Cleaning your cabinet hardware is essential to maintain the overall cleanliness and appearance of your kitchen and or bath. With our premium cabinet hardware finishes it's likely you won't need to clean our hardware for many years. However, if you have existing hardware that you are looking to spruce up refer to our guide here. Here's a step-by-step guide to help you clean your kitchen cabinet hardware.
Luckily this process is NOT difficult. This is not rocket science and it cab be done with basic materials that most of us have with the exception of metal polish, which can be easily found online.
- Warm water
- Mild dish soap or a gentle kitchen cleaner
- Soft cloths or sponge
- Toothbrush or small brush
- Microfiber or lint-free cloth
- All-purpose cleaner (optional)
- Metal polish (if your hardware is metal)
Steps to Follows
(1) Remove Your Cabinet Hardware
If possible, remove the cabinet hardware from the cabinets. This will make the cleaning process more thorough and efficient. By doing this you are less likely to scratch the cabinets or damage the finished on the cabinets. When you are unscrewing the cabinet hardware try to apply some pressure to the screwdriver so that you do not end up stripping the screws. If the cabinet hardware still seems stuck on the cabinet even after removing the screws don't stress out. This can be normal if your builder painted the cabinets and then put the hardware on. Just apply some pressure and pop the cabinet knob or cabinet pull off.
(2) Soak in Warm, Soapy Water
Fill a basin or sink with warm water and add a few drops of mild dish soap or a gentle kitchen cleaner. Let the hardware soak for 15-20 minutes. This will help loosen any grease or grime.This helps for a number of reasons.
Softening Dirt and Grime: Warm water helps to soften and loosen accumulated dirt, grease, and grime on the cabinet hardware from the process of putting your hands on it and using it every single day. This makes it easier to remove these contaminants during the cleaning process.
Breaking Down Grease: Warm water, especially when combined with a mild dish soap, is effective at breaking down grease on your cabinet hardware. Grease is a common substance that can accumulate on kitchen cabinet hardware due to cooking vapors and hand contact. Soaking helps to emulsify and lift away grease.
Facilitating Cleaning: Soaking makes it easier to clean intricate or hard-to-reach areas, as the warm water helps to penetrate into crevices. This is particularly beneficial for cabinet hardware with intricate designs or details.
Time-Saving: Allowing the hardware to soak for a period gives the cleaning solution time to work on tough stains and build-up. This can save you effort during the scrubbing phase.
Gentle Cleaning: Soaking is a gentle method of cleaning that minimizes the need for harsh scrubbing, reducing the risk of damaging the finish or surface of the hardware.
Remember that not all cabinet hardware needs soaking, and the necessity may depend on the level of dirt and grime present. For less soiled hardware, a simple wipe-down with a soapy cloth may be sufficient. However, for heavily soiled or intricate hardware, soaking can be a helpful pre-cleaning step.
(3) Scrub with a Soft Cloth or Sponge
Use a soft cloth or sponge to gently scrub the hardware, paying attention to any areas with built-up dirt or grease. Avoid using abrasive materials that could scratch the surface. This is important for several reasons.
Abrasive materials, such as scouring pads or rough brushes, can scratch and damage the surface of the cabinet hardware. Many cabinet finishes are susceptible to scratches, and using abrasive tools can mar the appearance of the hardware.
Preserving Finishes: Cabinet hardware often comes with various finishes, such as polished, brushed, or coated surfaces. Abrasive materials can strip away these finishes, leading to a loss of luster and aesthetic appeal. Using gentle cleaning tools helps preserve the original finish.
Avoiding Corrosion and Rust: Some cabinet hardware, especially if made of metal, may be prone to corrosion or rust. Scratching the surface can compromise the protective layers and make the hardware more susceptible to environmental damage.
Preserving the Decorative Intricacies of the Design: Many cabinet hardware pieces have decorative details or intricate designs. Abrasive materials can wear down these details, diminishing the visual appeal of the hardware. Using a soft cloth or sponge allows for effective cleaning without compromising these decorative elements.
Ensuring Longevity: Cabinets and their hardware are long-term investments in a kitchen. Regular cleaning with gentle materials helps ensure the longevity of both the hardware and the cabinets themselves.
