How to Clean Your Metal Fixtures


hot water heaterWhile we do a lot of work in the heating and cooling industry, some people don’t realize that we also specialize in plumbing. Our plumbing service experts are here for your plumbing installations, repairs, and to offer general tips, like the best way to clean your faucets and fixtures:


Chrome is the most popular material for faucets and fixtures and is relatively easy to clean. Like nickel, it can be cleaned with a combination of gentle soap and warm water. If you’re looking for a deeper clean, however, mix equal parts distilled white vinegar and warm water and apply to your fixtures using a cloth. Then, rinse with more warm water and dry.


When copper is exposed to oxygen over time, it can form a greenish build-up called patina (think about the Statue of Liberty), and since bronze is made from copper and tin, the same thing can happen. The good news is, you can polish your copper and bronze fixtures to remove their build-up by combining equal parts flour and salt, then adding drops of distilled white vinegar to form a paste. After you rinse your fixtures with warm water and dry, use a cloth to apply the paste and allow it to sink in for 20-30 minutes. After that, rinse with warm water and dry.


Many nickel fixtures are sensitive to both corrosive cleaners and abrasive materials, so be careful when you clean your nickel. Rub your fixtures with a combination of gentle soap and warm water, and avoid using steel wool, Brillo pads, and other materials that could scratch the finish.


Over time, pewter fixtures can develop a dark layer (or spots) of patina that is often sought after by homeowners. However, if you don’t like the look of your oxidized pewter, you can clean it with the same paste used to clean copper and bronze. First, use a mild soap and warm water to clean your pewter fixtures and dry them. Then, combine equal parts flour and salt and add a few drops of distilled white vinegar until a paste forms. Apply the paste and leave on for 20-30 minutes. Then, rinse with warm water and dry.

Stainless Steel

Like chrome, stainless steel is a popular faucet and fixture material and can be cleaned using a gentle soap and warm water. You can also try a mild dish washing detergent or some distilled white vinegar for a deeper clean. Just be sure to dry the surface thoroughly to prevent water spots.


Brass fixtures are similar to copper, bronze, and pewter in that they can oxidize over time. To clean your brass, rinse with warm water and then dry to remove surface dust and dirt. Then, drizzle lemon juice over two tablespoons of baking soda and mix to form a paste. (It will fizz at first, but will settle down after a few seconds.) Apply the paste with a soft cloth, rubbing it into the dark areas. Repeat as necessary, then rinse with warm water and dry.

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