Over time door handles will become tarnished, there is no preventing this but you can solve this problem. There are many different types of internal door handles but there are also different solutions for cleaning them.
Cleaning unlacquered brass & real copper door handle
Brass is usually seen as quite a traditional metal, however, they are currently undergoing a downfall in popularity as they need to be cleaned quite often like silver. You will need to make a paste which will clean the tarnish away, using a bowl measured in one tablespoon of flour, one of salt, and one of vinegar. You will need to mix it until it turns to a paste-like consistency, and then rub it onto the surface of the brass or copper door handle. After leaving it for a few minutes you will need to wipe it off with soapy lukewarm water and a cloth.
Or a more simple way to clean your door handle is by getting a lemon, placing it in salt and rubbing it on what handle, after you have left the mixture on for 3-5 minutes you should wash it off with soapy water and a cloth.
Cleaning lacquered brass
Lacquered brass handles can easily become dirty and damaged, it can often get small scratches and gather dust/dirt.
To keep a clean and new-looking brass handle you should frequently wash it with lukewarm soapy water and then wipe thoroughly with a dry cloth, after this it is advised to cover the door handle with soft and light wax to maintain a fresh and new-looking door handle.
Pewter metal handles often get damaged and gather layers of dirt and dust, Pewter is made mostly of tin and, throughout the time it can develop a dark-coloured patina. This dark patina is sometimes a look for some people however some rather a lighter colour. Cleaning a dirty handle that is pewter may depend on the type of finish your pewter has.
An easy way of keeping up with cleaning your dirty door handle is using a leaf of a cabbage, simply rubbing it over your door handle then wiping it over with a damp cloth and helping to maintain a clean look for your door handle.
However a more efficient way of cleaning your pewter door handle could be, to add a teaspoon of salt in 1 cup of white vinegar then pour flour into the salt and vinegar mixture and stir until it makes a pastelike substance. Apply the paste on the pewter to leave for fifteen minutes to an hour. After about an hour, rinse off the paste with a warm cloth and dry polish.
Cleaning plated chrome and nickel finishes
A Lot of handles are mostly lacquered or plated over brass or a mixture of materials, almost all handles are brass, real copper, pewter and silver can be very expensive, so a lot of people tend to choose a lacquered or plated finish.
By simply brushing lightly over the door handle and then wiping it down, cleaning it with mild soapy water and then drying it with a soft cloth you can maintain a clean and shiny look on your door handles, you will have to repeat this method to keep your handle looking brand new.
A brief history of tarnish
A lot of metal has a layer of corrosion which affects certain types of metals; it’s like rust that is much slower acting. The most used metals that are usually affected by this are aluminium, brass, copper and silver, so more often than not door furniture is one of the most common targets for tarnishing, since a lot of door furniture is usually made out of one of these metals.
Tarnishing causes loss of shine and reflectivity and after a while, if it is not fixed it will result in a surface layer which looks grey and black which sort of looks like mould. The texture of the surface of tarnished metal changes too, from a cold, smooth one to a rough, gritty one.
A lot of designers are increasing including tarnished looks in their furniture designs, this can have a certain effect and can actually look significantly better when it’s deliberate. However when the tarnishing is natural, it’s usually the byproduct of a lack of maintenance and not being treated properly, it doesn’t look very pleasing. It’s a big indicator that the owner has not bothered to make an effort with their house, and it can dampen the mood and theme of any room. The door handle is often the first thing you notice when you are entering a room. If it is noticeably dirty and badly tarnished it can ruin first impressions and put someone off.