cleaning tips for specialty finishes facuets

Specialty finishes are absolutely beautiful, and while they are not new to the marketplace they are gaining in popularity as our clients upgrade their homes. Dark finishes like bronze, black, antique brass are becoming more and more popular, and while incredibly beautiful there are some things you should know so their beauty lasts for years to come

Finishes on fixtures like your faucets and the trim on your shower valve are a finish, their beauty is skin deep so to speak. A common misconception is that the fixture is the same metal all the way through the body but the finish and color that you see on the outside is a coating that covers the internal body of the fixture. This is important to know because it will and should affect the way you care for that beautiful finish you fell in love with.

Special finishes aren’t bullet proof and if you have dark finishes you’re sure to notice water spots and your instinct may be to use something strong to remove those water spots or debris from your faucets, pop ups and tub drains…..STOP!

These special finishes can last a lifetime if properly maintained but too often we’ve been replacing pop-ups, tub drains and bathroom faucets because someone didn’t know that they required special care. The safest way to care for your special finishes is with plain water and to clean them regularly so they don’t require soaps or scrubbing. If your finishes are beyond cleaning with water and a soft towel, don’t fret. Using mild soaps on your special finishes is okay, but you’ll absolutely want to make sure to use a soft cloth. By mild soaps we mean a 50/50 water and vinegar mixture as the safest option while there are some cleaners out there that you can use that are vinegar based or ammonia based. When in doubt check the manufacturer website for your specific finish. Don’t ever use anything abrasive like Scotch-Brite, scrubbing sponges, Scrubbing Bubbles, etc

Safe to use for most special finishes (check your manufacturer website for your finish)

  • Water
  • 50/50 vinegar water mixture
  • Windex or other ammonia-based household brands
  • Formula 409 Antibacterial All-Purpose cleaner
  • Fantastik All-Purpose clean


NOT safe to use and will very likely ruin your special finishes

  • All-Purpose bathroom cleaner
  • Scrubbing sponges
  • Bleach-based cleaners
  • Scrubbing Bubbles
  • Industrial cleaners
  • Lysol Basin Tub and Tile Cleaner
  • Soft Scrub
  • Polishing cleaners
  • Any cleaner that states it removes tarnish or rush
  • Any cleaner that contains hydrofluoric, phosphoric acids or caustic agents

When in doubt don’t use it, stick with those on the safe list or recommended by the manufacturer that designed your specific finish.