How To: Strip Hardware with Baking Soda

published Feb 29, 2008
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(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

So the thing about living in a rental is that someone lived there before us. Someone lazy who did not tape off the hardware on the doors or remove it entirely before painting. We are a little frustrated by the fact that all the hardware is encrusted with paint and nothing works correctly. We go to the hardware store and we stare at the shelves and we wonder: which product will best remove the paint?

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

We share our frustration with our friend and she very calmly says, “Did you try soaking it in baking soda and boiling water?” We sort of shrug her off and mumble something about having run out of baking soda because truthfully, no, we did not. We immediately try it, boiling up a quart of water with about one-quarter cup baking soda. Now we have to find something else to get steamed about because this is the perfect solution; baking soda comes through for us again!

Best method: remove the hardware and boil it with the baking soda for 15-20 minutes. Second choice: soak it for a few hours in boiling hot water. Third method: soak a washcloth in the hot mixture and drape it over the hardware. Watch. The paint peels right off.

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