How to Clean Brass Cabinet Handles

Brass cabinet handles get tarnished easily through constant use and contact with the air. However, the number of cleanings your brass cabinet handles need may be reduced by using a little trick, leaving more time to admire your tasteful cabinetry.

  1. Unscrew the brass cabinet handles if they are removable. Place the screws that you remove in a small dish for safekeeping. Set all the brass handles on a double sheet of newspaper on a table or the floor in preparation for cleaning. If your brass handles are not removable, do the best you can to prevent brass cleaner from touching the wood surrounds.
  2. Rub greasy spots off the handles with a hot cloth. Change cloths and dip a corner of the cloth into Brasso liquid polish. Use Brasso sparingly as a little goes a long way. Work the brass polish into the handles making sure you don't miss any nooks or crannies.
  3. Grasp the polishing cloth and begin polishing the first brass cabinet handle that you treated with Brasso, allowing the others to sit while you polish the handles one by one. Place polished brass handles on a clean sheet of newspaper.
  4. Paint one coat of clear nail lacquer over the entire front surface of the brass cabinet handles, excluding the back. Allow the handles to dry thoroughly in a fairly dust-free room to ensure a glossy finish.
  5. Screw the brass handles back carefully onto the cabinets. Touch up the screw heads with a dab of nail lacquer if they show through at the front of the cabinet. The lacquer finish will prevent the brass from tarnishing, thus the brass cabinet handles need less frequent cleanings.

Things You Will Need

  • Soft cloth
  • Polishing cloths
  • Brasso brass cleaner
  • Newspaper
  • Clear nail lacquer


  • Wipe grease from the brass handles as the mess happens. Congealed grease ruins the look off your brass cabinetry.


  • Always keep cleaners out of the reach of children.

About the Author

Victoria Ries is a freelance writer whose work has been published in various print magazines, including "Guideposts," "BackHome," New Homesteading" and "Mother Earth News." Ries enjoys working on diverse topics such as travel, animal rescue, health and home business. Ries is currently working on her B.A. in psychology.