How to Clean Cabinet Hardware

Your cabinet knobs and drawer pulls are some of the most touched surfaces in your home. From reaching through the sock drawer to grabbing a glass out of the cupboard, you’re always opening and closing your drawers and cabinets. Just like countertops and floors, your cabinet hardware should be on your cleaning list.

Luckily, you don’t have to clean hardware every day or week like some of the other areas around the home. Tackling them with a deep clean once every 1-2 months keeps them looking brand new for years.

There are a couple common cleaning methods we recommend when working with cabinet knobs and drawer pulls.

Soap and Water Method

Simple enough, right? In a large bowl, add warm water and a squirt or two of dish soap. Move the water around with your hands until you see suds.

Using a rag or dish towel, dampen the cloth with the soapy water mixture and wring it out. You want it to be wet but not dripping.

Wipe down the cabinet hardware with the towel. The first time you do this you might have to use a little elbow grease to take off any grime that’s built up.

After you wipe down all the hardware, rinse the towel in clean water and wring out. Go over all the hardware again to remove any soap residue. Don’t skip this step – if you don’t rinse off the soap, it could leave watermarks and make them look dirtier than before.

Lastly, for a little extra shine, use a microfiber cloth to polish it.

Vinegar Based Method

Another simple solution you can make with common household items is a vinegar cleaner. Simply take 1:1 ratio of distilled white vinegar and water and mix them in a spray bottle. Spray a rag or dish towel with the solution. Just like the soap and water method, you don’t want it dripping so make sure it’s just damp enough.

Wipe down all the hardware and then use a microfiber cloth to buff it for an extra polish.

Soaking Method

This cleaning method takes a little more time but might be needed if your cabinet hardware is very dirty and hasn’t been cleaned in a while. It also works well if you are cleaning older hardware.

Unscrew all the cabinet hardware. To do this, simply take a screwdriver (usually a Phillips Head) and untwist from the back of the cabinet or drawer.

Separate the screws from the knobs and pulls. You shouldn’t have to soak the screws unless they are in bad shape.

Fill a large bucket or sink with hot water and dish soap. Again, you’re looking for a good amount of suds.

Place all the hardware in the bucket or sink and let the hardware sit for 4-6 hours.

Remove the hardware one piece at a time. Using a soft toothbrush or sponge, scrub the piece until any remaining dirt or grime is gone. Lay the finished hardware on a clean towel to dry completely.

Once dry, re-install the knobs and pulls on the doors and drawers.