Cleaning your door and cabinet hardware
How to clean your cabinet handles and door knobs
Here's our guide to cleaning different finishes offered at Spark and Burnish.
In general we would not recommend using any harsh solvents or abrasive cleaners with any of our products as this would affect the protective coatings such as plating, powdercoating, wax and lacquer.
For most of these finishes a damp microfiber soft cloth and very mild dishwashing detergent is all that is recommended, taking care that nothing contains bleach.
SOLID COPPER, BRASS AND BRONZE
These finishes are antimicrobial by nature and will disinfect themselves in 4 hours so we highly recommend these finishes if you are worried about cold and flu season. The antimicrobial properties have been demonstrated by an extensive body of research.
Copper and its alloys Brass and Bronze are susceptible to tarnishing when they are not lacquered, known as a 'living finish'. To work out if its solid brass put a magnet next to your handle, if it sticks then it is not solid bass.
There are a few options for cleaning unlacquered products:
- Create a paste from equal parts of flour, white distilled vinegar and salt. Gently rub the paste onto your handles and allow it to remain for a few minutes before buffing the paste off with a soft cloth
- Take a ripened lemon cut in half and coat the exposed inside pulp with salt. Rub the coated surface upon your brass or copper to scrub away dirt, bacteria and tarnish, then follow up with a cotton cloth to remove any residue.
After cleaning your unlacquered handles, you can protect them from future tarnishing by rubbing a thin layer of olive, lemon, linseed, or mineral oil over them. Just dab a clean cloth or paper towel in an oil of your choice, then rub it along the surface of the brass handles.
For 'Lacquered' or 'Polished' finishes we would recommend to remove surface dust with a soft cloth then use a very mild solution of soapy water. Once clean dry with a soft cloth
A light coating of natural wax will then give them an extra bit of protection. Keep this up on a monthly basis, and your door handles will last much longer. Most manufacturers will only give a 12-month warranty on lacquered finishes, so this is well worth doing to keep your handles looking fresh and shiny and well maintained.
Never use commercial or harsh cleaners on this finish as this will damage them.
BRASS PLATED IRON, STEEL OR ZINC
These should only be cleaned with warm soapy water and a soft microfiber cloth. Rough polishing or using abrasives is likely to remove the brass plating and damage your hardware.
Our blackened steel products are sealed with oil and wax, which over time are not impervious to moisture. These finishes allow the metals to age naturally and develop their own character and patina through time and through use. They are essentially “live” finishes that breathe.
For light cleaning, they can be wiped with a slightly damp rag, and buffed immediately with a dry cloth. Never use bleach, ammonia, or other aggressive household cleansers. Something very mild like diluted Dawn dishwashing liquid is OK. To maintain the original luster, the wax finish can be refreshed with a light application of Trewax or a similar carnauba paste wax, perhaps every six months or so, depending on location and level of use. For treatment of minor corrosion or surface rust, we recommend rubbing the affected area lightly with very fine Scotch Brite, and re-sealing with a lightly buffed coating of carnauba paste wax. Used aggressively, Scotch Brite or other abrasives may scratch or remove some of the blackened patina under the wax.
Be careful using household cleaning products with stainless steel. To avoid damaging surfaces make sure products do not contain chlorine bleach or chloride. Avoid using abrasives such as steel wool and avoid warm water. Best to use a soapy, damp soft cloth and then rinse with clean water. However, for stuck on gunk or stubborn residue, you can create a mixture of equal parts of olive oil and vinegar.
You can also douse a cloth with a bit of lemon oil furniture polish, soda, or WD-40 and rub it into your door knobs and hinges until they are spotless.
PLASTIC (applies to our Ocean Plastic collection)
Most general purpose cleaners can be used however be careful with strong solvents. Just spray a bit onto the surface, let it soak for a minute and then dry and polish with a clean cloth.
A damp cloth and mild detergent is all that is required. The finishes may chip with rough handling so take care.