The Best Way to Clean the Cabinet Knobs and Pulls in Your Kitchen

Banish bacteria and get these high-touch surfaces gleaming again with our expert tips.

Many areas of your kitchen are high-contact surfaces that require regular cleaning, as well as periodic deep cleaning. You might first think of the refrigerator or countertop as the most frequently touched spots, but your kitchen cabinets’ knobs and pulls are handled quite a bit, as well. “Cabinet knobs can become a hub of grime and bacteria, so regular cleaning is important,” says Kathy Cohoon, the director of franchise operations at Two Maids & A Mop. Cleaning these pieces, however, requires some care; be sure to avoid formulas laden with acidic extracts or gritty abrasives. “We don’t recommend harsh abrasives on any kitchen surfaces, including hardware or cabinetry. Mild soap and water will do the trick for removing any build-up beyond dust,” explains Stephanie Pierce, the director of design and trends at MasterBrand Cabinets. Here, find out how to clean this hardware, according to cleaning and home experts.

Remove the grime.

There are two major steps to cleaning your cabinetry knobs. For a regular cleaning that you might perform weekly, Cohoon suggests mixing warm water with vinegar in a spray bottle and spraying knobs with the mixture. From there, wipe away the grime and excess solution with a microfiber or soft cloth. As for deeper cleans? Cohoon recommends removing the knobs, especially if they have caked-on grime on their surface or in any crevices. Soak the hardware in a bucket of warm water, vinegar, and a drop of mild dish soap and soak for 30 minutes. After this point, remove them from the solution, rinse them with warm water, and scrub them with a soft brush (if needed) to finish the job.

Be mindful of your cabinetry’s materials.

Keep the material of the cabinet knobs and pulls in mind as you clean them, note our experts. You’ll need to use cleaning solutions specific to the material and finish of the hardware in your kitchen. “Similar to your cabinetry, homeowners will want to be sure to avoid harsh detergents and abrasive cleaning products like steel wool—especially with wooden hardware,” Pierce says. If you have wooden knobs, use mild soap and wood oil mixture to clean and add shine. Metal and stainless-steel varieties simply need a mild soap and water combination to rid them dirt and debris; wiping them down with a microfiber cloth should polish them up. “If brass knobs are looking dingy, a paste made of baking soda and lemon juice will help restore shine without damaging the finish,” adds Cohoon. “If you are using any commercial cleaners to make cabinet or drawer pulls gleam, be sure to double check they are compatible with the material first to avoid unnecessary damage.”

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