How to Keep Brushed Nickel Faucets from Spotting?

Keep Brushed Nickel Faucets From Spotting
Keep Brushed Nickel Faucets From Spotting

Kitchen faucets tend to come in one of three different finishes: Brushed nickel, chrome, or stainless steel.

It is a matter of taste which one is right for your kitchen, but each comes with disadvantages and advantages.

Of the three types of finishes, brushed nickel is the most “classic” or traditional in appearance.

Brushed nickel is also sturdy, relatively easy to look after, and doesn’t show stains as much as the other types do. However, it still requires some care to keep it looking pristine. 

In this article, we’ll teach you exactly how to keep brushed nickel faucets from spotting, so that you end up with faucets that are as perfect as the day they were first installed!

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What are brushed nickel faucets?

Brushed nickel faucets are faucets that are made of nickel and have a brushed finish. This means that the surface of the faucet has been treated with a grinding or sanding process to create a matte, textured appearance.

Related read: Learn what is kitchen faucet flow rate

Brushed nickel kitchen faucets are available in a variety of styles, including single-handle and double-handle designs.

Below are some of the distinguishing features of brushed nickel faucets:

1. Brushed Metal Finish

Brushed nickel faucets have the central metal core plated over with nickel. 

The “brushed” effect refers to the warm color tones achieved by etching the faucet. 

This is usually done with a wire brush or similar tool and results in gold or brown undertones that catch the light. This then gives the impression of refined texture.

That is why polished nickel faucets are a popular choice for home kitchens when a less industrial look is required. By contrast, chrome is often chosen for work kitchen faucets.

2. Durability

Brushed nickel is strong and long-lasting. However, it is prone to tarnishing. 

Having said that, the brushed effect is great at masking defects. This means that while brushed nickel might not be as durable as stainless steel, for example, any scratches or marks that appear will not be so obvious.

3. Cost

Brushed nickel faucets tend to be more expensive than their chrome or stainless-steel equivalents, because of the extra step involved in perfecting the finish on the product.

Common causes of spotting in brushed nickel faucets

Despite the toughness of brushed nickel, common household products such as toothpaste, mouthwash, or anything acidic can damage them if not cleaned off fairly promptly.

Here are some key reasons for spotting nickel kitchen faucets:

  • Corrosion
  • Using abrasive cleaning chemicals
  • Splashes from acidic substances

How to keep brushed nickel faucets from spotting

You should regularly wash the faucet with mild liquid soap (such as a gentle dishwashing liquid) or a paste made from baking soda and water.

rubbing the faucet to clean off any spots
Rubbing the faucet to clean off any spots

Take the following easy steps to keep your brushed nickel faucets looking their best:

  1. Put some gentle soapy solution on a soft cloth or sponge
  2. Use this to rub the faucet to clean off any spots or marks
  3. Rinse the faucet with warm water to remove all traces of the cleaning product
  4. Rinse the sponge, then use the sponge to dry off the faucet
  5. Next, take a soft, microfiber cloth and use this to finish drying the faucet
Putting soapy solution to clean nickel faucet

It is a good idea to clean off any marks or residue from spills as soon as they happen, as the longer any substance is in contact with the faucet, the more difficult it gets to clean it off.

Additional tips on preventing spotting from nickel faucets:

It is important to avoid exposing your faucet to harsh chemicals or other substances that can cause spotting or discoloration.

This may include things like bleach, drain cleaners, and other harsh cleaning agents. By following these tips, you can help keep your brushed nickel faucets looking like new for many years to come.

Watch the following for a step-by-step video tutorial on how to clean brushed nickel faucets:

If your Brushed Nickel Faucet has Mineral Deposits

The procedure here is slightly different from the above cleaning method. If your brushed nickel faucet has mineral deposits (from hard water for example), you should take the following steps:

  1. Make a solution of equal parts of vinegar and water
  2. Soak a soft sponge in this solution
  3. Rub the faucet with the sponge to clean off the mineral deposits
  4. Rinse the faucet with warm water
  5. Rinse the sponge and use it to dry off the faucet
  6. Finish drying the faucet with a soft, microfiber cloth

Optional extra step: You can also apply an automotive wax as a protective barrier to your brushed nickel faucets!

You may also use brushed nickel cleaner and a polishing agent to prevent spotting from nickel faucets.

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Things to avoid when cleaning brushed nickel faucets

Here are a few of the materials and substances that should be avoided when cleaning brushed nickel faucets:

  • Abrasive chemicals
  • Cleaners containing alcohol
  • Anything containing ammonia
  • Organic solvents
  • Fibrous cleaning cloths and sponges
polishing brushed nickel faucets
Polishing brushed nickel faucets


In this guide, we have shared the complete steps on how to clean nickel faucets and how to prevent water spots off the faucet.

Brushed nickel is a highly-attractive finish for kitchen faucets that adds warmth to the kitchen setting.

It is durable, and the etching effect on the finish masks the appearance of any scratches and defects.

You still need to look after your brushed nickel faucets to protect them from corrosion. The best way to do this is to use gentle cleaning solutions and to take care of any spills as soon as they happen.


How do you clean a brushed nickel faucet?

Cleaning a brushed nickel faucet consists of steps like cleaning off any spots or marks, rinsing the faucet with warm water, and using a sponge to dry off the faucet.

Does Delta make a brushed nickel faucet?

Yes, Delta does make a brushed nickel faucet. Delta offers a wide range of faucet styles and finishes, including brushed nickel.
If you are looking for a brushed nickel faucet for your kitchen and bathroom, you may want to consider a Delta faucet as one of your options.

Will vinegar damage the brushed nickel faucet?

Using vinegar for a quick wash is not going to damage the brushed nickel faucet. However, exposing brushed nickel faucets to vinegar for a long time will damage the surface.

Can you put a brushed nickel faucet on a stainless steel sink?

Yes, you can put a brushed nickel faucet on a stainless steel sink. As long as the faucet is designed to be compatible with your sink and is properly installed, you may use a brushed nickel faucet on a stainless steel sink.