Paint Strip Metal

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Paint Strip Hardware with a pantry staple

Being seasoned home renovators means my husband and I have come up with some efficiencies along the way, including how to strip the paint from hardware like hinges and locks.  Back in the day I would’ve soaked hinges and other hardware in bucket loads of chemical laden paint stripper to clean them up.  I’d then have to get a wire brush and steel wool and get to work.
Clearly, that’s not how I roll anymore.  After a bit of research, I found that you really can remove old paint and rust with just boiling water, Sodium Bicarbonate (also known as bicarb or baking soda), and some Lemon essential oil to polish them up.

Yes, it really is that simple!

Paint Strip Hardware with a pantry staple

Paint Strip Hardware

There is no need for harsh chemicals to clean up your hinges and small hardware. This simple method gets rid of paint and rust with just Sodium Bicarbonate (Baking Soda) and Lemon essential oil!
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Total Time: 1 hour
Makes: 1 batch


  • Old pot
  • Tongs
  • Soft cloth


Essential oils

  • 10 drops Lemon essential oil


  • Cover bottom of pot with Sodium Bicarbonate
    Hinges soakin in baking soda
  • Add hardware to pot
    hinges on stovetop soaking in baking soda
  • Cover with water and bring to the boil
  • Let the hardware simmer for approximately an hour
  • Use tongs to remove hinges or hardware one at a time and carefully wipe with a soft cloth. Paint should come away easily.
  • Polish hinges or hardware with a drop of Lemon essential oil on a cotton ball or pad
    finished hinges after soaking in baking soda


Make sure you use an old pot that wont be used for cooking food as the paint is toxic.  Also make sure you are in a well ventilated room.
Use as much or as little Sodium Bicarbonate as needed to cover the bottom of your pot.  It's not an exact science - use at least 1/2 cup and you should be fine!
If the paint and rust doesn't come off after wiping them after the first 'bath', you might need to give the a second bath with fresh water.  This doesn't usually have to be quite so long.

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