Kitchen and bathroom faucets shine when you spend time each week cleaning your fixtures, while simple plumbing fixes can resolve most faucet problems. Here are three tips to keep your faucets flowing freely and looking great.

1. Consult the Literature for Proper Care

Your modern kitchen and bathroom faucets may be made of any number of materials and finishes. Using the right cleaning products on your faucet will leave the finish bright. The wrong cleaners could permanently mar the surfaces of your spouts and faucet handles.

Consult your owner’s manual to learn the correct cleaning products and procedures for your specific faucet. If you’ve lost the literature, check for the manufacturer’s mark on your faucet. Most faucet manufacturers have toll-free phone lines and online care instructions to help you.

If your faucet has a warranty, understand that using caustic or corrosive cleaning products can void your warranty. Avoid using steel wool, scrub brushes, or abrasive cleaning pads on the finish, so you don’t risk scratching your faucet.

Any fixtures with oil-rubbed finishes should be cleaned only with water. If your faucet is made with a living finish, the water-only care instructions are designed to help the finish develop a patina.

2. Use Mild Cleaners on Faucet Surfaces

Plain dish soap and water make a fine combination to clean most faucets. Wipe the spout, drain, and handles with the soapy water to remove spots and dirt. Use a cloth dampened with only water to wipe away the suds. Buff the finish of the faucet with a clean, dry, soft cloth like a handkerchief.

Baking soda, white vinegar, and lemon juice are three more mild cleaners that can remove smudges and water marks from protected metal faucets. However, test a small, unseen part of the faucet surface to ensure the lemon juice or vinegar won’t discolor the finish.

Use a soft toothbrush around the drain and the outlines of spouts and handles to get rid of mildew, dripped toothpaste, and old soap. Use a mirror to check inside the faucet spout. Clean grit and debris inside the end of the spout with a soft sponge or toothbrush.

3. Call the Plumber for Leaks and Pressure Problems

If you have a faucet that’s leaking at the handles or around the spout, call your plumber. One or more issues can cause a faucet leak, and a plumber will isolate all of the contributing factors.

Faucet leaks can be caused by the following:

  • Cracked fixture
  • Degraded washer
  • Loose fittings
  • Spent or clogged cartridge

Your professional plumber has the tools to quickly separate and inspect a leaky faucet and its components to find the problem fast. Professional plumbers also keep an inventory of parts on hand including cartridges for most common makes and models of faucets.

Is a faucet spitting, spewing, and delivering water at a much lower-than-acceptable pressure? The problem could be caused by one of the following at the end of your faucet spout:

  • Built-up sediment
  • Mold and mildew clog
  • Corrosion
  • Foreign object
  • Aerator clog

Most contemporary faucets are fitted with aerators at the ends of the spouts. The aerators help lower water usage, but they’re also prone to clogs over time.

Debris collects in the various parts of the aerator and must be scrubbed away. Scale or lime can also collect on the surfaces of the aerator parts, but the parts can be soaked in a vinegar/water mix to dissolve the build-up.

If your aerator is really grimy, your plumber can replace it with a brand new faucet insert. After the aerator is replaced or cleaned, your faucet will deliver water at the correct pressure.

Replace or repair your leaky or bad faucet by contacting the experts at Rapid First Plumbing. We install, repair, and replace all types of kitchen and bathroom faucets throughout the Sacramento, California, region.