I started doing this a few years ago when we were refinishing an old, wooden door, and decided I should share this helpful hint. Ever have a piece of furniture (or a door) that had pretty hardware, but beneath layers of paint and/or grime? Well, this is a great way to brush those layers away!

Time: 1 Days Cost: $0 Difficulty: Easy

 

cleaning up old hardware
Grab a crockpot (one that will NOT be used for food again), and some dish soap. I had this dip sized crockpot laying around that works well for small pieces of hardware. I put in a drop (pea sized for this size crockpot) of dish soap (I prefer Dawn), fill with water (don’t forget to allow room for hardware), drop in hardware, and plug it in.
Grab a crockpot (one that will NOT be used for food again), and some dish soap. I had this dip sized crockpot laying around that works well for small pieces of hardware. I put in a drop (pea sized for this size crockpot) of dish soap (I prefer Dawn), fill with water (don’t forget to allow room for hardware), drop in hardware, and plug it in.

 

cleaning up old hardware
Today I wanted to clean up these drawer pulls from an old vanity. I started kind of late in the day, but thought I would have enough time.
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cleaning up old hardware
This was after the first soaking, I took an old toothbrush and gave them a good scrubbing. It was late, and I was ready for bed…I could see they needed to soak a little more, but decided to wait until the next day to finish them up.

 

cleaning up old hardware
I let them soak for a few more hours today, and then gave them a good brushing with an old toothbrush. You can see the gunk that is coming off all over the paper towel. If they had paint on them, it would fall off in the crockpot. I love it when things are easy like that!!

 

cleaning up old hardware
Here they are all cleaned up. I plan on painting these as they have some bad places in the finish. You will see these all painted up when I post the vanity project (soon).