How To Clean An Oil Rubbed Bronze Faucet

Oil rubbed bronze is a popular choice in faucet finishes, as it gives a refined touch to bathrooms, kitchens, and other areas. Many brands offer brushed bronze and oil-rubbed bronze finished faucets, including Kohler, Moen, and Delta.

These faucets aren’t challenging to take care of, but there are a few dos and don’ts when it comes to cleaning your oil-rubbed bronze faucet. Continue reading for a detailed guide on restoring your oil-rubbed bronze faucet to its original sparkling clean glory.

What To Clean Oil Rubbed Bronze Faucets With

Like many other faucet finishes, oil-rubbed bronze faucets shouldn’t be cleaned with any harsh cleaners or abrasive sponges. They can damage the faucet, causing scratches, dings, and unwanted marks. It’s best to use a gentle cleanser and soft sponge to cleanse the faucet.

What To Clean Oil Rubbed Bronze Faucets With

Avoid cleaners that contain alcohol or bleach, as they will discolor your faucet. Chemicals that remove limescale will also damage the faucet, so steer clear of those as well.

Will Vinegar Damage Bronze Faucets?

Vinegar is safe to use on bronze faucets. It is a common household item that is great for use on various cleaning projects, including cleaning bronze faucets. Vinegar comes in handy when cleaning off hard water stains and calcium deposits, which we will discuss later on.

Will Lysol Damage Oil Rubbed Bronze?

It is best to steer clear of using Lysol on oiled bronze. Although it may do fine if you were to spray a very light coat on and wipe it away almost immediately, it may also leave a cloudy film that is tricky to get rid of. So, as a general rule of thumb, stick to gentle cleansers on your oil-rubbed bronze faucets.

Cleaning Oil Rubbed Bronze Faucets

Oil-rubbed bronze doesn’t require an incredibly detailed cleaning process. If you stay on top of it and do daily care, your faucet should remain in tip-top shape. However, sometimes daily care slips through the cracks, and now it has been several weeks or even months since you cleaned it. If you stay on top of it and do daily care, your faucet should remain in tip-top shape.

Thankfully, you’ll only need a few minutes of your time and a couple of items, including:

  • Bucket of warm water
  • Several soft cloths
  • Non-abrasive sponge
  • Faucet wax for oil-rubbed bronze
  • Mineral oil

To start, gently clean the faucet with warm water and a soft cloth. This will help remove any dirt, but it is also a safe way to clean oil-rubbed bronze without damaging it.

Next, dampen the non-abrasive sponge in warm water. Avoid using abrasive cleaning items, like steel wool, to scrub the faucet, as they will cause scratches. Scour the faucet with the sponge to remove any stains resulting from hard water.

Finally, thoroughly dry the faucet with a clean, soft, dry cloth. Ensure that you remove all water droplets from the tap. Apply the faucet wax with a soft, dry cloth. A small amount of oil can also help restore and maintain the tap’s original color. All you need to do is coat the faucet in a thin film of oil.

How To Remove Calcium Deposits From A Bronze Faucet

How To Remove Calcium Deposits From A Bronze Faucet
Old antique bath taps with hot and cold engraved on tops in brass or copper

Hard water can cause calcium deposits on your faucet, detracting from the refined looks. It can cause deposits due to the high concentration of calcium, which is left behind when the water evaporates.

To rid your faucet of calcium deposits, you will need:

  • Several clean, soft cloths
  • Bowl
  • Vinegar
  • Water
  • Soft-bristled toothbrush or soft sponge

First, use a soft, dry cloth to remove water and dust. Then, mix equal parts vinegar and water in a bowl. Submerge a clean cloth in the mixture and allow it to saturate thoroughly. Wrap the fabric around the offending area and allow it to soak for 60 to 90 minutes. Ensure that the cloth covers all areas with calcium deposits.

Once the mixture has soaked on the faucet, use a soft-bristled toothbrush or soft sponge to scrub the faucet to remove the calcium deposits. If the vinegar mixture doesn’t quite cut it and the deposits are fixed in place, make a paste out of water, vinegar, flour, and salt.

Ensure that the paste is very thick, then apply it to cracks and crevices where the cloth couldn’t reach. A toothbrush may help reach into those areas to apply the paste.  Once the paste is applied, allow it to sit for an hour.

After the paste has set, wipe away excess with a paper towel. Then, use warm water to rinse the tap. Use a soft, clean cloth to scrub the deposits. Rinse it again to remove any leftover debris, then completely dry it using a clean, dry cloth.

How To Remove Oxidation From Oil Rubbed Bronze

How To Remove Oxidation From Oil Rubbed Bronze

If your oil-rubbed bronze faucet is turning a greenish hue, then there is a chemical reaction called oxidation taking place. Essentially, the copper within the faucet (bronze is composed of 88 percent copper and 12 percent tin) reacts with carbon dioxide, oxygen in the air, and water.

The result is called copper oxide, which gives the faucet a green color.

To get rid of the oxidation, you’ll need:

  • Several soft cloths
  • Baking soda
  • Lemon juice
  • Warm water

Mix two tablespoons of baking soda with enough lemon juice to make a thick paste. Spread the mixture over the green sections of the tap and rub it in well with a soft cloth. For the next step, use warm water to rinse the faucet clean. Check if the green marks are gone. If they persist, repeat the process.

General Care For Oil-Rubbed Bronze

The dark finish of oil-rubbed bronze offers a classy touch to your kitchen or bathroom. Regular maintenance is crucial for keeping the glossy finish of your faucet. Now, this doesn’t mean you need to deep clean your bathroom or kitchen daily. That’s time-consuming and simply not practical for most people.

So, to keep your oil-rubbed bronze faucet clean and maintain its finish, give it a quick wipe down after use. If you shower, wash your hands, brush your teeth, or wash dishes, ensure that you wipe the tap dry. This will prevent water spots and calcium deposits from forming, as well as whisk away any dirt remnants or oil from your hands.

However, even with a routine wipe down, it’ll eventually need a good thorough cleaning. Your regular maintenance will pay off in the end, though, as you’ll likely have less to contend with.

How To Restore Damaged Oil-Rubbed Bronze

How To Restore Damaged Oil-Rubbed Bronze

If your oil-rubbed bronze faucet is tarnished with superficial scratches or dings, you can repair it at home without the need for professional help or materials that will break the bank. To return your faucet to its original, lustrous appearance, you only need a few minutes of your time and a small list of materials.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Soft cloth
  • Warm water
  • Furniture wax
  • Mineral oil
  • Cotton balls

Wipe away any dust or dirt with a soft cloth. Refrain from using abrasive cleaners or sponges, as they’ll create additional scratches on the delicate surface.

Use another soft cloth to apply the furniture wax. Rub the wax into the scratches with a circular motion. Continue to rub the wax into the scratches until you cannot see them anymore.

Let the wax settle for a few minutes, then wipe away the excess with a clean cloth. Ensure that you buff out the excess, or it will leave a residue on the faucet. To restore the faucet’s original shine, dampen a cotton ball with a small amount of mineral oil and wipe it over the tap.