How To Keep Brushed Nickel Faucets From Spotting

Styles change often; things in one year are out the following year, replaced by the next new thing.  From farmhouse sinks to wood or concrete countertops to double sinks, kitchen decor options are a very long list today.

Among the favorite fixture finishes today, brushed nickel tops the list for kitchen sinks, faucets, and cabinet door handles.  For good reason, too, as nickel is beautiful and resistant to rust and other forms of corrosion.

It is exceptionally durable and tends to keep its finish longer than chrome.  As such, it is the darling of kitchen faucets today.  It doesn’t show fingerprints and is easy to clean.

Brushed nickel has a slightly matte appearance as a result of being treated with a wire brush.  It has a luxurious aesthetic, as though hand-crafted, that hides water spots and fingerprints well. It’s a perfect fit in homes that otherwise have a traditional design, earth tones, and warmer color palettes.

Keeping Your Brushed Nickel Faucets Clean

Keeping Your Brushed Nickel Faucets Clean

Those of you who have chrome, brass, or stainless steel faucets know how often you need to clean off fingerprints and water stains.  Nickel faucets are not as problematic as chrome, but still require cleaning, although not so much for fingerprints.

Though, that cleaning task has very specific requirements and a do and don’t list to follow.  There are cleaning solutions to be avoided with nickel:

  • Industrial and abrasive cleaners, like the ones you use to clean your toilet
  • Products that promise to remove tarnish and rust
  • Harsh polishes
  • Cleaners containing bleach

These will cause damage to your faucet’s finish, and you’ll lose that sense of luxury it adds to your kitchen decor.

You also don’t want to use abrasive, alcohol-based, acid, or solvent-based cleaners on nickel, as they will also damage the finish.

How Do You Clean Your Brushed Nickel Faucet, Then?

We now know what not to use to clean your faucet.  But, what is safe to use that will not damage the finish?  After all, it’s the finish that attracted you in the first place to choose brushed nickel.

  • You will find that a bit of dish detergent can be effective on the faucet.  Harsh soaps could damage the brushed nickel finish.  Non-creamy dishwashing liquid will work well.
  • You can also spray a little WD 40 on a soft cloth or sponge and wipe the faucet off.  Spray it on the cloth rather than directly on the faucet for the most effective restoration of its luster and shine.
  • Generally, a damp cloth will effectively remove light dirt.  Dampen a soft piece of cloth and wipe down the faucet daily before dirt has a chance to accumulate.  You can even use a glass cleaner and a cotton ball to clean harder to reach surfaces along the faucet base.  Just make sure the glass cleaner doesn’t contain alcohol or ammonia.
  • Finally, use a paste wax over the finish every month.  Spread the wax using a soft, dry cloth in a small circular motion.  Finish it off by buffing it to a shine using another dry, soft cloth.

As a final reminder, avoid bleach; do not use cleaning agents that contain alcohol or ammonia; never use abrasive products; avoid acidic cleaning agents other than diluted vinegar solutions, and don’t use abrasive cleaning pads.

How to Remove Hard Water Stains From Brushed Nickel Faucet

Hard Water Stains Brushed Nickel Faucet

For hard water stains or built-up dirt, spray that soft cloth with a diluted vinegar solution. A 50-50 dilution will be fine.   Then, rinse the finish with a clean, damp cloth, rinsing out the cloth from time to time, and then dry the brushed nickel finish with a soft dry cloth.

Moen Brushed Nickel Faucets

Are there any special considerations for Moen brushed nickel faucets?  Not really, beyond the cleaning guidance we’ve already discussed.

The soft damp cloth and mild liquid dishwashing soap approach will work well.  Follow this with a good rinsing with clean water, and dry with a soft cloth.  Most household cleaners that do not contain alcohol, ammonia, or bleach will also be effective and safe.  Even mild abrasives for brushed chrome and platinum can be used as long as you follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

Delta Brushed Nickel Faucets

Generally, clean gently.  Blot water drops from the faucet after you’ve finished using the sink.  Allowing water drops to remain on the faucet can lead to a mineral deposit buildup. But, if you forget or miss a drop or two, warm water and a soft, damp cloth will rid the faucet of those occasional buildups.

SpotShield technology can obviate the need for this step, though.  This technology helps faucets prevent water spots and helps keep your faucet cleaner longer.

Delta says its brushed nickel faucets can be cleaned safely by a short list of cleaning agents, so long as you use them per their manufacturer’s instructions.  Visit the Delta website for that list

Delta also warns never to use products labeled “all-purpose bathroom cleaner,” as they likely contain ammonia or bleach.

As we’ve pointed out above, these cleaning agents should be avoided when cleaning brushed nickel faucets.

1 thought on “How To Keep Brushed Nickel Faucets From Spotting”

  1. Vinegar and water does not remove my hard water spots on my new Kohler brushed nickel fixtures. I have had luck using Weimann’s Stainless Steel Spray Cleaner, but am not sure it is a safe alternative. The only other thing that would work would be rubbing alcohol, but that would damage the finish. Any suggestions?


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