All hardware, whether it's made of stainless steel, aluminum, or bronze, should be dewaxed and degreased using either mineral spirits, denatured alcohol, or 3M General Purpose Adhesive Remover. For the dewaxing process, use virgin rags that have been rinsed in clean fresh water. Rinsing the rags first is important, as those from home may have soap or other residue on them, and those that are purchased often are fabric overruns from hosiery or fabric makers. In many cases, they, too, are contaminated, despite their snowy-white appearance.
Once it's rinsed, soak the rag in solvent, then clean the hardware and surface to which the hardware is to be bedded. Don't be stingy with rags; once they've been used, they should be discarded or washed.