Asked on Mar 26, 2013

How can these old desk pulls be cleaned and restored to their glory?

Jean VerclerRita SSusie


I picked up three old desk drawers at a yard sale (for free!) because I loved the hardware on them. I want to recycle the drawers and have no clue how to clean the cup handles. I was amazed at what I found under the grime and dirt but I'm pretty sure they shouldn't be cleaned with a kitchen scrubby like I did...please help!
Desk drawers in their 'for free' condition that were picked up at a yard sale.
i scrubbed the one on the left with a kitchen scrubby but how do I give it a proper cleaning? The emblem on the handle says: LABOR SAVING OFFICE DEVICES and I'd love to know more about these!
8 answers
  • Merry D
    on Mar 26, 2013

    Be cautious with anything that has 'scrub' in the title. I learned that the hard way on my mum's silver cup (now a "brushed" silver.) I would start with a simple soap and water cleaning then try to determine what material they are. You may be able to clean up with a salt-vinegar-water solution or Bartender's Friend, Cameo, one of the non-abrasive cleansers. You have a real sweet find there, make sure you use care getting the other bits off and you can reuse them for something as well.

  • Lorraine F
    on Mar 27, 2013

    I'd try Brasso first before scrubbing with anything that might scratch lines into the finish. It's in the grocery, home stores or hardware stores. I've used it for years on my door hardware.

  • Esther Glick
    on Mar 28, 2013

    Thank you for these suggestions!

  • Michelle O
    on Mar 30, 2013

    lest oil and soak for a day. you can rinse them off and then re paint them.

  • Susie
    on May 31, 2013

    Make a paste with water and Baking soda. Use your fingers and work that paste in! Rinse with cold water and buff . Easy cheap and you won´t believe the results!

  • Rita S
    on Sep 13, 2014

    Try soaking them in a mixture of baking soda and vinegar over night.

  • Jean Vercler
    on Sep 13, 2014

    I refinished an old hutch that had brass hardware. the hardware was about as bad as your before picture. tried lots of things, including Brasso. Found where someone made a paste of Bar Keepers Friend (a cleaner kind of like Comet (powdered-in a can). I used that with a toothbrush and it was amazing how fast it cleaned it up! they turned out beautifully! I think you can get it at Walmart. good luck

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