Nov 25, 2010

Handles and Green Cleaning

Since having my second little babe, I've magically become allergic to every important substance on this earth - most foods, wine, beer, trees, grasses, and the worst contenders: artificial scents and most cleaning products. So in dealing with the grunge of an old house, I've had to adopt some fairly radical cleaning methods to remove hard water spots, grime and germs. Some of my favourites are olive oil (buffed out with a dry cloth) on stainless steel, Borax for laundry boost and vinegar for a dishwasher's rinse aid. I'm still stumped by how to polish wood floors and make my pink bathtub gleam so if you readers have any tips, I'd love to hear them. Especially since hubby is annoyed at my overuse of olive oil. He claims it's just for cooking. Amateur.

We have a whole slew of original everything in this house including hardware. Most of the door and cupboard hardware is lacquered brass, except for in the bathrooms where it is chrome (typical for many mid century modern houses).

The cupboard knobs were looking a little rough so I experimented with a natural polish recipe I found online:

1:1 ratio of vinegar and salt. Soak and polish.

Seemed simple enough to me.

You can see the results below. The problem was that because the lacquer was worn from years of use, the final results were good - but patchy. But certainly an improvement from the original.

This is one of the only 'afters' that looked really good.

I decided to go back to Alberta Plating who re-chromed our bathroom vents to see what they could do for the knobs.

They didn't have the exact colour match for the existing hardware but a close, cooler-coloured version that I liked called 'Brushed brass with lacquer'. They charged us $10 per knob which I think is a very reasonable rate considering we (and the next owners) would potentially get another 50 years out of them.

Here's the results.




VoyageVixen said...

Have you tried scent free natural cleaners? Like Method?

Laura said...

One of my favourite brands! I love the window cleaner. Also love the scent of Simple Green - which is available in the refillable, 10-year size at Costco.

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