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How To Clean Cabinet Hardware The Easy Way

May 18, 2020

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Here's the easiest way to clean kitchen cabinet hardware without scrubbing or soaking.

This quick tip with keep your drawer cup pulls and cabinet knobs looking brand new without a ton of effort.

A Clean and Dirty Kitchen Cup Pull

I think it's fair to say that taking pictures has become a national pastime.

Food, seems like everyone's obsessed with snapping shots and sharing them.

Clearly, I'm addicted, as well.

Just look around.

However, sometimes when I'm peeking at life through the lens, I catch something unexpected. Something I've never noticed before.

Something I would never want to share.

Especially when I happen to be the subject matter. Yikes.

Where did that wrinkle come from? Or that patch of gray hair? How long has it been there? And why haven't I seen it before?

I can't imagine I'm alone.

I actually had one of these moments earlier in the week. No, it wasn't my face that shocked me, although my roots are getting there.

No, it was the state of the cup pulls on the kitchen cabinets.

I had been photographing my brand new sink skirt, when I suddenly caught one of those dreadfully dirty pulls in my shot.

Bisque Kitchen Drawers With Traditional Silver Cup Pulls

Whoa. When did that happen?? How did they get so black and discolored?

And how is it that I hadn't noticed this before?

Well, the honest answer is that normally, I'm on the go. A lot. And not really paying attention to the disparity in color between the cup pulls and the cabinet knobs.

However, when the light - and my attention - was focused on them, it was glaringly obvious that the hardware no longer matched.

And I decided that that would simple not do.

So I put the camera down and thought about my predicament. I'd been down this road with those pulls before. I scrubbed and wiped and cleaned and buffed with marginal results.

I tried ammonia, baking soda, vinegar, soap and water and even hit them with a toothbrush.

And I didn't want to do any of that ever again.

So, I did what any decor obsessed, homebound girl would do. I hit up Google and queried, how to clean metal cup pulls...and you won't believe the answer.

Apparently, the best and easiest way to shine them up, remove the darkened residue and bring then back to life was by wiping them down with something like Bar Keeper's Friend...or Cerama Bryte.

My favorite cleaner.

Cerama Bryte Cleaner Bottle on a dirty white stove next to paper towels

Seriously, is there anything that stuff can't do? I'm considering buying their stock, since I feel like I use it in every room.

I clean my glass stovetop, my stainless steel cookware and my kitchen sink.  

I even use it to clean my glass shower doors.

And now I use it to clean up the metal hardware in my kitchen. I kid you not.

At the risk of sounding like infomercial for the stuff, yet again, I decided to share my process in case someone else had the same grimy pulls.

I mean, I'm sure you don't, but maybe you have a friend who could use the tip.

Here's what I did.

Before And After Cleaning Dirty Silver Kitchen Pulls

How To Clean Cabinet Hardware

1. Remove The Hardware From The Cabinet

Pretty self explanatory right? Just grab a screwdriver and go.

I actually used a four in one number.

It's just easier to have all the heads I need on hand in the kitchen junk drawer in one tool.

A Screwdriver Unscrewing Kitchen Cup Pulls Inside A Drawer

2. Wipe With Cerama Bryte And A Rag

I'm a creature of habit, so I poured a tiny bit of Cerama Bryte on to a blue scratch free scrubby pad and gently worked away the grime.

It was a super fast process. It cleaned away any grease and sticky stuff in seconds. 

*You might want try it in an inconspicuous spot first. You know, just to make sure it isn't going to damage the finish in any way. It worked perfectly on mine.

Wiping Down Metal Kitchen Hardware With A Blue Pad

3. Rinse and Dry

I used a damp rag, wiped them clean and then dried them off.

That was it. Quick and easy and done in about ten minutes.

No kidding.

A Clean Nickel Finished Kitchen Drawer Pull

And they looked super silver, shiny with a hit of copper showing through, just like when I bought them. Eighteen years ago.


Kitchen Drawers In Bisque With Nickel Toned Farmhouse Pulls

Ok, confession time.

When I first read about this tip online, I didn't doubt the many people that swore by it, but I needed to try it for myself before I went through the trouble of actually removing everything.

For more cleaning tips, you can check out my Pinterest board.

So I tested it with the pull on the cabinet. I do not recommend this!

While it proved that it worked and how easy it was to clean, once I really dug in, a lot of black ick rolled off the pull and onto my pretty bisque drawer.

I quickly decided to take them off and then I did it the right way.

Are you ready for another confession? I mean, we're all friends here, right?

You see those three clean pulls? So sparkly and pristine? Yeah. They're the only shiny ones in the room.

I did three and then got distracted taking those pictures again.

I actually have nine more to tackle.

It should probably take me about a half an hour to accomplish and unscrewing and screwing will be the lion's share of the job.

Psst: There's been a kitchen update. I bought new kitchen drawer pulls and cabinet knobs

I just haven't had the time.

Maybe this weekend.

Maybe not.

But at least the ones in the sink skirt photo look great.

And I don't plan on taking anymore pictures of that.

Is your cabinet hardware clean?
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  1. Wow Kim huge difference. I'm a huge fan of Bar Keepers Friend. I have been using it for years. I use it for many things in the house.

    This product seems great too.


    1. I've never tried that one, Cindy, but I hear it's very similar. Maybe next shopping trip, I'll give it a shot!

  2. Call them patina-ed with age! Actually I swear by Bar Keeper's Friend for a ton of chores. It tackles just about everything from glass oven doors to outdoor furniture.

