Have you ever had to replace your faucet? If so, then you may have wondered how the process works.
Faucets can be replaced by anyone with little know-how and time on their hands. In this article, we'll discuss how to restore your old faucet to its original working condition for years of use!
Hopefully, this blog post has given you some valuable insight into restoring your old faucet without having to buy an entirely new one. Happy plumbing!
Tips To Restore Your Faucets
As with most cleaning-related jobs, vinegar is one of the best options, and using it to clean a faucet is extremely easy.
Just fill a small baggie with vinegar and use a hair tie to hold the bag in place over the faucet. Remove the bag after about 30 minutes and use a dish brush to remove any remaining particles. Rinse with warm water, and the tap should be as good as new.
If the faucet has a lot of calcium buildup, you'll need something a little more heavy-duty than vinegar.
You'll still need a baggie, but fill it with equal amounts of water and CLR this time. Then, hook the bag onto the faucet and leave it for a few hours. After removing the bag, scrub the faucet with a clean rag until all the buildup is gone.
Baking Soda, Vinegar And Dish Soap
If you don't want to use a chemical-filled cleaner but know that vinegar alone isn't enough to cut through the grime on the faucet, you might need to call in some reinforcements.
You'll still need a baggie, but this time pour in two tablespoons of baking soda and five drops of dish soap. Next, hold the bag around the faucet and pour in enough vinegar to cover everything.
When it's finished foaming, use a rubber band to fasten the bag around the faucet. Leave it for an hour before removing the bag and scrubbing the faucet with an old toothbrush. Finish by rinsing off the spout with warm water.
No matter how clean you think you're keeping the faucet, there's still a chance you're going to end up with hard water stains.
It's not your fault; it depends on the kind of water your city has. Fortunately, there's an easy, all-natural way to get rid of hard water stains.
Cut a lemon in half and rub the cut side on the faucet. Let the lemon juice soak in for a few minutes and finish by rinsing with warm water.
Hydrogen Peroxide And Baking Soda
Have you ever looked at the base of the faucet where it meets the back edge of the sink? If you tend to forget that part, you probably have no idea how much gunk and grime accumulate there.
But there's an easy way to clean it. Start by sprinkling a thin layer of baking soda over the part you want to clean and spraying it with hydrogen peroxide.
Let it sit for a few minutes before you scrub the area with an old toothbrush. When you're finished, wipe everything away with a damp cloth.
Install A New Faucet
At some point, you might decide that a faucet is beyond saving, no matter how much you clean it. When this happens, it's time to install a brand-new one.
This isn't as difficult as you might think. Start by detaching the water lines under the sink and removing the mounting nuts.
Next, loosen the bolt on the lift rod, which should allow you to lift the old faucet out of the mounting holes.
Put the new faucet into the mounting holes, adjust the handles and reverse the previous steps to hook up everything.
Tips On Restoring Chemical Damage To Chrome Faucets
Chemical Damage Basics
Chemical damage is any damage to the chrome faucet brought on by chemical reactions. The most common type of damage to chrome is rust damage.
Tap water with high iron concentrations will rust the chrome, causing it to turn brown or reddish-green.
This ruins the aesthetic appeal and may be very difficult to remove. In addition, chemical damage can happen when you use cleaners that contain hydrofluoric, oxalic and other types of acids, which result in a milky green stain.
Soap And Water
Simple soap and water are usually sufficient for cleaning most stains from chrome faucets, provided that the soap doesn't contain any acid. In addition, it's gentle on the chrome to prevent any additional damage.
Dishwashing liquid is your best bet, but try to avoid abrasive soaps like powdered detergents. Check the list of ingredients on the soap's packaging to ensure that it contains no acid content.
Lather your chosen soap onto your chrome with a damp, warm washcloth. Next, choose a soft cloth that won't scratch the chrome.
The milky stains resulting from acid corrosion should peel away within seconds to repair the chrome finish on the faucet.
Aluminum Foil Rust Remover
If rust is the issue with your faucet, you may have the solution in your kitchen. The aluminium foil method is used on all sorts of chrome fixtures for safely removing rust buildup.
Wipe down your chrome faucets with a wet sheet of aluminium foil. This will help remove the rust cleanly without the risk of scratching up for a beautiful fixture. Rinse the faucet when finished.
Steel wool may be typically used to remove rust, but it may scratch your chrome or result in chrome coming off taps and leaving chemical dust behind.
Vinegar To Clean Chrome
Vinegar is acidic, but not so much that it would damage chrome, so it's generally safe to use as a cleaning and polishing agent.
