This Cleaning Mistake Might Be Ruining Your Faucets

If you have a fancy kitchen faucet or fixture, you may be cleaning it wrong! Don't worry: This tip from the plumber set us straight.

My parents recently went through a huge kitchen remodel. And by huge, I mean huge! They gutted their original kitchen, which meant eight weeks of making coffee in the basement and going out to eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

(Make these restaurant copycat recipes in your own kitchen—if it’s in working order!)

They dutifully sent us pictures of the progress, so we got to live vicariously as the empty, demo’d space slowly filled in with hardwood floors, stunning custom-built cabinets, and shiny, new appliances. As she sent pictures of the new sink, my mother shared a kitchen cleaning tip from the plumber that none of us had heard before.

The Mistake

As it turns out, you can’t use cleaning products on kitchen faucets and fixtures unless they’re stainless steel! It’s not just store-bought cleaners, either; you shouldn’t even use homemade cleaning remedies like Grandma did. These types of cleaners can destroy the finish on polished chrome, nickel, or oil-rubbed bronze fixtures. That means you’d have to replace your gorgeous (and pricey) faucet sooner than you’d like. Talk about an expensive cleaning mistake!

These cleaning mistakes are actually making your home dirtier.

The Fix

How did the plumber suggest Mom clean her gorgeous new fixtures? With warm, soapy water. That’s it!

Most times, rinsing the fixture with water alone should be enough to remove any dirt or grime. If it’s gotten greasy or she’s worried about germs (like if she just touched raw meat), wiping it down with a dish towel soaked in warm, soapy water will do the trick.

Mom was worried about water spots, but the plumber had a suggestion for that, too. After cleaning the fixtures, all she needs to do is wipe them dry with a clean, soft dish towel. It’s as easy as that! No need to spend a ton of money at the store on fancy cleaners or cloths.

Wondering if it’s time to (ahem) throw in the towel and replace your dishcloths, sponges and scrub brushes? Find out how to tell if they’ve outlived their usefulness.

So, if you’re the type of person that feels better about using cleaning products to keep your kitchen or bathroom clean, opt for stainless steel fixtures. But, if you want the gorgeous finish of a fancy faucet, you’ll have to go without the cleaning products.

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Lindsay D. Mattison
After years of working in professional kitchens, Lindsay traded her knives in for the pen. While she spends most of her time writing these days, she still exercises her culinary muscles on the regular, taking any opportunity to turn local, seasonal ingredients into beautiful meals for her family.