Appropriate for Different Materials: Cabinets and hardware can be made from various materials, including wood, metal, plastic, or composite materials. A soft cloth or sponge is generally suitable for cleaning a wide range of materials without causing damage. As a reminder, our cabinet hardware at Hapny Home is all made from solid brass.
(4) Use a Toothbrush for Detailing
For intricate or hard-to-reach areas, use a toothbrush or a small brush to scrub away dirt and grime. This is especially useful for decorative details or crevices. Toothbrushes are good for several reasons.
Hard to Reach Areas: Some pieces of cabinet hardware have intricacies that are hard to get without a toothbrush. There are nooks and crevices throughout the design of some more intricate designs that are more traditional. A toothbrush, with its small and narrow bristle arrangement, allows you to access these tight spaces effectively.
Removing Stubborn Stains: Stubborn stains or dried-on substances may require more targeted scrubbing. A toothbrush provides the precision needed to focus on specific spots, allowing you to remove tough stains without damaging the surrounding surface.
Gentle Cleaning in Delicate Areas: A toothbrush is generally softer than larger brushes, making it suitable for gentle cleaning in delicate or sensitive areas. This is particularly important when dealing with materials that may scratch or get damaged easily.
Minimizing the Risk of Scratches: The soft bristles of a toothbrush reduce the risk of scratching the surface of the hardware. This is crucial, especially when dealing with finishes or materials that are prone to damage from abrasive tools.
(5) Rinse Thoroughly
After scrubbing, rinse the hardware thoroughly with clean water to remove any soap residue. This is helpful for several reasons.
Preventing Buildup of Cleaning Agents: Continuous exposure to cleaning agents without proper rinsing can result in a buildup of residues. This buildup may affect the appearance of the hardware and could potentially lead to issues such as discoloration or damage to certain finishes.
(6) Dry Completely
Use a clean, dry cloth to pat the hardware dry. Make sure to dry all areas, including crevices where water may have collected. This is important to protect your hardware.
Preventing Water Stains: Water can potentially damage certain materials, especially if they are exposed to moisture for extended periods. Drying the hardware ensures that no water is left standing on the surface or in crevices, preventing potential water damage.
Avoiding Corrosion / Rust on your Hardware: For metal cabinet hardware, such as knobs or handles, thorough drying helps prevent corrosion or rust formation. Metal surfaces that remain damp are more susceptible to these issues over time.
Preserving Finishes: Some cabinet hardware has specific finishes or coatings that may be adversely affected by water. Proper drying helps preserve the integrity of these finishes and prevents water-related damage.
Preventing Discoloration: Drying prevents water from sitting on the hardware surface for an extended period, reducing the risk of discoloration or changes in appearance, particularly in materials that are sensitive to moisture.
(7) Clean the Cabinets
While the hardware is removed, take the opportunity to clean the cabinet surfaces. Wipe down the cabinet doors and surfaces with a mild cleaner or a mixture of water and a small amount of dish soap. This is important to ensure that.
Preventing Buildup: Regular cleaning of cabinet surfaces helps prevent the buildup of grease, grime, and other residues. Over time, this buildup can become more challenging to remove, and it may affect the appearance and longevity of the cabinets.
Preserving Cabinet Finish: Cabinets often have specific finishes, whether painted, stained, or coated. Regular cleaning helps preserve the integrity of these finishes, preventing damage or discoloration over time.
(8) Reattach Hardware
Once the hardware is clean and dry, reattach it to the cabinets following the manufacturer's instructions or using the appropriate screws. This part is super easy and just involves screwing in your hardware into the same holes in the cabinets it was previously in. Don't rush this process and try to do this delicately. The only risk here is we don't want to rush it and strip the screws and/or make the holes in the cabinets much bigger.
(9) Metal Polish (if applicable)
If your cabinet hardware is made of metal and has tarnished or lost its shine, you can use a metal polish to restore its luster. Follow the instructions on the polish and buff the hardware to a shine.
Maintain Finish: This step in the process is all about preserving the color and quality of your finishes.
(10) Regular Maintenance
To keep your cabinet hardware looking its best, regularly wipe it down with a damp cloth and mild cleaner. This helps prevent the buildup of dirt and grime.
Note: Always refer to the manufacturer's care instructions for specific recommendations, especially if your cabinet hardware is made of special materials or finishes.