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How to Clean Door Handles

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How to Clean Door Handles

Thanks to day to day use and regular contact with our hands, door handles and doorknobs pick up their fair share of wear and tear as well as dirt, dust and grime. This is especially true when concerning metals, which have the unfortunate habit of tarnishing over time. Though some metals age better than others, for instance, an antique finish might benefit from a little battering as the years go by, there are some materials that are best kept clean and in tip-top condition.

To help you get a handle on things, the More4Doors team have put together a list of tips on how to freshen up your door furniture and fittings.

Cleaning Brass Handles & Copper Handles

Brass handles and doorknobs, along with copper handles, feature heavily in traditional homes, however, they’re also prone to tarnishing. Thankfully, this is pretty easy to rectify so long as you’re prepared to put the work in. We recommend the following solution: 

  • 1 tbsp of flour
  • 1 tbsp of salt
  • 1 tbsp of vinegar

Mix these ingredients together until it forms a paste, then rub the mixture onto the surface of your brass door handle or copper door handle. Leave it to settle for around 2-3 minutes and then remove the paste with hot, soapy water. Buff the handle or doorknob with a soft cloth that won’t scratch the metal and your door handles will look as good as new. Of course, if you’re the owner of antique brass and bronze handles, remember not to get too carried away with the buffing process! 

Cleaning Chrome Handles & Nickel Handles

That’s traditional finishes taken care of, but how about shiny metals that favour a polished, contemporary look? The likes of chrome handles as well as nickel handles and doorknobs are intended to have a burnished aesthetic, so how can you keep on top of this and ensure that your door furniture is kept looking its very best? 

Thanks to its coating, you’re able to use a simple solution of mild, soapy warm water to rub away at the handles. Follow this by drying with any kind of soft cloth such as a microfibre cloth and finish your handle maintenance with a light coating of wax to get things looking extra glossy and bright.


Cleaning Pewter Handles

Though not the most common choice of finish, pewter door handles are also prone to tarnishing and the effects of regular usage, and given the properties of this metal, they do require a bit of special attention.

Pewter is primarily comprised of tin, and like tin, it’s likely to develop a patina on its surface over time. Some people prefer this look, but it’s not always for everyone; if you’re wanting to remove the wear and tear from your pewter handles, we recommend using this simple solution: 

  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 1 cup of white vinegar
  • Add flour until the mixture forms a paste

Once you’ve achieved your paste, spread the mixture onto the pewter handle and let it rest there for up to an hour if possible. Once time’s up, rinse the paste off with clean, warm water and polish the handle dry with a soft cloth. Remember, pewter is meant to have an aged, faded look – so don’t get too carried away and polish until you can see you face in it! 


If you found out tips on cleaning door handles helpful, why not check out the rest of our handy More4Doors guides and follow our expert team over on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter?

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  • Craig Scully