How to Clean Hard Water From Polished Brass

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Shiny polished brass gives a bathroom an elegant touch.
Shiny polished brass gives a bathroom an elegant touch. (Image: Amy Walters/iStock/Getty Images)

If your home has hard water, you've most likely noticed unsightly mineral deposit buildups on your polished brass fixtures, such as a bathroom faucet. Not only can mineral deposits steal the shine from the brass, but they can also cause fixtures to corrode over time. Although immediately wiping water droplets off of the brass is the most important thing you can do to keep the fixtures in top condition, there are a few things you can do to restore the metal's sheen once the damage is done.

Things You'll Need

  • Soft cleaning cloths
  • Mild dish-washing liquid
  • Bowl
  • Distilled white vinegar
  • Ketchup, lemon juice or plain yogurt
  • Microfiber cloth

Wash the brass with soap and water to prime it for a deeper cleaning. Place a few drops of a mild dish-washing liquid in a bowl of warm water and stir to combine. Dip a clean, soft cloth into the solution and wring it out. Wipe the brass fixture down with the cloth to remove any debris. Dry the brass with another cloth.

Pour about 1 tablespoon of distilled white vinegar on a soft, dry cloth. Work the vinegar into any hard water spots on the brass to remove them. Repeat the process one or two more times, depending on how stubborn the hard water stains are.

Place a few drops of ketchup, lemon juice or plain yogurt on a dry cloth. Rub the mineral deposit-free brass down with the cloth to remove any tarnish and ensure the fixture looks its best.

Rinse the brass off with clear water and dry it with another cloth. Buff the fixture with a microfiber towel to restore the shine and a polished look.

Tips & Warnings

  • Wipe up any water spots on your brass fixture immediately to prevent hard water deposits.
  • Consider installing a water softener in your home to eliminate mineral deposits.
  • Rub your polished brass fixtures down with a small amount of mineral oil or car wax after cleaning them to help repel stains.

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