It can help remove grime, rust, and other damage to your chrome faucet. Other mild acidic items you have around the house can also work, including lemon juice, lime juice and cola.
Avoid any too harsh acids, as you might end up with an acid stain on chrome surfaces.
Use paper towels dampened with white vinegar to wipe away rust and chemical staining from your chrome faucet.
Let the vinegar-soaked paper towel sit on the rust for a few minutes while it gradually eats away and loosens it from the surface.
Wipe down and thoroughly remove any traces of vinegar after you're finished cleaning to ensure that it doesn't cause any accidental chemical staining.
How To Clean Tarnished Chrome Faucets
What Is The Best Cleaner For Chrome?
You can find an inexpensive cleaner online or at the store for a few bucks, but it isn't necessary. With a few everyday household items, you can make a homemade chrome cleaner, damage rust and give your faucet a gleaming shine!
You may ask yourself, will vinegar damage chrome fixtures? The answer is no. Quite the opposite is true.
White vinegar is one of the most gentle abrasives for tarnish removal. Here is a recipe for a simple homemade solution to get clean chrome:
- Mix 1:1 parts white vinegar and water
- Baking soda to help scrub
How Do You Remove Oxidation From Chrome?
A chemical reaction between the chrome and nonmetal compounds (air and moisture) leaves behind metal oxide, also known as the metal sulphide.
This is a product of oxidation. If your finger has ever turned black or green from a ring, tarnish is the culprit.
An abrasive is needed to bring back the lustre of a tarnished faucet. Our cleaning method uses vinegar and baking soda to get the job done, but many different agents remove tarnish.
Below Are A Few Popular Alternatives:
- Lemon – the citric acid from a lemon acts as a strong abrasive.
- Windex – good for removing light tarnish stains and minor blemishes.
- WD-40 – built for industrial use on automobiles, it has the power to remove tough rust stains.
- Chemical cleaners – chemical cleaners used oxalic or phosphoric acid to get rid of the toughest stains. These cleaners are toxic and should be used as a last resort.
Avoid using bleach at all costs; the chlorine in bleach can mess up metal.
How Do I Make My Faucet Shine Again?
The method you choose to use depends on how badly your faucet is tarnished. Light tarnishing takes some wiping and perhaps the help of a non-toxic cleaner. Follow the directions below to remove chrome discolouration from your tap.
- Warm water
- Soft cloth
- White vinegar
- Baking soda
- Bristle brush (toothbrush etc.)
- Silver polish
- Do an initial cleaning – use warm water and soap to clean the faucet thoroughly.
- Make the Vinegar solution – make a 1:1 parts solution of water and vinegar.
- Add baking soda – sprinkle baking soda lightly on the chrome.
- Let it soak – spray the solution on the faucet and let it soak for no less than 15 minutes.
- Loosen the grime – scrub away to get into all the nooks and crannies of the faucet.
- Rinse and Buff – use water to rinse down the faucet and buff it with chrome polish. Viola!
For Stubborn Stains That Won't Go Away
If you are dealing with a heavily tarnished bathroom faucet, you might have to bring in the big guns (harsh abrasives and toxic chemicals).
Here are some tips to help you take on the most stubborn stains.
Get more abrasive – a stronger abrasive will penetrate deeper into the chrome.
Here Are Some Ways To Get More Cleaning Power:
- Use a more robust, more acidic solution. Try using a 3:1 ratio of vinegar to the water. You can also add more acid with lemon.
- Let the solution soak for longer. Saturate a soft cloth with the solution and lay it on the faucet.
- Use a green scouring pad to scrub the faucet.
- Add more baking soda or salt for a heavier paste.
Use a chemical cleaner – if all else fails, you can use a chemical rust remover. Be sure to take all the necessary precautions and carefully read the instructions.
These products are expensive and need to sit on the chrome for several hours before scrubbing them off.
How To Remove Chemical Stains From A Stainless Steel Sink
You might well think that a material known as "stainless" is utterly immune to staining of all types, but this is not the case with so-called stainless steel.
While this material is certainly less susceptible to rust discolouration than ordinary steel, stainless steel does stain.
What allows stainless steel to keep its shine longer than other types of steel is a protective layer of chromium oxide on its surface.
Chromium oxide is a type of rust. Still, unlike iron oxide—the form of rust with which most people are familiar—the chromium oxide layer generally doesn't flake off and expose more underlying metal to corrosion.
This protective layer makes it easy to remove most stains from stainless steel, provided you don't use the wrong cleaning agent or implement.
