When it comes time to clean our homes or environments, it’s important to cover all the bases. You might remember to sanitize your kitchen and bathroom counters, sweep and vacuum the floors, and dust every visible area you can think of – but do you know how to clean door hardware?

Whether you’re entering the office, picking up lunch, heading to the gym, or returning home, you’re constantly using door handles, knobs, and levers. But you’re not the only one! Door handles are a bigger part of everyday life than you probably realize. High-trafficked areas like these are perfect grounds for bacteria to accumulate, and when you touch the knobs, you’re transferring that bacteria from one place to another. In this blog post, we’ll show you how to clean door knobs and handles of various finishes. Not only will you be protecting yourself and others from illness and disease, but you’ll be preserving the longevity of your hardware as well.

Stainless Steel Door Hardware

Cleaning your stainless steel door knobs is easy. All you need is water and mild soap! When caring for this kind of hardware, you never want to use store-bought cleaners containing chloride or chlorine bleach, because it can damage the steel. Steel wool or other abrasives can have the same results – they’ll leave scratches on your knobs, diminishing their appearance. If you have caked-on dirt and grime that isn’t coming off with the soap, try creating a mixture of equal parts vinegar and olive oil. WD-40 or club soda have been found to work well, too!

Brass and Copper Door Hardware

To learn how to clean brass and copper door knobs, you first have to identify the difference between solid brass and brass-plated knobs. This is an important step because these two variations have to be treated differently. A strong magnet can help you determine what kind of brass your door knob is because it will only be attracted to plated metal.

If you have solid brass or copper door knobs, you can try a few different at-home methods to clean them. One of these is a paste made of equal parts flour, salt, and vinegar. Use about a tablespoon of each to create the paste, then apply it to your knob and let it sit for a few minutes before buffing it off. Another option is to use a combination of lemon and salt. All you have to do is cut a lemon in half and spread salt around the pulp on one side. Then rub the lemon on the dirty knob. The acidity of the lemon helps erase those pesky tarnishes and dirt!

Brass-plated hardware needs to be handled more gently. Scrubbing too hard or using too harsh of chemicals can end up removing the plating. Soap and water should work for most cleanings, but you can use ammonia or a mild brass cleaner if it’s not getting the job done. But if the hardware is lacquered, stick to the soap and water.

Pewter Door Hardware

Cleaning pewter door hardware is super easy! Simply rubbing the knobs with plain vinegar will get them to look shiny and new in no time. If you want to try something old-fashioned, you can use white cabbage leaves to bring out the original shine. If you have extremely tarnished pewter knobs, you can use 0000 steel wool dipped in olive oil to gently scrub the areas. Wash and rinse the knob, then buff it dry, and you’re good to go!

Sterling Silver and Silver Plated Door Hardware

Everyone loves the beautiful look of sterling silver door knobs, but they tarnish easily. Most store-bought general-purpose cleaners will work well with this kind of hardware, but there are other options to try, too. For an at-home method, just grab an aluminum tray, fill it with a cup of baking soda, and place the knob in it. Then cover them with boiling water and watch as the tarnish disappears! Now your knob is both clean and disinfected. After the water cools, simply remove the knobs, dry them, and finish the job with a little polish to restore the shine.

Glass, Crystal, and Clear Plastic Door Knobs

Glass, clear plastic, and crystal door knobs can typically be cleaned with all-purpose cleaners, so whichever one you have on hand can usually do the trick. Naturally formulated cleaners work better than harsh ones, though, so try to use those when you can.

Additional Door Hardware

Knobs, handles, and levers aren’t the only hardware on your door that needs cleaning. Have you ever noticed that black dust from your hinges? It’s caused by the pieces of metal rubbing together, and it’s pretty common, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t need to be cleaned! Try adding some lubrication with lithium grease. It most likely won’t eliminate the problem, but it can help slow down the process. Cheaper hinges tend to leave more dust than others, so investing in higher-quality hardware might be the way to go.