How to strip and clean vintage hardware- mostly non-toxic

So I saw on the internet that you can strip paint off of old hardware with boiling water and salt. WHAAAAAAAAT? Still I decided to try it. You know what? It totally works. It’s non-toxic and way less messy than using stripper.

There was quite a lot of old paint on the hinges.

I forgot to take a "before" pic of the hinges, but they were covered in paint like these other ones we have.

More paint coated hinges.

More paint coated hinges.

Not as much paint on the strike plates but there was a lot of oldness on them.

Not as much paint on the strike plates but there was a lot of oldness on them.

I put maybe 1/4 cup of salt into this little pan (use an old one cuz you won’t want to use it for cooking ever again) filled with water. You can adjust the amount. Be sure to stay nearby because the water boils away pretty quickly. I learned that the hard way. The paint softens up pretty quickly. Then you will need to rub/lightly scrape┬áit off. I used the best tool- my fingernails. You won’t want to do that if you have a pretty manicure. Maybe try some fine steel wool, or even just a rag.

Stripping paint off old hardware with boiling salt water.

Stripping paint off old hardware with boiling salt water.

After stripping the paint, they needed a little bit of metal polish to shine them up.

After stripping the paint, they needed a little bit of metal polish to shine them up.

I didn't polish them too much because I like the old patina. The before is on the right and the after is on the left.

I didn't polish them too much because I like the old patina. The before is on the right and the after is on the left.