How to Clean Door Knobs

hand reaching for door knob
Photo: iStock
Okay, it may be completely anal, but trust us: Shiny door knobs will add a certain a certain polish to your home that will really impress your guests.

Doorknobs come in many different materials -- brass, silver and crystal, to name a few -- but what works for one knob may be too harsh or too weak for another. Here's how to treat the most common types:

Brass or Silver
For fine metal doorknobs of brass or silver, head to your local hardware store and look for a product that's specifically designed for the material. (Brasso works great on brass.) Pour the cleanser onto a slightly damp sponge and rub it on the knob using a circular motion. Allow the cleanser to dry into a haze (it will look similar to car wax), and then wipe it off with a clean, soft terry towel or rag.

Crystal (or Similar Materials)
For crystal or similar materials, try a general purpose cleaner. But find one that is generally safe for most surfaces and that does not contain solvents, which can damage metals. (Krud Kutter is one good option.) Spray the knob's surface, allow the cleanser to sit (but not dry) for a minute or two and wipe vigorously with a clean, soft towel or rag. Multiple applications may be required to get your knob sparkling, depending on how long it's been since its last polishing.

Clear Coated
Some old doorknobs are clear coated, which means the polish won't reach the knob. To polish the material underneath, you can remove clear coats using solvents like mineral spirits. But be sure to use them in well-ventilated areas. Mineral spirits and other solvents tend to have a strong odor.

Nestpert: Sheryll Campbell, Home Depot

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