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How to Clean a Sink Faucet: 5 Easy Steps

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It’s necessary to clean your sinks and faucets now and again, but what’s the best way to go about it? Whether you are looking to get rid of small water stains or have stubborn mineral build-ups, it isn’t necessary to call for professional cleaners.

Wanting to learn how to clean a sink faucet?

In this short guide, we’ll show you some simple yet effective ways to clean your sink and faucet, using supplies you probably have in your kitchen already.

If your sink faucet has brushed nickel finish, have a look at this brushed nickel faucet cleaning guide!

What Can I Use to Clean my Sink Faucet?

It’s a good idea to clean your sink daily in the bathroom and kitchen, although most people leave it longer than this.

Cleaning the surfaces often prevents the build-up of minerals and limescale, making them easier to clean. It’s also essential to clean it well before spray painting a faucet. Here are some products that are suitable for use on most finishes.

1. Dish soap and water

Washing your sink every day means you don’t have to use any special tools or products; all you need is dish soap and warm water – this will keep your sink shiny and clean. Use a cleaning cloth or gentle scrub sponges to lather up the soap before rinsing it away with running water.

2. White vinegar 

White vinegar contains acetic acid, which is excellent for cleaning the sink in your home. There’s no need to buy expensive cleaning products from the store that make big claims. These will work, but they are expensive and can be toxic to the environment. White vinegar isn’t!

Any kind of white vinegar should work fine; apply some and leave it on the surface for around ten minutes before cleaning the sink with dish soap as above to get rid of the smell.

3. Baking soda 

Baking soda is another excellent way to clean your sink cheaply and without harming the environment. Baking soda might be used for baking cakes, but it’s also an effective cleaning product.

Baking soda contains elements that naturally dissolve organic material, and when added to white vinegar, a chemical reaction makes it more potent. Half a cup of baking soda cleans the sink nicely without scratching it.

4. Hydrogen peroxide 

Hydrogen peroxide has been used for decades as a cleaning agent, and it is still used today to make sinks shiny and bacteria-free. Hydrogen peroxide is similar to water; it only differs by one molecule, but the difference makes it a powerful oxidizer.

Hydrogen peroxide is safe to use and performs like bleach on surfaces, killing bacteria, viruses, minerals, and harmful mold.

5. Toothbrush or abrasive brushes 

It’s not all about the chemicals; you also have to think about the tools you’re going to use to clean the sink surface without scratching it. What you need is a brush or a slightly abrasive sponge.

As it happens, an old toothbrush is one of the best things you can use to clean the kitchen sink surface; the bendy head makes it easy to clean the curves, and the bristles are designed to avoid any scratching.

6. Microfiber cloth

A microfiber cloth is synthetic; it’s made by combining polyester and polyamide to split the fibers and make them more conducive to dirt and grime collection.

Microfibers are a fantastic cleaning tool to use for the surface of a kitchen sink because they can effectively clean the surface without scratching it. Remember, microfiber cloths are best for wiping down surfaces after they have been scrubbed.

How to Clean Kitchen and Bathroom Faucets

1. Understand what is making it look dirty

If your kitchen or bathroom faucet looks dull, dirty, or corroded, it’s time to give it a bit of a clean and make it shine – but first, you have to find out what kind of grime you’re dealing with. Of course, different dirt requires a different cleaning process and cleaning equipment, so what can you look for?

Most of the grime you encounter on dirty faucets will be microbial; the most common type is manganese, a type of black coating that accumulates at the water source. Other common types include limescale and rust – understanding the type of discoloration you have helps you choose supplies.

2. Gather the supplies for cleaning the exterior of the faucet

Once you have identified the type of discoloration you have, it’s time to gather the supplies for the task. Again, it’s best to arrange everything before you begin to avoid having to ditch the project halfway through.

The good news is that vinegar, a scrubbing brush, warm water, and a cloth are all you need.

