in contact with a piece of silver we own and left it discolored to the point where it left a mark which will not come out. It is almost as if the chemicals in the dye used in printing leached into the silver. Pretty much ruined the piece imho. Caution if using zip lock bags and I won't ever use them again.

AG2012
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Re: storing silver in zip lock plastic bags

Postby AG2012 » Thu Jan 05, 2017 9:53 am

@ samtron76df
Hi,
If you stored sterling silver do not worry. Whatever chemical could not penetrate deep enough to etch the surface beyond repair.
Just use non abrasive polish and soft cloth and clean it again and again. Ugly marks will eventually disappear. Buffing wheel does the job much faster.
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DianaGaleM
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Re: storing silver in zip lock plastic bags

Postby DianaGaleM » Sat Jan 07, 2017 3:07 pm

Well, I think we'd all agree that it's better not to get marks on your silverware in the first place, especially if it's silver plate.

I have some silver plate that got marked by rubber bands, and no amount of gentle treatment has removed them. As it stands, I'd rather put up with the marks than wear off the silver layer entirely.

Anyone have a cure for these marks that doesn't involve wearing them off?


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