If you’re a homeowner, you understand how outdoor projects can accumulate by the end of winter. Whether you have dirty windows, weather-damaged siding, or out-of-date storm doors, spring is the perfect time to spruce up your home’s facade. If you’re looking to take it a step further with remodeling and live in the Baltimore, MD, or Washington, DC area, contact Master Seal for all your windows and doors needs. Our friendly team is standing by to discuss our range of products and services, including an array of storm door hardware options. Call 855.608.1580 or reach out online for more information or free price quotes. In the meantime, check out these handy tips for cleaning your exterior door hardware.
How to Clean Brass-Plated Doorknobs
Brass doorknobs are some of the most attractive and classic pieces of hardware a home can feature. If you’re the lucky owner of brass doorknobs, keep them looking their best with a little TLC. While a specially formulated commercial brass cleaner will make for the easiest and fastest cleaning option, there are also many do-it-yourself choices.
The main things to keep in mind are to remove any jewelry before you get started to avoid scratching the metal and to use only soft cloths or soft-bristle toothbrushes for the process. Also, before applying any formulas to cut through tarnish, give your brass doorknob a simple wipe-down with dish soap and water.
Here are a few home brass cleaning remedies you can easily whip up from ingredients probably in your fridge and pantry right now:
- Squeeze the juice from half a lemon into a small bowl and stir a teaspoon of baking soda into it until you have a paste. Use a soft rag to apply this to your doorknob and let it sit for half an hour, then rinse it off using warm water.
- Make a paste from equal parts white vinegar, salt, and all-purpose flour, apply it, and let it sit for a full hour, then rinse off and dry.
- Take advantage of the natural acids in tomatoes by applying tomato sauce, paste, or even ketchup to your tarnished doorknob and letting it sit for a full hour, then rinsing it using warm water and soap.
How to Clean Tarnished Chrome Door Handles
Chrome finish is an attractive and increasingly popular choice for exterior door handles, but it requires some extra care since chrome is a soft metal and, thus, somewhat easily damaged. For this reason, try gentle home cleaning options before resorting to any stronger chemicals. If you require something more hard-hitting, always look for a product specifically formulated for chrome. If desired, after cleaning, a natural wax can be applied to your chrome hardware to increase its shine and add a level of protection against future damage or grime.
To get you started, here are a few easy-to-make chrome cleaners that will likely get the job done for you in a flash:
- Dish soap and warm tap water applied using soft cloths are often enough to remove dirt from chrome hardware. However, avoid any lower-end dish soaps that may contain salts since these can cause future tarnishing.
- Use a 1-1 water and vinegar solution on your chrome handle and apply it using a soft sponge or soft-bristled toothbrush. Wipe all of the solution away with a cloth dampened only in water when you’re done.
- Lay down a newspaper or rag to catch drips and pour a little Diet Coke over the chrome door handle and rub it in with a soft cloth. Surprising as it sounds, this beverage is great for cleaning chrome because the carbonation and citric acids can effectively break up rust and tarnish and remove stains. Diet rather than regular Coke is a good choice because it’s less sticky and, therefore, easier to wipe away afterward.
How to Clean Stainless Steel Door Handles
While stainless steel doesn’t rust, it can develop discoloration called “tea staining.” Fortunately, this brownish-yellow corrosion only affects the topmost layer of the steel and doesn’t reflect any damage to the hardware’s structural integrity. It’s also easy to remove using any of the homemade cleaners below. In all cases, remember to apply cleaners along existing polish lines of the metal and use only soft materials like cloth rags or sponges, never steel wool or cleaners including chlorine bleach or chloride.
Here are a few easy home cleaners to try on your stainless handles:
- Dish soap and warm water may be all that’s needed to clean this beautiful and resilient metal. Apply it along its grain using a sponge or rag and wipe it clean and dry.
- If your handle has stubborn grime or scuffs, apply a 1-1 solution of olive oil and white vinegar, then wipe away with a clean cloth.
- Club soda can also do the trick if soap and water aren’t enough to cut through clinging grime. A little goes a long way, so try just a small amount to start.
To make your cleaning accomplishments last longer, purchase a conditioner intended for stainless steel to give it a protective coat and additional shine.
Learn More About Cleaning Metal Door Handles and Replacing Hardware at Master Seal in Rosedale, MD Today
Remember, a home’s front door is like its handshake, so start the summer right with freshly cleaned and polished hardware. Looking for more tips or remodeling assistance in the Baltimore area? Call Master Seal at 855.608.1580 or send us a message online. Our Rosedale windows and doors specialists are eager to help.