Zorra and Cathy ponder putting sterling flatware in the dishwasher.
I say "sure, go ahead".
With these reservations:
a.) no antique hollow handled knives or serving pieces, the "grout" used to hold the sterling handle to the piece loosens if put into the dishwasher or left soaking in water
b) is it a coin silver piece? if so, wash by hand to be safe
c) if you see damage to your silver after dishwasher use, stop and wash pieces by hand
d) some say that mixing aluminum and stainless with sterling in the dishwasher is what harms the flatware. I don't know about this. I separate the pieces from the few stainless pieces I use
just as I separate good prep knives to clean them on the top rack of the dishwasher.
e)I wouldn't put holloware pieces, like sterling serving trays in the dishwasher. Hot soapy water cleans well enough. The dishwasher might take out all the patina in the pattern. Ewww! Not good.
Use MAAS to clean your flatware. Grab a tube at Walgreens then find a soft lint-free cloth. Old clean t-shirts are great for cleaning sterling. Take the dingy pieces of sterling to where you watch tv and polish your silver. Multi-tasking so you can get shiny silver while filling your brain area with trashy television shows.
Use your sterling, ok? It's survived this long and when used makes even the humblest of foods taste special.
This I believe,