Not to get too WASPy, but if you’re going to have and use real silver trays and teapots and all that other good stuff that you inherited from your mom and grandma, you should probably give it a good polish once in a while. And while I wouldn’t exactly call it bad ETIQUETTE, serving your guests with tarnished silver pieces (especially silverware) is definitely bad hosting.
However, polishing silver is really easy, doesn’t take much time, and gives you a high level of satisfaction, making it the best kind of chore.
The first step is to go out and get some silver polish if you don’t already have it.
Read the directions for the brand you get carefully, but usually you apply the polish, rub rub rub the piece, then buff it off with a clean cloth. Sometimes you rinse with water too.
You can also buy special horsehair brushes to polish intricate details on your silver pieces. I only know this because my mom was FURIOUS when I used hers to scrape baked on gunk off a pan when I was about 13.
Once your silver is all nice and shiny you can put it out for display or store it away. If you store it, buy some Anti-Tarnish Strips and pop them into the container with the silver so it will still be all shiny when you pull it out again.