Brushed nickel is one of the staple finish options offered by most kitchen and bathroom fixture manufacturers. The finish isn’t overly bold, shiny, or glossy, like many other popular finish options available today. It boasts a semi-satin finish that offers a subtle touch of modernity to the space.
In order to preserve the beauty of a brushed nickel fixture, careful maintenance is required. Incorrect cleaning processes could damage the surface, leaving marks across the once-flawless surface. If you’re unsure how to clean your brushed nickel shower head (or just about any other brushed nickel fixture), continue reading.
How Are Brushed Nickel Products Made?
Brushed nickel products feature a soft metallic finish. The surface of the fixture features tiny grooves or brush marks, which gives it the characteristic “brushed” appearance. To create brushed nickel products, manufacturers finish the fixture by etching it with a wire brush or similar sanding tool to create a textured look.
The textured surface creates a warmer tone that makes a captivating balance between light and shadows on the surface of the fixture. Most brushed nickel products have a semi-satin finish, meaning it isn’t overly shiny or too matte. Instead, the finish is somewhere in between, as it catches the light beautifully but isn’t highly reflective or glossy.
How To Clean A Brushed Nickel Shower Head
Due to the delicate surface of brushed nickel, cleaning processes need to be just enough to remove dirt, dust, mineral deposits, or grime from the surface without damaging it. As a general rule of thumb, it’s better to skip harsh chemicals when cleaning brushed nickel. Instead, use a natural solution to remove the buildup of dust, dirt, or hard water.
To avoid massive amounts of gunk and grime on your brushed nickel shower head, it’s best to clean it routinely. To remove light dirt and grime, simply use a soft, damp cloth and wipe down the surface.
This helps lift any dirt and dust before it has the chance to accumulate on the surface. Alternatively, you can use glass cleaner to remove light dirt on the surface. However, ensure the cleaner doesn’t contain any ammonia or alcohol, as that can damage the surface of the nickel.
Tackling Hard Water Stains
Sometimes, the quick daily wipe-down might not happen. If you forget to do this for a few days, weeks, or even months, hard water stains might take up residence on the surface of the nickel. So, how do you remove hard water stains from brushed nickel?
Luckily, it isn’t difficult. Here’s what you’ll need:
- White vinegar
- Warm water
- Spray bottle
- Soft clean cloths
- Cotton swab
Start by mixing white vinegar and water in a spray bottle in a 50/50 ratio. Then, spray the solution onto the surface of the shower head. Allow it to sit for a few minutes, then rinse the shower head thoroughly to ensure the mixture is washed away.
Use a cotton swab to remove any hard water stains or mineral deposits in the hard-to-reach areas.
Next, dry the surface of the shower head with a soft, dry cloth. This will help prevent the water you used to rinse the fixture from drying on the surface, creating new mineral deposits to clean later. Anytime you clean the shower head, make sure you dry it off.
Wax The Surface
Every four weeks or so, you should wax the surface of the fixture. This will help restore the luster of the nickel finish, banishing the dull appearance it can take on. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Paste wax
- Soft, dry cloth
Apply a thin layer of paste wax to the shower head using a soft, dry cloth. Avoid applying the wax to the holes in the shower head, as you don’t want to block the water flow. Instead, apply it to the main portion of the shower head, coating the wax in a thin layer.
Next, use the same cloth to buff the wax on the surface using small, circular motions. Once the fixture is coated in wax, use a clean, soft cloth to remove any excess. Again, use small, circular motions to pick up the excess.
Will Vinegar Damage Brushed Nickel?
Abrasive cleaners are notorious for damaging delicate fixture finishes, including brushed nickel. Although vinegar does contain acid, you can dilute it with warm water for use on persistent mineral deposits.
Avoid using alcohol-based, acid, or solvent-based cleaners on brushed nickel. These cleaners tend to be overly abrasive, which can damage the surface of the fixture. For example, bleach or glass cleaners containing ammonia might damage the product’s surface. Instead, opt for gentler solutions, like mild dish soap and warm water or a half-and-half mixture of vinegar and water.
Leaving harsh or acidic substances on the surface of the fixture can leave discolored marks that can be tricky to remove. So, avoid using harsh chemicals to clean your brushed nickel fixtures.