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We have some old silver door hardware with glass knobs. Does anyone know what type of metal this might be in a 1929 house - and how to clean it? It has a tarnished appearance.
I have no idea what type metal it is but brass was and still is, used for a lot of door hardware. You might try some stuff they call "wadding". It comes in a can and looks like a bunch of dirty cotton. It's impregnated with some cleaning ingredient and you just rub the metal with it. Then polish it with a dry rag. It does a great job on a lot of metals so maybe it will work for you.
The silver metal could very well be either nickel or zinc plating. For tarnish, I would try a mild commercial metal cleaner.
For a couple of bucks pickup some Brasso and give that a try.