The hardware on my antique chest was in bad need of cleaning. After going online and trying three different solutions, this is what worked for me:
A mixture of baking soda and lemon juice. I used about one half box of baking soda and added lemon juice until the mix was about the texture of honey. I made enough to cover all my hardware and soaked overnight. The next day I just rinsed, washed in soapy water, using a sponge, and rinsed again. Easy--no toothbrush, no scrubbing .
What didn't work as well:
1. Soaking in coke overnight.
2. Soaking in a mixture of flour, white cider, and salt overnight. I made more of the above-mentioned lemon juice/baking soda mixture (enough to completely cover all the handles).
This as a picture of mixture #2 above:
They came out pretty good!
Now I am off to Google for some advice on choice of stain...
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