Many people mistakenly think that the grey brass-handles on brass fixtures, or brass knobs, have an odour. It isn’t true at all. Solid Brass handles, knobs and door handles have been being used on doors with handles for hundreds of years. Brass fixtures fell out of favour only over the past few decades of the 20th Century, mainly due to the need to polish the metal regularly to keep its polished look.
You should never polish brass handles or any other solid metal surfaces regularly if you want to keep them looking their best. It will cause a buildup of minerals over time, which can eventually cause them to look dingy and smelly. Instead, it is best to wipe the door or handle with a soft cloth once in a while to keep the metals clean and polished. If you find that your door or handle is too dirty, you can clean it with rubbing alcohol, a safe and easy way to clean most metals.
You should never clean your brass-handles with soap or any abrasive cleaner unless you clean them thoroughly. Any cleaner will do, but make sure that it is 100% pure, so you don’t end up damaging the metal. To remove the tarnish on the brass handles, use a solution made of one part distilled white vinegar to two parts warm water. Use a cotton ball to apply the solution to the door or handle, making sure to work the liquid through all the joints. Then, using a clean sponge or paper towel, gently wipe away the tarnish and allow it to air dry.
If you have a stubborn stain, you may need to get creative to remove it. One popular solution that people use to clean their brass-handles without damaging them is a mixture of a half-hearted teaspoon of borax and half a cup of warm water. For the best effect, let the mixture sit for at least thirty minutes so that it oxidizes a little bit before scrubbing it away. Borax has strong antibacterial properties that will help fight off stains; however, if the damage is too severe, you should use a more robust cleaner, such as white vinegar. Using strong vinegar will also help to break up the stain without damaging the metal.
After cleaning the brass handles with a mild household cleaner, spray the area with a soft coat of polish. Although it is not necessary, this will make your furniture appear brand new. Polishing furniture will help prolong its life and prevent it from developing scratches, swirl marks, and unsightly marks. If you decide to use a polish, remember only to use a high-quality product designed to withstand heavy use. Some polishes can scratch the surface and make the metal handles look older, which is a design flaw you don’t want.