How to Clean Paint off Hinges Without Using Harsh Chemicals

Do you have hinges that look like this top photo and you want them to look like the bottom photo?  There’s a super easy way to clean that paint off without having to use harsh chemicals.

How to Clean Paint off Hinges Without Using Harsh Chemicals

For the past 15 years (!) I’ve been avoiding bathroom improvements because our hinges looked like this:

Painted Hinges

We’re the third owner of our mid-century home and I’m not sure which of the previous two owners thought it looked OK to just slop paint on those hinges when they painted the cabinets and doors.  Not just once!  But four different times!  There really were four different colors of paint that needed to be removed; two coats of Latex over two coats of enamel.

Our main bathroom and guest bathroom have a lot of built-in storage cabinets and the hinges are a really nice, good quality, solid chrome, which I have wanted to preserve instead of replace because they add to the authentic character of our home.

Several years ago we actually stripped down the vanity cabinets and hinges in our main bathroom using chemicals and it was a huge toxic job that I never, ever want to do again.  So a few months ago, when I was seriously looking at these two bathrooms and seriously thinking it was finally time to tackle them, I did some research online to find out if there were any alternatives to chemical stripping.

IMG_4164-001

I was so happy to learn that good old baking soda, water, and heat will soak that old yucky paint right off.  So grab an old crockpot, a towel, a rag, and a pair of tongs and in just a few hours your hinges will go from horribly painted to shiny-like-new clean!

Cleaned Hinges

Don’t they look beautiful?  I was so happy I just couldn’t keep it to myself.  I kept talking and talking about it to my husband who was as excited as I was at first, but then grew tired of hearing me talk about it so then I started telling practically anyone who was kind enough to listen to this boring-to-them but exciting-to-me story.  And now I’ll share it here with any kindred spirits.

It makes me so happy that they look brand-spankin-new without chemicals or without scraping that beautiful chrome.

Here’s how to do it:

1) Remove your hinges so they’ll be ready to soak.  (Some of the hinges popped right off the cabinets but some I actually had to pry off!)

2) Collect your supplies:

Supplies Needed to Clean Painted Hinges

3) Place about 1/4 cup baking soda in the crockpot or an old sauce pan.  (I liked the crockpot method because I could leave it on all night and not worry about it.  The same procedure can be done in a sauce pan on the stove but it’ll need to be watched more closely.)

4) Put several inches of water in the crockpot (or sauce pan) and stir around to dissolve the baking soda.

5) Put the hinges in the water and make sure they are covered by about 2-inches of water (add more water if necessary).  I also added the screws, hardware, and door hinges that had been painted.

6) Leave the crockpot uncovered and turn on low heat for about 8 hours.  I soaked mine overnight in three different batches because I had so many to do.  Add more water as necessary to keep the hinges covered.

This picture shows some hinges in the crockpot after soaking all night.  The water level has dropped but they are still covered with water.  If you soak yours overnight and wake up in the morning and find that the water level is below the hinges, just add water to cover them by and inch or two and let it heat up for another hour or so. Then they will be ready.

Hinges in Crockpot

7) It’s time to start removing that old paint.  After it’s soaked all night the paint is softened up and easy to remove.  Remove one hinge at a time because the paint needs to be removed while it’s still warm.  Peel off what you can by hand then use your cloth to remove the remainder.  Sometimes there will be a little bit of paint that sticks in the tight spots of the hinge – I used a small pointed knife to gently remove it.
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8) Use the cloth to buff up the hinge and marvel at how easy that was and how beautiful and new your hinges now look.

Cleaned Hinge

I’m just in awe!

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They all look like this – like they’re brand new!

What more can I say?  They’re beautiful.

Cleaned Hinge

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Swig Sugar Cookies [Copycat]

Swig Sugar Cookie [Copycat]

Have you ever had a Swig sugar cookie?  Have you heard of them?

I’ve heard of them but haven’t ever eaten a real, honest-to-goodness cookie from one of their Swig Shacks.  But I’ve made them.  I don’t know if this is how they really taste but these are THE BEST SUGAR COOKIES EVER! They’re soft, yet substantial.  They’re buttery, and sugary.  And the frosting!  On these cookies, this frosting is so much better than butter cream frosting, which is what I usually put on rolled out sugar cookies.  I beg you to not even think about substituting it out for your “favorite” frosting.  These cookies absolutely must have this frosting. Swig cookies do have pink frosting but they don’t have sprinkles (I think they look cuter with them, though).

Here’s a little newsreel if you want to see what Swig and their cookies are all about:

I just learned that there’s a Swig location near one of my son’s home – I’m going to go get a cookie the next time I’m there visiting!

Are you ready to give them a try?  Here’s the recipe I use.  It’s a combination of about 3 or 4 that are floating around the web.  It’s seriously just about the most delicious cookie ever.

Swig Sugar Cookies

Yield: about 65 cookies (making them into 1-inch balls)

Ingredients

    For the Cookies:
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup Crisco, butter flavored
  • 1-1/4 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk (or water)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 5-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • (about 1/3 cup more of granulated sugar for the tops of the cookies)
  • For the Frosting:
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 6 to 6-1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1-2 tablespoons milk (if needed)
  • 1 or 2 drops of red food coloring

Directions

    For the Cookies:
  1. In medium sized mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and Crisco until it's light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add in the sugar and powdered sugar and mix well.
  4. Add the milk and mix well.
  5. Add the eggs and mix well.
  6. Add in the flour mixture and mix until smooth and well-combined (but try not to over mix).
  7. Depending on the size of cookies you want, roll the dough into balls that are between 1 - 2 inches in diameter. (I like smaller cookies so I roll them into 1-inch balls.)
  8. Place the dough balls on a cookie sheet sprayed with cooking spray (or use a silicone baking mat).
  9. Place the 1/3 cup sugar in a small bowl. Spray the bottom of a glass (or the cooking spray cap) then dip it into the bowl of sugar to get a light coating of sugar on the bottom of the glass or cooking spray cap.
  10. Press each ball down slightly with the sugar coated glass or cap to get that rough Swig edge. The cookies are best when thick so don't press them too thinly. Repeat for each cookie.
  11. Bake at 350 degrees for about 8 minutes, until the edges are just barely starting to brown. To keep the cookies soft, don't over bake.
  12. Cool on wire racks.
  13. For the Frosting:
  14. Cream together the butter, sour cream, and salt.
  15. Add in the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, and mix well.
  16. Add in the vanilla and mix well.
  17. Add in the milk, if needed, to make a creamy, yet slightly firm frosting that will hold it's shape when frosting the cookies.
  18. Add in the food coloring and mix well.
  19. Frost the cooled cookies.
  20. Enjoy!
http://www.abrightandbeautifullife.com/swig-sugar-cookies/

Swig Sugar Cookie [Copycat]

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The BEST Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Cranberry Horseradish Sauce [a Stonewall Kitchen Copycat]

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Chicken Enchiladas with Honey Lime Sauce

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Homemade Green Enchilada Sauce

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