How To Clean Kitchen Cabinet Hardware

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Cleaning kitchen cabinet hardware can be a daunting task. It’s not easy to clean kitchen cabinets, especially the ones with handles that are attached to them.

The handles get in the way of any cleaning solution and you might even scratch your cabinet if you put a finger wrong. Fortunately, there is an easy way to clean kitchen cabinet hardware without much hassle or risk of damaging anything else around it.

Let's get right into how to do this successfully.

Cleaning kitchen cabinet hardware

First things first, gather all the hardware you want to clean and then wash your hands thoroughly.

You don’t want to have oils from your skin end up on your cabinets or your cloth as they can make it harder to get a grip on the grime especially if your kitchen cabinets are made of wood.

When cleaning satin nickel, chrome, and polished brass, use a damp cloth to wipe any debris off the hardware. 

When it comes to brass hardware, avoid polishing it or it will appear worn out due to the surface friction that will inevitably occur. If you get small corrosion spots on your kitchen cabinet handles, clean them with a paste made of baking soda.  

To remove any rust from your metal hardware, soak cotton balls in white vinegar and then rub them into the rusty parts until they're gone. Use steel wool if necessary as well – although you don’t want to have too much pressure on the handles because they can crack or break easily especially if there is no grease around them to protect them.

Clean the holes in your hardware with a toothpick and look for grease build-up. Clean it with steel wool or a small wire brush if there’s too much to fit on the toothpick. To clean that, use a 1:1 ratio of vinegar and water, then flush it out by letting hot water run through the holes.

If you don’t have time to do all this, simply rinse your handles under cold running water and dry them immediately so they won’t rust back up. 

How do you clean tarnished cabinet hardware?

Instead of stripping your cabinet hardware, you can use a chrome cleaner. It will work on most types of brass, satin nickel, and polished brass. Spray it on the handle then let it soak for a few minutes until you can wipe off whatever dirt is still stuck to it.

You can also boil vinegar in water then dip a soft rag in it before using that on your handles to remove tarnish or build up grease. For stainless steel doors and knobs, use regular dishwashing liquid with hot water to clean them. 


How do you clean cabinet knobs and hinges?

The best way to clean cabinet knobs is by using a damp cloth and wiping off whatever dirt and grime are still stuck on them.

For ceramic handles, soak toothpicks in baking soda then rub them into the handles until they're shiny again. Ceramic cabinet hardware can also be cleaned with warm water or bleach if necessary. 

When you're installing your kitchen cabinets, make sure to put a protective, rust-resistant coating on the hinges. This can help with avoiding rust and dust accumulation.

To remove rust from your cabinets’ hinges, soak rags in white vinegar then wipe at the rusty spots just like you did before for the cabinet hardware. To remove dirt build-up around your hinges, soak steel wool (or copper) in vinegar then wrap it around a Q-tip. Scrub the hinges with it until you’ve removed the dirt. 

Don’t use steel wool or copper on your satin nickel or polished brass handles and knobs as they can easily strip away the plating. Instead, use a damp cloth to wipe them clean.

When cleaning stainless steel cabinet hardware, don't forget to remove any rubber gaskets before doing anything else so they won't get in the way of whatever cleaning solution you will be using. If there are any rust spots on them though, soak an old toothbrush in vinegar then scrub the rusted spots until they're gone. 

You can also brush vegetable oil over your cabinet handles and knobs (particularly those made of ceramic) to prevent them from getting worn out and discolored over time. If they do get dirty, they should be easy to clean because oils are non-greasy substances. 

How do you remove crayon marks on your cabinets?

Crayon marks can be hard to wipe off without damaging the rest of the cabinet. To clean them, use a cotton ball with some rubbing alcohol applied on it then rub at the marks until they're gone. You can also try scrubbing gently but only with a soft brush as you don’t want to scratch or damage the finish of your kitchen cabinets in any way. 

Moreover, you can try and use an eraser if possible so that you don't have to worry about scratching anything else around. If the crayon marks are on stainless steel, use hot water and soap (dish detergent) then wipe it off with a clean cloth. Don't use ammonia because it can damage your cabinets.

How do you remove rust from kitchen cabinets?

Cleaning rust from your kitchen cabinet doors and drawers is done best with vinegar and steel wool.  You might also be able to use copper or brass wire if necessary although this takes more time to finish than the other two cleaning solutions listed above.

Sprinkle baking soda on rusted areas then dip old toothbrushes in vinegar before scrubbing at them until they're no longer rusty anymore.  Rinse thoroughly so that nothing will stay behind which will probably cause more rusting after a few days. 

If you want a permanent solution to this, you can paint your kitchen cabinets hardware using a protective coating painting.

painting kitchen cabinet hardware
Image Credit: Kitchen Infinity Photo

How do you get grease off kitchen cabinet handles?         

Grease can be hard to remove from cabinet hardware but you can use an old toothbrush soaked in warm water and dishwashing liquid then scrub the grease spots with it. You can also soak rags in vinegar before wiping off the grease buildup if that works better for you. If your kitchen cabinets are made of wood, simply wipe them clean with a damp cloth.

If there is some dirt left on top of your cabinet handles after cleaning all that grease, dip a soft rag in white vinegar, then scrub gently at any remaining dirt until it's gone.

How do you clean scuff marks off your kitchen cabinets?

Scuff marks are easy to get out as long as they don’t have too much build-up on them. Use a soft rag dipped in some white vinegar to rub at the scuff marks. If there are any mildew stains, use hydrogen peroxide on top of them first then wipe it off with a cloth soaked in vinegar afterward.

Never use steel wool or copper wire on your kitchen cabinets as they can scratch away the finish very quickly. This is what tends to happen when you try using these things on satin nickel or polished brass handles and knobs.


Final thoughts on how to clean kitchen cabinet hardware

In conclusion, cleaning kitchen cabinet hardware is not that difficult if you know what to do. 

Even though there are many different instances where dirty kitchen cabinet hardware might be the issue, by using the instructions listed in this article, you’ll be able to keep your kitchen looking good for years to come.

Dino Paccino

Dino Paccino

Dino is a lifelong writer and home improvement specialist. He enjoys bringing cutting-edge information on home renovation and remodeling to Kitchen Infinity.

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