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How to Keep Brushed Nickel Faucets from Spotting

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Brushed nickel faucets are a popular choice for kitchen and bathroom fixtures because they look great. Keeping your brushed nickel faucet looking shiny and new is important because it’s a big part of your bathroom or kitchen look.

But over time, due to excess spilled water, the brushed nickel finish can begin to spot. Fortunately, we have got a complete guide on how to keep brushed nickel faucets from spotting, and we’re going to share it with you.

On a side note, if you end up needing a new faucet, check out our full comparison of the best bathroom faucets.

Read more: The 12 Most Popular Faucet Finishes

6 Tips for Keeping Brushed Nickel Faucets from Spotting

It’s pretty easy to keep nickel brushed faucets clean if you stick to a simple cleaning routine. Here are the best ways to keep your faucets looking nice and spotless.

1. Dry faucets after use

Water droplets can leave spots on brushed nickel faucets. This is especially true if you live somewhere the humidity is often high. The best way to eliminate these water spots is to dry your faucet after each use. You can do this with a soft drying cloth, chamois, or by blowing on the faucet.

Drying brushed nickel faucets after each usage prevents calcium from forming due to hard water and keeps them from spotting.

2. Remove hard water stains with a mild solution

If you have hard water, be sure to polish your faucets with a mild dishwashing detergent every now and then. Alternatively, you can also use diluted vinegar (half vinegar and half water) to wipe off the brushed nickel faucets.

Doing this will remove any calcium deposit from the hard water, which can cause spots if left unattended.

Make sure to rinse off the solution from the brushed nickel faucets afterward. Leaving detergent or vinegar solution on the faucet for over 30 minutes can tarnish your fixtures.

3. Use warm water

You should avoid using cold water to clean brushed nickel fixtures. It can cause minerals to harden, leaving more spots that make it harder to clean.

Instead, use warm water that allows the mineral build-up to dissolve and be wiped clean with a sponge. Warm water also helps break up tough stains that colder water can’t handle.

4. Clean twice a week

Regularly cleaning your brushed nickel fixtures is the key to keeping them from spotting. You should aim to clean the brushed nickel faucet from top to bottom once or twice a week, which prevents calcium deposits from starting to build up.

Use diluted vinegar, baking soda, or mild dish soap to clean every little crevice and opening of your bathroom fixtures.

You can also refer to our detailed 6 step guide on how to clean brushed nickel faucets for more information.

After properly cleaning the brushed nickel faucet, make sure to dry it using a soft rag or chamois cloth. You can also go a step ahead and use a dryer sheet to buff the fixture to a nice shine.

5. Wax the faucet once a month

Adding a layer of paste wax to your faucets once a month helps protect them from spotting. You don’t need to do it very often unless you want your bathroom fixtures to appear extra shiny all the time.

Applying paste wax also keeps minerals from depositing on your brushed nickel fixtures, so you get a nice, even shine without any unsightly mineral stains left behind.

6. Consider purchasing a water softener system

If you live in an area with hard water, you should consider getting either a water softener or one of the best faucets for hard water.

Fact: More than 80% of the United States relies on hard water from the tap. Using hard water harms your appliances over time, building up calcium deposits on exposed areas. But beyond that, it dries out your hair and skin if you have a shower or bath every day.

A water softener system helps soften hard water, making it easier to clean. This means that you won’t have to polish your faucets as often, and they’ll look great for longer compared to only using household cleaners.

With the help of a water softener system, you can also avoid buying bottled water for drinking and cooking. For someone still on the fence about this expensive investment, we’ve covered if it’s worth getting water softeners.

Depending on your house system, you may consider getting one of the best water descalers instead.

Cleaning Brushed Nickel Faucets: 4 Mistakes to Avoid

Here are some general guidelines to follow when using cleaning products on your brushed nickel fixtures:

1. Avoid harsh cleaning solutions

Always use caution when using household cleaners on your brushed nickel faucets.

While most of the time, it will be tough enough to tackle difficult stains, you should never use any abrasive or harsh chemicals for cleaning as they can damage or ruin the finish. This includes ammonia, scouring pads, steel wool, and direct vinegar solutions.

Instead, use mild dish soap, baking soda, or diluted vinegar to clean brushed nickel faucets.

2. Don’t use abrasive pads on brushed nickel

Using abrasive pads to clean your brushed nickel fixtures is a big no-no.

Rough pads can scratch or scuff the finish of the metal, making it appear dull and foggy. Even worse, scratches will leave behind permanent marks that are hard to remove later on. This is especially true if you have matte-finished faucets (brushed nickel is matte-finished during manufacturing.)

It’s also crucial that you don’t use any metal utensils or tools when cleaning your faucets. The best cleaning tools to clean brushed nickel faucets are toothbrushes, soft cloth, and dryer sheets.

3. Wipe off acidic substances immediately

If you accidentally spill anything acidic on your brushed nickel bathroom fixtures, wipe it off as quickly as possible.

We’re talking about coffee and wine here (and really, we should be more careful about what we drink near our sinks) but also things like grape juice and fruit juices.

Citrus can cause noticeable corrosion of the metal surface after a while, which is irreversible.

If you spill something acidic on your brushed nickel fixtures, clean it up immediately with a mild dish soap solution or diluted vinegar. Then use a toothbrush to gently scrub the affected areas before rinsing thoroughly and dry using a soft cloth.

4. Don’t leave sponges around the faucet

Another common mistake when cleaning brushed nickel faucets is forgetting to remove a sponge from the vicinity of your sink.

Sponges tend to get moldy and stink up over time, especially if you leave them out in a damp environment like your bathroom.

This can lead to stains appearing on your faucet, so it’s important to make sure you properly dry your sponge before storing it away.


Will vinegar damage brushed nickel?
When used directly on brushed nickel, vinegar will harm the metal because of its high acidity level. This means you should avoid using vinegar when cleaning your bathroom fixtures.

However, you can still use diluted vinegar (1:1 ratio of water and vinegar) to clean brushed nickel. Preparing this solution will reduce the acidity so that it won’t damage the metal surfaces.

Does brushed nickel show water spots?

Brushed nickel faucets will show water spots more than other fixtures because of their matte finish.

Use a toothbrush to scrub the surface with baking soda or dish soap to remove these stubborn marks. You can also try using a dryer sheet, which is excellent for cleaning any metal without damaging or scratching it.

Can you use bar keepers friend on brushed nickel?

Bar Keepers Friend is a non-abrasive cleaning product, but it might be too harsh for brushed nickel.

Though the website does not explicitly say that you can’t use Bar Keepers Friend on brushed nickel, there are reports that it may cause damage to the metal finish or leave behind stains and scratches.

If you want to use it, test a small portion of the metal first and see if it leaves any lasting effects. Many recommend using baking soda as an alternative solution.

Final Words

Keeping your brushed nickel faucets shiny and spot-free is easy with a few simple steps.

Hopefully, these instructions on how to keep brushed nickel faucets from spotting were helpful!

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