How to Clean and Shine Up Your Kitchen Cabinet Hardware

In most kitchens, kitchen knobs and pulls seem to get dirty pretty darn fast. Sometimes the grime is caused by dirty fingers, but often the grime is simply an accumulation of kitchen grease and dust. Cleaning and restoring the shine to dull cabinet hardware is an easy DIY task.


Removing the hardware

Cleaning your kitchen cabinet hardware begins with removing them from the cabinets. This prevents damaging your kitchen cabinets with the cleansers but also makes it much easier to get in behind the handles to remove gunk and grime.

Both cabinet pulls and knobs are attached to the cabinet fronts with screws which can be easily removed using a standard screwdriver. Be sure to place the screws in a container so as not to lose them.

Washing the cabinet hardware

Glass, porcelain, or metal handles and knobs can be soaked in hot, soapy water for at least half an hour. After soaking, the pulls and knobs can then be wiped down with a soapy cloth to remove the grease film. For stubborn buildups of grease and gunk in the seams, use a toothbrush to clean out those hard-to-reach places. After cleaning, rinse the handles and knobs with clear water and towel dry.

If your kitchen cabinet knobs are made of painted wood, then they can not be soaked. Instead, wipe them down with a soapy rag and use the toothbrush to remove built up grime. Rinse with a clean, damp cloth and towel dry.

While the hardware is off the cabinets, this is also a good time to wipe down the kitchen cabinets and remove any built up grime that had been trapped behind the handles.

Polishing cabinet hardware

Once cleaned, the cabinet hardware should be polished to restore their shine. Polishing helps to remove surface scratch marks and will help restore a dull surface. It also helps prevent tarnishing and rust. While you can use a polish especially designed for specific metals, an all purpose polish such as Simichrome Polish from the Vermont Country Store can be used safely on all types of metals.

After the knobs and pulls have been cleaned and polished, they can be reattached to the cabinets.

Replacing damaged hardware

Sometimes cabinet hardware is too far gone or worn to be restored with a good cleaning and polishing. While it’s hard to find an exact match for your old hardware, you may be able to locate a suitable replacement at a place like Home Depot or building supply center. Be sure to bring your old hardware with you so as to match the style and size.

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