Sterling silverware in dishwasher?

I did an experiment with just one of an engraved teaspoon set from my
grandmother. I used one spoon and kept it with the stainless and
washed it in the (modern) dishwasher for a few months. It had a
completely different look after some time, with a dull grey finish.
When it came time to give the teaspoon set to my niece for her
wedding present, I hand polished it on the polishing lathe in my
studio, and it matched the set again. I think the problem was the
very caustic dishwashing soap.

I also had a look at a set of silver that the owner had put in the
dishwasher, and wanted refinished because it not only had the dull
grey color, but also had lost all the darker patina in the crevices
of the design. I patinaed and hand polished one piece for her, as a
timing & pricing experiment, and gave her a bid, which she found too
expensive. Whatever. But I’m sure she could get that piece to match
the ugly dull grey set again; just keep putting it in the dishwasher!

M’lou Brubaker
Minnesota, USA