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Clean a Sink Faucet

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Clean a Sink Faucet Photo Credit: Steve Cole/Getty Images
The amount of gunk my family manages to drip on our faucets is not for the faint of heart. I often find that the faucet needs to be cleaned more often than the rest of the sink. Find out how to remove all of the grime from your kitchen and bathroom faucets...and then tell your family to stay away, at least for long enough to admire your work.
Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: 10 Minutes

Here's How:

  1. Know your faucet's finish.

    It's a good idea to check the manufacturer's instructions for your faucet's finish. While the most common type of faucet is chrome, there are other types that may need special care instructions.

  2. Try basic cleaning.

    Try the most basic way to clean your faucet first. Plain water, or mild dish soap and water can take care of the cleaning needs for most faucet types. Drying the faucet with a dry cleaning cloth after cleaning will allow you buff the shine of the faucet. This will also help prevent spotting on the faucet finish.

  3. Try more intense cleaning.

    If water or dish soap weren't enough to remove the gunk from your faucet, the next step is white vinegar. A mix of half vinegar and half water applied with a cleaning cloth, can remove water spots and fingerprints. If you aren't sure of your faucet's finish or want to be extra careful, it's a good idea to test the vinegar/water in a hidden area to make sure the finish isn't damaged.

  4. Clean around the edges.

    An old toothbrush can be a great tool to clean around the edges where the sink and the faucet meet. Use dish soap or plain water to clean the edges. Wipe the faucet dry with a cleaning cloth.

  5. Clean the drain portion.

    The drain part of a faucet is often the part that needs the most cleaning. Try using a non abrasive cleaner like Softscrub or Barkeeper's Friend to clean this portion of the faucet. It's a good idea to test any cleaner on a hidden portion of the faucet to check for damage to the finish.

Tips:

  1. Many companies offer a lifetime warranty on newer faucets that have been installed. These warranties may be voided by using caustic drain cleaners or other corrosive cleansers on the faucets. It's a good idea to know if you have a warranty, what is recommended to clean the faucet by the manufacturer.
  2. Some faucets have a special kind of finish that is called a living finish. This faucet is meant to age and develop a patina. If you clean the faucet with anything more than water, you'll take off part or all of the patina. This is a matter of personal preference.
  3. Scrub sponges, or abrasive brushes are not a good idea for most finishes. When in doubt, test in a hidden area, first.
  4. A mild glass and surface cleaner may be another option to clean your faucet.
  5. To make your chrome faucets gleam and shine, try putting a dab of baby oil on a cotton ball. Polish the faucet with the baby oil. You'll see your reflection smiling back at you.

What You Need

  • Cleaning cloths (1 wet, 1 dry)
  • Water
  • Dish soap
  • Vinegar
  • Non-abrasive cleaner
  • Old toothbrush
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