How Can I Keep My Door Handles Looking Their Best

old wooden entrance door with antique door handle


“You’ve taken the time to decide on the style, design and finish for your new door handles, you’ve fitted them and they look great. Now you want to keep them looking like new, but what’s the best way to care for and clean them?”- Handle Shop – Door knob specialists.

External door handles may need a different type of care and maintenance to those used indoors, however it doesn’t need to be time consuming or expensive to keep on top of it. The finish on your door handle or door pull will determine the type of product best suited to keeping it clean and functional.

Stainless Steel

NEVER use wire wool or carbon steel brushes to clean your stainless steel door handles and pulls – this can cause damage to the surface and allow particles to become embedded in the surface leading to rusting or other corrosion occurring. Warm water, mild detergent and a soft cloth are all you really need to keep your stainless steel clean, and make sure to dry it well after cleaning to avoid any water marks being left behind. For more stubborn marks, any non-scratching household abrasive cleaner should do the trick, again make sure to rinse and dry thoroughly!

Polished Brass

Whilst you may have spent hours helping your grandparents polish the fireside companion set, when it comes to your door handles, the best way to keep your polished brass door furniture looking shiny is with plain and simple warm soapy water and a soft cloth. The polished brass ranges we supply have all been treated with a special lacquer, and the use of metal polishes or other abrasive cleaners will damage this and cause it to wear away far quicker than it would under normal use. Eventually after a good few years of use, this lacquer may well breakdown, at which point, you should remove the door handle or pull, and treat it with an acetone thinner applied with a soft brush. Dry well with a soft cloth and then polish up with a metal polish. Regular polishing thereafter will keep them looking great.


Nice and easy, and low maintenance, the best way to keep your chrome handles looking great is to dust them and give them a quick wash over with the tried and tested soft cloth and warm soapy water combination. Make sure to dry thoroughly afterwards with a lint free cloth or towel. An occasional wipe over with a light oil will also help maintain the appearance of your handles. Don’t use metal polishes or any kind of abrasive cleaner.

Black Antique

Although often coated with hardwearing finishes, iron based products will always be susceptible to rust. To reduce the likelihood of this, make sure to remove any harmful deposits that may lead to corrosion occurring, and wipe over the door handle from time to time with a light oil applied with a soft cloth.

If you can avoid doing the following, you’ll help extend the life of your door handles:

  • Don’t hang excessive weight from the handle e.g. full shopping bags
  • Don’t allow children to hang from or play with the handle
  • Don’t use the handle as a door stop against a wall – far better to install a door stop to prevent the door handle banging against the wall (you can find some great ones here).

So to keep your door handles, door pulls and door furniture looking like new, a few minutes cleaning and care every couple of months or so will have a significant impact on the long term maintenance requirements of your products.