If your faucet is rusted, you can still use vinegar and a scrubbing brush; it’s only the process of removal that differs slightly. For rust, you have to apply the vinegar to the rust spots and let it sit for ten minutes before scrubbing vigorously. Other forms of mineral staining can be removed with a shorter treatment.

3. Scrub the faucet and the base

Staining and mineral build-ups happen on the faucet head and base – anywhere the faucet has contact with warm water can cause a mineral build-up that leads to bacteria growth. So when cleaning the kitchen or bathroom sink, make sure to clean the whole exterior of the faucet.

After applying the vinegar to your faucet, use a scrubbing brush to remove all traces of the minerals – but not every brush is ideal for this job. Brushes that are too tough or wiry can scratch the faucet surface, but specially-designed softer brushes are available. Additionally, an old toothbrush is helpful if you want to clean faucets.

4. Try floss to clean any small crevices

When you decide to clean your kitchen and bathroom faucets, it makes sense to spend some time on them and do the job correctly; there’s no point in leaving it partly done and having to spend more time on it later. Additionally, you will find that minerals accumulate more quickly in areas that aren’t clean.

Watch out for the small areas of the faucet, which means the edge around the base and the head. These areas can become grimy but are often overlooked in the cleaning process. It’s exactly the kind of grime that will make you sigh, but these small crevices can be effectively cleaned with dental floss.

5. Rinse and dry the faucet

Finally, you want to rinse and dry the faucet to ensure it shines and that no minerals accumulate any time soon. This is the easy part, use a wet cleaning cloth to rinse off any residual vinegar that might corrode the surface overnight, then use a dry cloth to wipe away leftover water to prevent unsightly water spots.

Removing Mineral Buildup from the Faucet

1. Check what your sink and faucet are made from

Kitchen faucets are made from different materials and have different finishes. Stainless steel is a popular faucet material, but your kitchen faucet might also be made from brass or zinc alloy. Many faucets also have a chrome finish that can be confused with stainless steel or zinc finish.

It’s important that you check the faucet material before using a treatment to remove any mineral build-up. Some products – including vinegar – can damage the faucet finish, especially chrome finishes that don’t stand up well against the acid. So always test the product on a small area before using it all over.

2. Cover the faucet with a bag containing vinegar

One way to clean faucets is to remove them and place them in a solution until the mineral build-up dissolves, but this process is labor-intensive and time-consuming. A much easier method involves vinegar and a plastic bag.

White vinegar is packed with acetic acid that is excellent for disinfecting the kitchen sink and faucet; all you have to do is fill a sandwich bag half full with white vinegar and secure it to the faucet head with a rubber band.

´╗┐Leave it to soak overnight if possible before rinsing with running water. The acid effectively tackles the bacteria on the faucet head, making it clean and hygienic.

3. Remove the bag and scrub with a brush

Using vinegar to dissolve minerals and kill bacteria on your kitchen faucet is effective, but simply leaving the bag on to dissolve the build-up may not be enough. If you remove the bag and you still have some mineral build-up, it’s a good idea to remove the remainder with a brush.

Brushes for cleaning kitchen faucets and other steel appliances in your home are available. These brushes are not stiff and wiry and won’t cause any scratching on the finish of your faucet yet are strong enough to remove the remaining mineral deposits effectively.

FAQs on Cleaning Sink Faucets

How often should I clean the kitchen sink?

It’s recommended that the kitchen sink should be thoroughly deep cleaned at least once a week to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria and mineral build-ups. It’s best to briefly clean the kitchen sink with mild dish soap and a cleaning cloth daily to get rid of any food particles that may remain after washing the dishes.

Will vinegar damage the finish on the faucet?

Vinegar and half a cup of baking soda are popular deep cleaning products because they are effective and environmentally friendly, but will they damage your kitchen sink?

Unfortunately, for a vinegar solution, the answer may be yes! Although vinegar is not as acidic as some products, it is still an acid and can corrode your faucet with regular use. Try to minimize this by rinsing it quickly and avoiding soaking for long periods if possible – a few minutes may be enough.

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