What Is Stainless Steel?
Ordinary steel is a metal alloy. Its primary component is iron, and it also contains up to 2 per cent carbon along with trace amounts of other elements, such as silicon, phosphorus, sulphur and oxygen.
To create stainless steel, manufacturers include chromium in the alloy, and a fair amount of it, too—from 10 to 30 per cent.
They usually also add other elements, such as nickel and manganese, for increased durability and workability. The combination usually renders stainless steel non-magnetic.
Chromium is a super-hard metal that combines with oxygen to form chromium oxide. This compound includes a thin, continuous layer on the surface of stainless steel that prevents further corrosion and prevents ferric oxide (iron rust) from forming. In addition, this layer is self-healing and will re-form if you scratch the metal.
Types Of Stains And Corrosion
A stainless steel sink's sleek, shiny finish can turn cloudy or become discoloured for several reasons. You can get rid of most of these stains, but some are permanent.
Hard water: Minerals in hard water can collect on any sink. Calcium deposits will turn it cloudy, and dissolved iron is responsible for the unsightly brownish rust stains you find on many old bathroom and kitchen fixtures.
Chlorine and chlorides: Chlorine causes a type of corrosion known as pitting. This is also true for chlorides, and ordinary table salt (sodium chloride) is a chloride.
Short periods of exposure aren't problematic, but prolonged exposure, such as allowing salty water or water that contains chlorine bleach to standing in a stainless steel sink, can cause this type of staining, which is irreversible.
Bimetallic corrosion: Leaving salty water standing in your sink creates another stain and corrosion hazard.
Salty water is an electrolyte, which means it conducts electricity. If any implement made with a dissimilar metal, such as aluminium, is also sitting in the sink, the exchange of electrons between the metals could corrode the sink.
Acid staining: Any liquid with a pH of less than 1.0 can stain stainless steel. A drink with such a low pH is an acid that is too strong for everyday use, but certain sulfuric acid-based drain cleaners may qualify. Avoid putting them in the sink.
Iron staining: Wiping your stainless steel sink with steel wool will scratch it, but that isn't the biggest problem.
Delicate pieces of iron left on the stainless steel surface can reduce the chromium concentration, and when it falls below 10 per cent, the sink will rust.
You can remove this rust and the iron that caused it, and when you do, the chromium oxide layer will repair itself and prevent more rust from forming.
A General Stain Removal Procedure
You should always check the manufacturer's cleaning recommendations for your sink. Most recommend this simple cleaning method for most stains:
- Mix baking soda with dish soap to make a paste.
- Soak a sponge or microfiber cloth in the paste to saturate it. You can also use an old toothbrush.
- Wipe the stains gently and repeatedly, always going with the metal's grain lines until the stains are gone.
Wash down the sink weekly with a sponge or rag and dish soap or another cleaning product for general care.
Soft abrasive cleansing powders, such as Comet or Bon Ami, are recommended. One sink distributor suggests putting the stopper in the sink, pouring in some club soda and using it to wipe down the metal for a sparkling, glossy finish.
Check the ingredients of any product you use. For example, if the product contains chlorides, be meticulous about rinsing the sink after cleaning to avoid pitting.
Getting Rid Of Calcium And Rust Stains
Calcium and iron stains from hard water are challenging to remove from any sink. However, most will come off with vinegar, which is acidic enough to dissolve the colours but not acidic enough to harm the sink.
An excellent way to use it is to spray vinegar on the sink after cleaning with the baking soda and dish soap paste, but before rinsing.
It will make the baking soda fizz, which is fun to watch, and when you wipe off the paste and rinse after about 20 minutes, the stains should be gone.
It is a little more difficult to remove rust stains resulting from scratching with steel wool or some other metallic, abrasive cleaning implement.
The easiest solution is to wipe down with a cleanser that contains oxalic acid. If you prefer a DIY method, make a paste with vinegar and laundry detergent, cover the stain and let the paste sit for an hour or two.
Spray the paste with more vinegar if it dries out. When you wipe off the paste, the rust should be gone, but you'll still have to rinse and wipe down the sink thoroughly to get off all the tiny metal shards that caused the rust.
Besides avoiding steel wool and chlorine or chloride products, you should never use oven cleaner to clean your sink.
It contains caustic soda, an ingredient in many industrial-strength drain cleaners, which is just as bad for the finish as a strong acid.
Avoid letting cast iron cooking implements soak in a stainless steel sink. Small bits of iron can migrate through the water and cause iron staining on the sink.