    1. I like your suggestion!! From now on, I'm going with that...patina-ed!!

  3. Replies
    1. I have no doubt, Penny, your home is always tip top!!

  4. Bright and shiny like new! Taking pictures does show things that were not noticed before. I was reading the Cerama Bryte reviews on Amazon and some folks had problems with the sprayers and the formula. You apparently are a fan but have you noticed any change in the quality of the product? I am a fan of Bar Keeper's Friend as it is made right here in Indianapolis.

    1. I've actually never tried the sprayers, only the cream and I've just received a new bottle, it seems the same to me and I've been using it for years. I'll have to keep that in mind when I order a new bottle. And I've never tried Bar Keeper's Friend, but heard it is a good product.

  5. You certainly made them bright and beautiful again, Kim! But I didn't mind the way they looked before really. Something about the darkening edges...

    1. Thanks Brenda! I do like a good patina, but in the kitchen I love a good shine.

  6. LOL you crack me up with your post today. Glad someone else see how horrifying a cabinet pull might be!!! This stuff is great. Can we use it on our roots and faces. That would be so awesome! Love the shiny bright cabinet pulls. They look marvelous. Happy New Week .
    Big Hugs,

    1. I was horrified, Kris! I can't believe I hadn't noticed it before since I'm such a fan of the shine. Oh well, they're better now...for now, anyway!!

  7. I never would have thought to grab the Cerama Bryte from under the kitchen sink to clean cabinet pulls. It's the only thing I use for my ceramic stove top but not anymore!
    P.S. Love the new look of your blog!

    1. Thanks Marie!! And I know!! I keep finding more and more uses for this stuff.

  8. You are very entertaining and thanks for the tips, have a great day in whatever you do!

  9. The pulls came out so bright and shiny using that cleaner! I will have to buy that cleaner for my pulls. Thanks for sharing this cleaning tip Kim!
    Hope you have a great day and week. :)

    1. Thanks sure made them easy to clean!

  10. Well done!
    They certainly do look bright and beautiful again!

    All the best Jan

  11. Gee whiz, I never would have noticed it if you hadn't pointed it out. I just thought they were supposed to be that color. Cuz you can buy them in that shade.
    So, bravo Bar Keeper's Friend! I bet you didn't know it will also remove black marks from wood! Yes it's true. I googled how to remove black water marks from wood, and Bar Keeper's Friend was recommended. I tried it, and it worked!

    1. Definitely not supposed to be that color! I can't believe I let them get that way, but it came off easily so I was happy to do the job!!

  12. I've never used this before, but I guess I need to!

  13. Thanks for the tip about CeramaBrite because I'd never heard of it, and I need some to clean our cooktop in our lake cabin. I will definitely give it a try! I like your pulls, by the way...

    1. That is its original use, Ricki, and it works great for me...and thanks! They are about 18 years old, but classic, I think.

  14. Your new drawer pulls look great. But now I'm looking round to see what might be needing a more through cleaning here. The first several days of quarantine I cleaned like crazy (just to keep myself busy) but I have digressed!!!! Better search out those new dust bunnies and see what might need to be polished up!!!!

    1. We cleaned for a bit, then it waned. Now we are back on a cleaning jag again.

  15. Replies
    1. Thank you, Karen! It's about 18 years old, but I think it's a classic style.

  16. As always, a fun post. And a fantastic turnout with that cleaning job. :-)
    I cleaned 3 closets and my garden shed. ;-)

    1. We need to clean our pool's the only "shed' we have in the yard and I know it's yucky right now. Oops!

  17. Hi Kim. They looks so sparkly. Everything looks like a brand new kitchen. I love those type of handles. When we bought our handles, they seemed to fit our cupboards but they were brass and I wanted black. So we painted them and they have held up well. There is not much there to clean, however, so I guess I am glad of that..Stay well and take care..xxoJudy

  18. What a great tip Kim... now I've got to check my kitchen hardware in the morning, to see if they need a tune-up! You always entertain as you share your life with us, and I always learn something every time you post :) Many blessings to you!

  19. LOL, I can't tell you how often that happens to me :D and then you spend hours dusting and rearranging just so the piccy can look okay. Great tutorial Kim and thanks for the heads up on removing the hardware. We have some of those drawer pulls at our holiday home and I bet when we finally get to go down again, I'll be shocked at how they've discolored. I'll stock up on some Cerama Bryte before we go.

    1. It really works great...but holiday house, huh? No cleaning allowed there! Strictly for relaxing, I say!! Enjoy!

  20. We use Cerama Bryte on our cooktop but never thought about using it on my stainless steel All-Clad pots. Even vinegar or BarKeepers doesn't get out every bit of stain so will try that. Your drawer pulls are beautiful!

    1. Thanks Dewena...and yes, I was surprised! It's become my [almost} all purpose cleaner!!

  21. Wait! Cerama Bryte cleans shower doors? Seriously? How did I miss this? I mean, your pulls look great, and I'm glad you found a way to clean them so well. But I'm intrigued with using this stuff to clean a shower door. I hate cleaning shower doors, so I'm going to try it on my "new home' shower door. Thanks for the tip! Hugs, Nancy

    1. I hate cleaning those doors Nancy, and it really works!! Hope it works well for you, too. Hugs!

  22. I love the new look of the blog, Kim! How are you holding up? Here almost all the restrictions have been lifted and once the kids went back to school we've been hit with a 'second wave' of infection. I've been finding it a bit stressful, so ready for this to be over. Anyway, cleaning helps with the stress, so thanks for this.

    1. Thanks Amalia...and I'm sorry you've been hit again. I really do hope it's a quick contained burst that does away quickly...fingers crossed. xo