Easily update your old hardware just by cleaning it up! Here’s how to clean old furniture hardware.
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Today I’m sharing a super easy and quick way to clean old furniture hardware.
This works for tarnished hardware and hardware that has old paint on it.
And it’s the best way that I have found to clean furniture hardware without spending a ton of time scrubbing.
How to Clean Furniture Hardware
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- Old Hardware
- Old Pan
- Bar Keepers Friend
- Scrubbing Sponge and/or Tooth Brush
- 0000 Steel Wool (Optional)
How to Clean Old Furniture Hardware
- Remove the Hardware
- Boil in Water
- Scrub Clean
Step One: Remove the Hardware
First, remove the hardware from your furniture if you haven’t already.
I absolutely love using a little electric screwdriver to remove all of it instead of using a manual screwdriver.
It’s super helpful and handy when you have to remove a bunch of hardware in tight spaces.
Step Two: Boil in Water
Then put it all in a pot of water and bring it to a boil.
I use this old pan I got at the thrift store so I don’t ruin my nice pots and pans.
And I think it’s just a little bit gross to use the pans I regularly cook in. Maybe that’s just me though!
I let the hardware boil in the water for about 5 minutes and then I remove the pan from the heat.
(You can add some vinegar to the water too to help it cut through whatever is on your hardware. I find water to be just fine though.)
Then grab the hardware out of the pan with some tongs or something similar and bring them over to your sink.
Step Three: Scrub Clean
Then sprinkle some bar keepers friend all over one or two pieces of hardware and let it sit for about 30 seconds.
This stuff is the secret sauce!
Then start scrubbing the grime away with a scrubbing sponge or a toothbrush.
For really tough spots you can use really fine steel wool, but for this hardware, I stuck with the regular ole toothbrush.
How Long Do You Have To Scrub?
Each piece of hardware took me a couple of minutes to scrub clean, and I left a little bit of the old patina in the details to make it pop a little bit.
If you don’t want to boil the hardware, you can also get away with just getting it wet, and then sprinkling on the bar keepers friend and scrubbing.
I tested it out on one or two of these pieces, and it just took longer to scrub them clean when I didn’t boil them first.
I also have tried to just boil the hardware and not use any bar keepers friend, but it just doesn’t work very well.
Step Four: Rinse
Once it’s clean, rinse off the Bar Keepers Friend, and let it dry.
That’s all there is to it!
You could also decide to paint the hardware with a fresh new look like we did with these Benjamin Moore Advance Nightstands.
So here’s what they looked like before and after a good cleaning.
And here’s what they look like on the dresser after we painted it.
Check out this Green Dresser’s Makeover here.
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More Hardware Tips and Tricks
- The BEST Way to Fill in Hardware Holes
- Filling Holes when Replacing Cabinet or Furniture Hardware
- How to Paint Drawer Pulls
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