How to Refresh a Discoloured Chrome Faucet in 15 Minutes

Design: APRT Studio

What you should know about chrome faucets

Chrome faucets are not made of solid chrome. A chrome faucet usually uses either brass or stainless steel as its base, followed by chrome plating on top of the base material through the process of electroplating. Chrome faucets are popular due to their high shine and are available in many types of designs in both satin and brushed chrome finish.

Design: Control Space Design Studio

What causes discoloured chrome faucets

Image from Reddiplumbingwichita

Stains or hard water build-up on chrome faucets can cause discolouration that is not easily wiped off. Aside from to magnesium and calcium, other minerals such as manganese, iron or copper can also be present in the water. Mineral stains from manganese look brownish or black, while iron and calcium leave deposits that look red or like white slime.

Image from Reddiplumbingwichita

Aside from aesthetic, the acidic mineral deposit can cause physical damage, by eating through the chrome coating and the rubber washers that seal the fixtures! Apart from water leaks, the limescale which is a mixture of magnesium and calcium deposits, can build up inside the water faucets and reduce the flow of water.

Design: Authors • Interior & Styling

To prevent damage, remove the hard water mineral deposits on the chrome faucet surfaces through regular deep cleaning. Read on to find out how you can clean off the tough deposits and stains, to restore the once-bright chrome faucet in 3 easy steps.

Design: The Association

Different coloured hard water stain needs different types of cleaners


The colours of the deposits provide us with valuable insights into the minerals that are causing the discolouration. Hence, we will know how we can remove them effectively.

Red, reddish-brown (from rust or iron) – Paste of cream of tartar and water
Green, blue-green stains (from copper or acid water) – Soap suds and ammonia
Brown, black or others (from manganese and other minerals) – Paste made of cream of tartar and hydrogen peroxide
Hard-water marks, soap scum – Paste made of white vinegar and baking soda

* In this article, we will be restoring the chrome faucet discoloured by the hard watermarks and the soap scum that originates from shower lotion and hand soap.


Design: Arche°

How to refresh a discoloured chrome faucet in 15 minutes!

These are what you need to arm yourself with!

1. White Vinegar**

2. Baking Soda

3. Kitchen Towel

4. Old Toothbrush

5. Plastic Bowl

**You can replace the vinegar with either lime or lemon juice. These are safe and yet effective, nontoxic, natural cleaners to remove the nasty hard water stains and limescale.



Step 1. Remove the hard water stains and deposits with vinegar solution

Combine equal parts of water and white vinegar in the plastic bowl. Soak the kitchen towels in the vinegar solution and wipe down the chrome faucet with circular motions.

Step 2. Scrub the stubborn stains and deposits

Dip the old toothbrush into the water and scrub the stubborn stains from the chrome surfaces with baking soda powder. The toothbrush and baking soda will not scratch the chrome, while providing you targeted access to the hard to reach corners and joints. After that, soak the chrome faucet in the solution by wrapping it with the kitchen towel that is wet with the vinegar solution.

Note: Once the vinegar solution has loosen the hard water deposits, they can be scraped off.

Wait 10-15 minutes for the vinegar solution to loosen the deposits, and then scrub the stubborn stains and deposits again. Repeat step 2 where necessary.

Tip: Use a rubber band to keep the wet kitchen towel tightly wrapped around the chrome faucet.

Step 3. Rinse and dry the chrome faucet

Rinse the chrome faucets with clear water and wipe dry.

Here is the before and after make-over photo; shine has been restored to the discoloured chrome faucet.

Tip: Always keep the chrome faucet dry after each use to prevent future hard water stain and mineral built up when the water evaporates. You can also consider applying Rain-X onto the chrome faucet to help prevent water from drying on the surface.

Design: ID Gallery Interiors

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