Many door knockers are made out of brass. Brass is a cheap metal that was often mistaken for gold in the older days. Although it is not a natural metal and combined with other elements to make an alloy, it still scratches easily.
The main problem with brass door knockers is that they oxidise or rust easily and don’t fare well when exposed to water. Luckily most doors are protected by a barrier, a porch or a veranda roof. Manufacturers will apply a clear coat of varnish on the door knocker but over time it will eventually perish. At this point you will either need to get it varnished once again or clean it on your own.
Before you start, you can wipe the surface with a cloth and warm water to remove any excess dirt and dust. Rubbing too hard to remove dust particles will cause scratches so keep the motion gentle during this process. Getting rid of the dust beforehand will also prevent the cloth from becoming too dirty.
You can touch up the door knocker surface with brass restorer. This will help seal up any scratches that have been created over the years. The brass restorer doesn’t make the metal as shiny and attractive as before so you will need to find and use a specialised metal polisher that works with the alloy to regain its shine.
You will need to make sure that lacquer is not present on the door as the brass restorer could potentially corrode it. This specific coating has to be removed before any cleaning takes place. Only remove the lacquer if it has been scratched or damaged.
After you have cleaned the door knocker you could replace the lacquer if you prefer but remember that in the future you might have to repeat the process again. You will find that there are other options that could replace the pungent varnish and that would be to wax the metallic door piece. With the wax you don’t have to worry about fingerprints that get left behind. The reason why wax is often recommended is because it doesn’t allow oil to stick to it, thus leaving you with a brand new looking door knocker.
Door knockers may not be used often anymore but they certainly make front doors look unique. They create a focal point that draws the visitor’s eye. If you want to leave your mark and stand out of the crowd an antique door knocker could do the trick.