Everybody wants their kitchen and bathroom to sparkle. The eye often goes to the faucet as one of the key indicators of cleanliness in a home. If the faucet and fixtures sparkle, the rest of the kitchen or bathroom is typically good to go. Here are a few tricks on how to maximize the sparkle of your faucets using eco-friendly methods, as well as cleaning the various metal finishes and fixtures properly.
For faucet and hardware cleaning, use an old toothbrush to accurately scrub around the parts. A bit of baking soda on the toothbrush will help get the small areas clean and loosen any mineral or water deposits. Dental floss is great to remove dirt when cleaning small gaps between the faucet and the sink mount– the floss will loosen build-up like dried toothpaste and soap scum. Be sure to use a wet cloth to clean the faucet and a dry microfiber cloth to dry and shine the fixture – a wet or damp cloth will leave streaks.
Make sure that you clean each metal finish properly, because using certain products can scratch, corrode or ruin a finish. Always start cleaning faucets and fixtures with soapy water and a soft cloth or sponge.
Chrome and nickel
These finishes are easiest to clean. Pour a splash of vinegar on a damp cloth to clean any remaining residue and deposits off the hardware and faucet. Finish by wiping the surface with a dry microfiber cloth – you will be thrilled with the shine! These finishes are by far the easiest to maintain.
Plain white vinegar on a cloth cleans and shines chrome faucets beautifully. If you ever notice remaining hard water deposits or limescale, spray vinegar on the finish and let it sit for a few moments. You will be amazed to see how quickly this dissolves and makes your faucet shiny.
Copper and stainless steel
These finishes are simple to clean, and you can use an appropriate cleaning agent and buff with a cloth to remove tarnish and create shine.
Ketchup and cola, both common staples in fridges and pantries, are great copper cleaners. Using one or the other will do wonders for copper. Apply either to your copper finish, let it sit for a few moments and then rinse off with a damp cloth. The acid in these products removes the tarnish and makes everything look brand new.
I like to use the soft side of a sponge to make sure I am getting a really good cleaning. Never the scratchy side of a sponge, this could scratch and ruin the finish.
Brass and bronze
These finishes may be daunting at first glance, but are easy to clean once you know what to do. They look their best when polished, since these finishes have the tendency to tarnish quickly. Always use a soft cloth – even paper towel can scratch!
A terrific homemade paste for polishing brass and bronze is made out of vinegar, salt and all purpose flour. Mix equal parts (about a tablespoon of each) of these three ingredients and apply to the faucet and hardware with a damp cloth. Lightly buff the metal and then rinse off and dry with a cloth. Easy, cheap and readily available, this paste will become a cleaning favorite.
Although a seemingly small part of any bathroom or kitchen, it is important to keep the faucet and hardware well maintained and sparkling. A few household ingredients make this task easy and eco-friendly!