It’s safe to say that most of us learned a thing or two about cleaning and disinfecting objects, surfaces and other areas in our homes during the last 3 years. Some of us may even be self proclaimed experts! This isn’t a bad thing though, especially when you consider how many hands touch the various surfaces in our home. One of the highest touch points are door handles, both indoor and outdoor ones. The more people you live with, the more hands opening and closing the doors. If you add kids’ little germ-y and sticky fingers into the mix, you realize even more how beneficial of a habit it is to be regularly cleaning your door handles! Read on for tips on how best to tackle this and have your door handles or knobs - no matter the material they’re made from - always looking their best.
1. BRASS AND COPPER
Before cleaning your brass hardware, you need to first determine if it’s solid brass or brass plated. The best way to do this is with a magnet. Magnets will not stick to solid brass, so if you find it sticking, you have a brass plated handle.
For your solid brass or copper handles, you can make a paste with equal parts salt, vinegar, and flour. Start with approximately 1 tablespoon of each ingredient. Gently rub the paste over the handle and let it sit for a few minutes before removing it with hot soapy water. Finish by buffing the handle with a soft nonabrasive cloth.
Another method you can try is to cut a lemon in half and spread some salt over it. Then use the lemon on your brass or copper handles to scrub away any dirt, germs or tarnishes. Follow up with a wipe from a clean soft cloth.
If you have brass plated hardware, it needs to be treated more gently so as to not remove any of the plating. Warm soapy water and a soft cloth are your best bet.
2. STAINLESS STEEL
The easiest and safest way to clean your stainless steel handles is mild soap and warm water. However, if you have some more stubborn stuck on residue or grime, you can first try applying a mix of equal parts olive oil and vinegar to the hardware.An interesting side note:
Brass handles disinfect themselves after approximately eight hours, whereas stainless steel handles never do. Therefore, brass hardware will require less cleaning and disinfecting overall!3. STERLING SILVER AND SILVER PLATED
Sterling hardware tarnishes extremely easily. Although requiring more effort, a great cleaning tip is to remove the handles altogether and place them in an aluminum tray filled with one cup of baking soda. Then cover the handles with boiling water and you will see the tarnish and residue quickly fall away. Afterwards, let the product cool, then you can dry and polish the handles with a soft cloth before replacing them back on your door(s).
You can generally clean your glass, crystal and clear plastic door hardware with any all purpose cleaning product you have at home. Keep in mind though that more naturally derived cleansers will be better for the life of your hardware over chemical laden ones. You can also fill a spray bottle with a mixture of 2 parts water to one part white vinegar for a more natural cleaning alternative.
OVERALL DO’S AND DONT’S
Do use a microfiber cloth to wipe away any dirt, debris and dust before cleaning
Do clean from side to side and top to bottom
Do dry handles from top to bottom to avoid streaks
Do use a higher quality dish soap. Cheaper soaps may have salt in them which can tarnish your door handles
Do give your door handles a good wipe once or twice a week, and a more thorough cleaning when they look tarnished or once every month or two
Don’t use any harsh chemicals (ex. bleach) or products with chloride
Don’t use scrubby sponges or steel wool
Don’t use an oven cleaner
Don’t clean your exterior door handles when they have been sitting in the hot sun for hours
Having just moved our clocks forward, the promise of longer days and warm sunny skies is just around the corner. With that, we start to think of Spring cleaning. Given that our door handles harbour lots of dirt, grime and germs, they are a definite must to be added on the cleaning to-do list! We hope you learned how to easily and properly care for your door handles and always keep them looking their best.
Keep in mind however, over time your handles may not look as good as they once did, no matter how well you clean them. At that point, it will be time to purchase new ones! Visit our products page https://explorehardware.com/collections to start shopping from our beautiful selection of door handles and other hardware!