How To Clean Chrome Fixtures And Remove Buildup

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Chrome fixtures can be a nice final touch to your kitchen and bathrooms without taking a toll on your pocket. However, over time they can also become dull and dirty. Mineral deposits, soap scum, and spots from hard water can cloud that luster. The good news is, chrome fixtures are relatively easy to clean. Bring back their original shine by learning how to clean chrome fixtures. We’re here to give you some simple tips using cleaning stuff that you can easily find in your home or at a local store.

What Is A Chrome Fixture?

Chrome fixtures are made of chromium — a light metal that is corrosion resistant and possesses a high level of luster. Chrome also has a cooler silver tone as compared to nickel.

Chrome fixtures are a popular choice when it comes to kitchen fixtures and bathroom fixtures because of their stylish look and shiny appearance. Chrome fixtures fit in easily with just about any style or design and are relatively inexpensive compared to other fixtures such as brushed nickel, brass, or stainless steel.

What Kinds Of Chrome Fixtures Are There?

Chrome fixtures come in different kinds and can be used for your bathroom or kitchen. There are a lot of chrome fixtures in the market to choose from.Chrome faucets, spouts, shower heads, and shower handles add glam and glimmer to your bathroom while chrome kitchen faucets can liven up and add a touch of modern elegance to your kitchen.

How To Clean Chrome Fixtures

There are different methods you can use to clean your chrome fixtures. These methods can range from frequent light cleaning to a more thorough and deeper cleaning. There are also ways to keep your fixtures shiny and water-repellent for a considerable time.

We’ll discuss each method in detail, so you’ll know how to clean chrome fixtures properly and get them clean and shiny again in no time.

​For Frequent Light Cleaning

This is the lightest form of cleaning and may be done more frequently to prevent buildup. Use the following materials for regular maintenance cleaning, so you don’t have to do a deep clean as often.

​1. Microfiber cloth

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First, wipe chrome fixture with a dry microfiber cloth, applying gentle pressure to remove accumulated dust. Do this regularly, so you don’t have to do deep cleaning as often. Avoid using abrasive material as they will scratch the surface of your fixture.

​2. Dryer sheets

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To remove soap scum, run a few dryer sheets over the surface of your fixture and apply a bit of pressure on the problem spots. The mild cleaning solution in your dryer sheets helps remove the scum but won’t scratch the surface of your fixture. Used dryer sheets will still work even after doing a cycle in the dryer.

​3. Warm water

​This works best on chrome fixtures that don’t come in contact with water as often. Soak a sponge or microfiber cloth in warm water then wring out the excess water. Use the damp cloth or sponge to wipe the surface of your fixture.

​4. Soap and water

​For fixtures that come in contact with water a lot, a soapy mixture works better. Combine dishwashing liquid with water in a container and work up a lather. Soak a sponge or microfiber in the solution then apply the lather on your fixture. Wash off the dirt you’ve wiped off by dipping it in soapy water several times. Repeat this process until you remove all the accumulated dirt. For hard-to-reach areas, dip a toothbrush in the soapy mixture and scrub off stubborn dirt and stains.

​5. Cooking spray

Make sure to use a cooking spray that’s made from olive or vegetable oil. Spray the fixture lightly and entirely (including the back part) at a close range. Let sit for a few minutes before wiping with a damp microfiber cloth. Wipe carefully and thoroughly to remove all the oil. If the oil gets into the cracks, use a cotton swab to finish the job. Repeat the whole process, if necessary.

These frequent and lighter methods of how to clean chrome fixtures are done for maintenance reasons, so you don’t have to work too hard when the time comes for some deeper cleaning.

​For Deep Cleaning

A buildup of mineral deposits and water spots is unavoidable, so your chrome fixtures will need some deep cleaning from time to time. You can use any of these options for a deeper, more thorough clean.

1. Vinegar and water

Vinegar and water make a potent combination when it comes to cleaning chrome fixtures. Because of its acidic properties, vinegar is capable of dissolving even the most stubborn grime. Just make sure not to dilute the vinegar with too much water so as not to lessen its efficacy.

Start by making a solution of distilled white vinegar and water in equal parts in a bowl (a one-to-one solution should work). Soak a nonabrasive sponge or cloth in the solution then apply on your chrome fixture. Let sit for about 15 minutes, then remove and wipe the area with a dry cloth. Residue should come off easily because of the vinegar’s dissolving action.

For hard-to-reach areas, dip an old toothbrush in the mixture and scrub off calcified mineral deposits from handles and spouts.

To remove stubborn water stains or mineral salts, use the full-strength of your vinegar (do not dilute with water). With a spray bottle, spritz the undiluted vinegar on to your fixture and let sit for about five minutes. Scrub the stains off with an old toothbrush then wipe off with a dry cloth.

To prevent water spots from forming again, wipe the faucet with a clean and dry cloth after each use. This will help minimize buildup as well.

​2. Baking soda

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​Baking soda is a powerful cleaner when it comes to cutting through resistant grime. In a small bowl, mix baking soda and water to form a paste with the right thickness and consistency. Place some paste on the fixture by using a microfiber cloth to rub off grime, applying pressure as needed. Rinse the baking soda mixture off with distilled water (avoid using tap water as it will only bring new mineral deposits). After all the baking soda has been carefully rinsed off, dry fixture completely with a clean microfiber cloth.

​3. Lemons

Lemons are not only effective in cleaning your chrome fixtures; they smell great, too! To clean one fixture, cut 2-3 lemons in half. Use the pith of the lemon to scrub your fixture, applying a bit of pressure as you go along. You can use several piths, if necessary.

If there’s a lot of staining or a considerable buildup of mineral deposits, allow the lemon juice to sit on your fixture for about 3-5 minutes, then wipe off completely with a microfiber cloth. Repeat process as needed.

You can do a deep cleaning of your chrome fixtures when you start noticing the grime buildup and mineral deposits or when the chrome is starting to look dull and dirty.

For Polishing And Added Protection

Bring back the sheen of your fixtures by using chrome polish and other products which protect them from water stains. It’s not just a matter of knowing how to clean chrome fixtures — you also need to know how to keep them shiny and protected!

1. Chrome Polish

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Keep your fixtures shiny between cleanings by applying chrome polish. This polish is readily available at your local hardware or auto parts store. Follow the instructions as stated on the packaging then rinse off thoroughly.

2. Wax Paper

Wax paper repels dust and dirt. It can also give your fixture the sheen it needs. Scrub your fixture with the waxy side to polish it.

3. Water Repellant

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Use a hydrophobic silicone polymer such as Rain-X to protect your fixture from water stains. This polymer is typically used on cars to repel water, allowing it to roll off and preventing it from drying and turning into water spots.

Keeping your chrome fixtures polished and water-repellant will spare you from doing a lot of deep cleaning as well.


Now you know how to clean chrome fixtures with various methods, as well as how simple it is to make them shiny and grime-free. You don’t have to fret about dull and dirty fixtures anymore.

Take your pick from the list of cleaning materials we’ve created for you and enjoy the benefits of having a shiny chrome fixture all the time. When you know how to clean chrome fixtures, cleaning your kitchen and bathroom also becomes a less daunting task.

Knowing how to clean chrome fixtures properly (from frequent light cleaning to a deeper, more thorough cleaning) will not only keep their luster and sheen, these cleaning methods will also prevent your fixtures from getting scratched and damaged for years and years to come.

Proper cleaning and maintenance of your chrome fixtures need not be a costly endeavor. You need not look too far for cleaning materials — they are cheap and readily available at your local supermarket or hardware store.

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