A gorgeous gleaming brushed nickel faucet fixture can get dull with tiny scratches from all that happens in and around the kitchen and bathroom sinks. Reducing the look of scratches on a faucet, and avoiding efforts that can cause scrapes on the fixture, can keep it in good condition for decades.
Moen faucets are pretty durable, but they do require some regular maintenance to keep them shining, as well as careful attention when removing hard water buildup, food or toothpaste residue or other grime. A common way that the fixtures get scratched up is when the aerator is replaced or repaired, which can happen when the faucet isn't cleaned regularly.
Cleaning the Brushed Nickel Faucet
When a brushed nickel faucet has developed some blemishes, it is most than likely due to excessive cleaning or neglect, according to the Washington Post. A good brushed nickel cleaner, such as a mild dish washing liquid and warm water, will be gentle and effective, and does not contain abrasives or harsh chemicals.
For regular cleaning, mix a few tablespoons of mild dish soap and water, then apply it to the faucet with a soft toothbrush or edge of a terrycloth towel. This will take down spatters from toothpaste, peroxide, mouth wash, acne medicine and other solutions that contain phosphates, sodium fluoride and baking soda, which can pit the brushed nickel finish.
How to Fix Scratches
To remove scratches from brushed nickel, work with the grain, not against it.
A scratch-removal compound can be applied to the scratches with a soft, clean cloth. For more serious scratches, use a 600-grit wet/dry sandpaper. Gently move the sandpaper over the scratches in one direction, but do not go back and forth. Use a 500-grit sandpaper if the scratches are still visible.
Rinse the fixture after the repair and wipe it down with vinegar to remove any miniscule debris left over from the process. Buff the faucet with a cloth to a high shine.
Issues with the Aerator
The brushed nickel finish on the edges of the Moen faucets that tends to get scratched up the most is the area around the aerator. So, it's best to pull out faucet aerators carefully to avoid marking up the finish and creating a larger problem. Before taking the faucet apart to reach the aerator, cover the bottom of the sink with a tool so that the slippery little washer and screen don't fall down the drain.
To change out the aerator, remove the wand from the base of the faucet that connects the fixture to the sink. To keep the attached interior hose from sinking back into the receptor, the experts at Moen suggest that a cloth or large plastic bag be tied around the slippery hose. Use pliers to hold the metal collar located at the end of the hose while you unscrew the wand.
On the interior of threaded end of the faucet wand, look for the screen washer and fish it out with a screwdriver. Rinse out the aerator to remove any debris from hard water deposits. Replace a torn, cracked or clogged aerator that's beyond repair. Return the parts, including washers, to the receptor and clean the reassembled fixture with mild soap and water and a soft cloth.