How to Maintain Your Kitchen Faucet
You probably don’t think about kitchen faucet maintenance unless there’s a problem.
A few simple routines can keep your kitchen faucet looking beautiful and working smoothly, and could save you expensive repairs in the future.
3 Reasons Your Faucet Needs Regular Maintenance
- Looking great: Protecting your faucet’s look and finish with the right cleansers will keep it looking beautiful.
- Working great: Keeping mineral buildup under control prevents clogs and keeps your water tasting fresh.
- Saving money: Knowing how to prevent the most common problems can save you money on emergency repairs.
Let’s look at a few easy ways you can give your faucet the TLC it deserves.
Giving Your Kitchen Faucet the Attention It Needs
Choosing the right faucet for your sink and kitchen will simplify maintenance needs.
Some features and finishes take extra upkeep. Consider how much maintenance a faucet needs before you settle on one.
Keep Your Faucet Looking Great with Gentle Daily Care
Here’s how to keep any faucet looking its best.
Choose the right cleanser.
- Wiping your faucet with warm water and a soft rag daily is usually enough to keep it clean.
- Dish soap will take care of grease and oil or stains
- Make sure your faucet is dry after wiping it down to prevent mold, mildew, and minerals from building up.
- Glass cleaner, barkeeper's friend, and other abrasive cleaners can scratch and dull your finish.
- Avoid scouring pads and rough sponges. Stick to flannel, microfiber, and other soft cloths.
- Some finishes have special cleaning instructions, so be sure to read any instructions from the manufacturer.
Care for Your Finish
Some finishes are harder to keep looking great than others.
High shine surfaces like polished chrome will show more fingerprints and water spots than brushed, matte, or satin finishes.
High-end materials like bronze and copper need a gentle touch and close attention to keep them looking great.
Here's how to look after specific finishes:
- Chrome and stainless steel: dish soap can cut through grease and oils without damaging your finish.
- Brushed nickel: warm water is best, but a little dishwasher detergent can also help for a deeper clean.
- Brass and bronze: just rub them down with a damp cloth, or you can use a vinegar solution for stubborn marks.
- Copper: use mild soap for daily maintenance. Vinegar, baking soda, tomato paste, or even ketchup can be used to remove excess tarnish or verdigris.
Keep Mineral Deposits Under Control
Minerals in the water can build up both inside and outside of your faucet.
Hard deposits on outside surfaces make your sink look dingy. They can also make knobs hard to turn.
More importantly, minerals can build up inside your faucet and restrict water flow, leading to low water pressure, or even totally clog your faucet.
Mineral deposits can also make your water taste sour, bitter, or metallic, and smell unpleasant.
So how can you keep minerals from building up?
- Install a water softener. A water softener removes calcium and magnesium from your water, cutting mineral deposits out at the source.
- Clean with diluted vinegar (about one part vinegar to two parts water) applied with a soft cloth. Allow about 30 minutes for it to sit before rinsing with water and drying your faucet.
- Remove your aerator periodically to remove minerals by soaking it in vinegar overnight and scrub with a toothbrush. You may have to replace your aerator occasionally as well.
- Soak nozzles on a pull-out or pull-down faucet in diluted vinegar. You can put the sprayer head in a bowl to soak or tie a plastic bag with vinegar solution over the spout.
- Wipe down your faucet at the end of the day and be sure to dry it completely.
Commercial cleaners for lime, rust, and calcium can also help, but may contain harsh chemicals that could damage some finishes. So we suggest spot testing commercial cleaners first.
Maintain Your Moving Parts
Certain parts of your faucet may need extra attention.
Plastic and rubber pieces such as O-rings break down over time. Your faucet may come with instructions for how to replace these pieces if you start to notice a drip or slow leak.
Pull-out and pull-down faucets will last longer if you make sure they’re always properly docked after using them to prevent straining the hose. Added features like magnetic docking can help with that.
Finally, the valves in your faucet need maintenance too, but this is best handled by a professional. Ceramic disk valves typically last the longest and require the least maintenance.
Some distributors and manufacturers offer lifetime warranties, troubleshooting, and other support to keep your faucet in top shape.
When to Consider Replacing Your Kitchen Faucet
The lifespan on a kitchen faucet is usually somewhere around fifteen to twenty years.
Of course, some faucets, made with better quality materials can last longer. The better you maintain it, the longer it lasts and the less problems you get during its life. Many common problems can be avoided altogether if you install the faucet correctly.
That being said, it may be time to replace your faucet if:
- You notice a drop in water pressure in your kitchen faucet but nowhere else in your house. Mineral buildup inside the faucet is the most likely culprit.
- You notice rust on your faucet.
- Your faucet is leaking even after replacing the valve or cartridge.
- Your faucet is more than 15 years old.
- You want an easy way to refresh the look of your sink or you’re looking for better features.
- If it’s time to consider a new kitchen faucet, we can help you find the perfect fit. Browse our store to find the ideal faucet for your kitchen!
- Kral Su