Most modern door locksets are made of metal highly resistant to corrosion. However, this does not mean that they can never get rusty. If they are exposed to moisture and heat most of the time, rust is likely to get formed on the exposed surfaces. The devices which have decorative brass components are alto at risk. These components can also get a thin layer of tarnish which is quite unappealing even though it is not real rust. In both cases, the problematic layer on exposed surfaces can be effectively removed with proper materials, tools and techniques.
With proper preparation, you will do the work excellently. It involves two steps.
Prepare the rust removing material - You can use specially formulated rust remover provided that it is safe for the metal which the door lock is made from. Alternatively, you can boil some vinegar and mix it with table salt to prepare a soft paste. This homemade product should do a good job if the layer of rust is not particularly thick. For washing the device, you will need dishwashing liquid and warm water.
Get all of the required equipment - You will need soft lint-free cloth and a sponge. It is a good idea to get two or three pieces of cloth. You should refrain from using steel wool on door hardware as it can get easily scratched. This can lead to further damage and the need for lock repair. You should also wear protective gloves for avoiding direct contact of the skin with the materials.
Doing the Job
Rust removal involves two simple tasks which anyone can perform easily.
Wash the hardware first - Dissolve a small amount of the dishwashing liquid in hot water, soak the sponge and give the lock a good rub. This will help to prepare the surface for rust removing. Remember to dry it before you move onto the next step to avoid damage and the consequent lock fix.
Apply the rust remover with vigorous rubbing - Add the rust remover directly to the affected surface or onto a piece of cloth. Then run the entire surface area vigorously until you see the shiny metal. If necessary, you should reapply the material. Dampen another piece of cloth slightly to clean the surface completely and to eliminate any traces of the rust remover.
In general, this rust removal method can be used for all types of keys including ignition car keys as well. It works effectively and safely.