How To Clean Hardware

When cleaning furniture it is often easy to overlook the hardware, but it's amazing how even recently cleaned pieces of furniture can look even better by cleaning the knobs, pulls, handles and hinges. Most hardware can be cleaned in one of two ways. It can either be taken off and cleaned, or cleaned in place. Glass and porcelain knobs can be cleaned with Windex or a soft cloth saturated with warm, soapy water. Locks and catches are often overlooked, but they can build up a layer of dirt and grime and don't function as well. The magnets fail to make a solid connection when they are dirty, causing doors to swing open. Wipe them with a cloth or sponge dipped in warm soapy water and squeezed almost dry. Brass pulls, handles and hinges can be cleaned using commercially available cleaners, but always check the label to make sure that they are safe for the kind of metal in your hardware. You can also use a hand cleaner made with a mineral spirit base as long as it doesn't contain pumice. To clean hardware, rub the cleaner or hand cleaner on with fine steel wool size 0000 or a sponge or cloth. Use small circular motions. Wipe dry with a clean, dry, soft cloth. If hardware is taken off to be cleaned, spray with a clear gloss lacquer. Make sure it is completely dry before replacing. This will seal it and prevent the brass from tarnishing. If hardware is left in place, use a small art brush and seal it with shellac, being careful not to get it on the wood.

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