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How to Clean and Care for Your Hardware

If you want your hardware's finish to look brand-new for years to come, follow these easy care instructions:

Brass Accents A04-P3220 Fleur De Lis Solid Brass Push Plate

Lacquered and Clear-Coated Finishes

  • Finishes such as polished brass should be cleaned every few weeks, especially in harsh conditions such as the highly salty air of coastal regions. To clean, use a soft, damp cloth to wipe away dirt and residue. A mild soap can be used if necessary. Once clean, wipe the hardware dry with a soft cloth. You may also apply a thin layer of a non-caustic wax, such as carnauba car wax, to help reduce the appearance of shallow scratches and protect the finish for a long-lasting shine.

Fusion BQ-G1 Oil Rubbed Bronze Rainier Lever with Arched Rose

Non-Lacquered or Living Finishes

  • Living finishes such as a true oil-rubbed bronze will change with time. Normal use will slowly remove some of the finish to reveal the brass underneath. To clean, wipe with a soft, damp cloth but do not scrub unless you wish to speed-up the natural aging process. A thin layer of oil, such as vegetable oil, can be applied to help prolong the original finish. Follow up on this process by applying a non-caustic, clear paste wax. It is important to note that the finish on all non-lacquered hardware, especially in high-traffic areas, will change over time regardless of the care given.

AHI SIG409-610-630 24 Inch Contemporary Stainless Steel Door Handle

Stainless Steel Finishes

  • Cleaning stainless steel door hardware is much like cleaning lacquered hardware of any other material. For the best looking door pulls and knobs, wipe down each piece regularly with a soft, damp cloth. This is especially true for hardware installed on exterior doors. A mild cleaner maybe used if necessary. Polish with a non-caustic wax, carnauba wax can be used here too, to help restore the beautiful shine.

No matter what finish or material you have, door hardware should never be cleaned with caustic cleaners such as paint removers, tooth paste, or drain cleaners. Never use steel wool or stiff-bristled scrub brushes on your hardware as it can damage the finish and expose the base metal, allowing it to corrode. Scrubbing with rough brushes and cloths can also scratch polished hardware, damaging the finish.

Also see Hardware Finish Colors to view the finish choices from the leading manufactures plus Finish Color Differences to view the dramatic differences between Polished, Satin and Antique colors of door hardware.

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