Matte black is one of the more modern finishes on the scene for faucets and other kitchen and bathroom fixtures, and it’s a popular one. Between the stunningly bold color and the luxurious sheen of the matte finish, these faucets are popular in homes throughout the world.
Of course, after your faucets are installed, you want to make sure they stay looking their best as well. That all comes down to treating them with care and using the right products and techniques to clean them. Consider this to be your expert’s guide to keeping your matte black kitchen faucets looking fresh for years to come.
Why Do I Need to Clean My Matte Black Kitchen Faucets?
The most obvious reason people clean their matte black faucets is for the visual appeal. When water spots and other surface residues get on your faucets, they disrupt the clean, sleek, even look that attracted you to the matte finish in the first place. A simple cleaning can return the faucets to its freshly installed, out of the box glory.
In some cases, though, waiting too long to clean your faucets can damage the faucet as well. If a material comes into contact with acids, solvents, or other harsh chemicals and they sit on the faucet for a period of time, they could eat away at the finish.
How Often Should I Clean My Faucets?
In general, when your kitchen faucet needs cleaning, you’ll be able to see it because you’ll see spots on the surface. To make life easier, though, it’s best to simply add faucet cleaning to your weekly cleaning routine. Any time you’re cleaning your kitchen, give the faucet a quick cleaning using the steps detailed below.
Safe Products for Cleaning Your Matte Black Faucets
Every type of surface in your home, including faucet surfaces, has certain cleaning products and tools that work well and others you should avoid. For matte black kitchen faucets, stick to these simple products.
Plain Soapy Water
In the case of matte black, the safe cleaning choice is a simple one: basic soapy water.
Use a pH-balanced dish soap – this means that the soap is not acidic. Simply mix a small amount of the dish soap with water and you’re ready to go.
Specialty Matte Surface Cleaners
If you’re not sure if your dish soap is pH-balanced, there are also specialty cleaners designed for matte surfaces. The primary hallmark of these cleaners is that they don’t contain any of the common chemicals that can damage matte finishes, which we’ll discuss below.
When you’re cleaning your matte black faucet, skip the steel wool, scratchy brushes, and other items and reach for a microfiber cloth. These cloths are especially soft and smooth so they’re gentle enough to protect your faucet’s finish.
Cleaning Products and Techniques to Avoid on Matte Black Fixtures
We have all had times when we didn’t have the recommended cleaning products we needed so we made do with something else around the house. That can be dangerous, though, if you don’t know what items to specifically avoid. Steer clear of these products while cleaning your matte black faucets.
Any Product with a Wax or Filling Agent
One of the most notable and attractive features of matte black faucets is their unique lack of shine. Manufacturers produce this effect by giving the faucet a microscopically rough surface texture, full of ridges, bumps, and valleys.
When light hits that surface, the rough texture refracts and reflects light in all different directions. This disperses the light so there’s no clear reflection.
The way that waxes and other filling agents work is by filling in surface imperfections, creating a flatter surface that has a distinct shine. If you use these products on your matte faucets, they’ll fill in those very purposeful ridges and valleys on the surface and leave your faucets shiny, too.
Keep in mind that this shiny effect often doesn’t happen evenly, either. You’re likely to end up with awkwardly shiny splotches on your once-matte faucet.
Any Caustic or Acidic Product or Products Than Include Solvents
Like any other finish, a matte black finish is precisely applied by the manufacturer. Products that contain acids or solvents can break down that finish. This could lead to uneven colors or signs up wear early in your faucet’s life.
Abrasive Cleaning Products
Acids and solvents aren’t the only products that can damage a matte black finish. Some cleaning products are built for cleaning tougher messes so they may have texturizing agents like microbeads. Avoid these types of cleaning solutions while trying to refresh your faucets.
Textured Cleaning Cloths or Brushes
Any faucet’s finish can become scratched, and a matte black finish is no exception. In addition to being careful with rings, keys, and other scratchy items, avoid using brushes and any type of cloth or cleaning tool that has a rough texture.
How Do I Know if My Cleaning Product is Safe for Matte Black Fixtures?
What if you have a product that isn’t on the “do” or “don’t” list above? How do you know if it’s safe?
Ultimately, it’s best not to take the risk. Many “all-purpose” products like general cleaners will contain some amount of acid. If you can’t be sure that the product is pH-balanced or if there are chemicals in the ingredients list that you don’t know to be safe, steer clear.
How to Clean Matte Black Kitchen Faucets
Now that you have your lineup of safe and effective cleaning products, how do you clean your matte black kitchen faucets? Follow these simple steps.
1. Mix Your Solution
For most people, their cleaning solution is simply dish soap and water. Fill your sink or a bucket with water, add a dash of soap, and stir it around with your hand to mix it up.
2. Clean the Outer Surfaces
With your cleaning solution prepared, saturate your microfiber cloth in the cleaning solution. Then, ring it out and use it to wipe down the outside of your faucets and fixtures.
3. Clean Inside the Faucet
After cleaning the outside of the faucets, run your cloth around the inside of the faucet as well. If the faucet has an aerator, be careful not to use too much pressure so you don’t damage the aerator.
It’s important to do this after you’ve cleaned the outside of your faucets, not before. There may be deposits and particles built up inside your faucets, and you don’t want those particles to scratch or adhere to the outer finish.
4. Rinse and Dry
After you’ve wiped down your faucets with your cleaning solution, be sure to rinse them with fresh water so you don’t leave any residue behind. Finally, use a microfiber towel or microfiber cloth to dry the outside of the faucets.
This process doesn’t take more than a few minutes and it’s likely to be one of the simplest cleaning jobs in your home. Still, keeping up with it on a regular basis can make a world of difference in keeping your faucets looking like new.
How Do I Remove Water Spots from a Matte Black Kitchen Faucet?
The steps above work great for run-of-the-mill debris and dirt on faucets. Sometimes, though, you may have persistent water spots that are more difficult to remove. How do you get rid of these stubborn spots?
For matte black faucets, the best option is a solution of 50% vinegar and 50% water. Use this solution sparingly to wipe off water spots, and then promptly rinse the faucet with clean water and dry it with a microfiber cloth.
Keep in mind that some water spots are more persistent than others. Try to clean your water spots with a dish soap solution or specialized matte finish cleaner first. Only use the vinegar solution if the other options haven’t worked.
Cleaning the Aerator in Your Matte Black Faucets
The steps above are perfect for general cleaning for a typical matte black faucet. However, if your faucet has an aerator, you’ll need to clean the aerator from time to time, too.
An aerator looks like a tiny screen inside your faucet. Aerators filter your water as it comes out while also adding some air to the stream of water. This gives the stream a smoother texture.
Why Do I Need to Clean My Kitchen Faucet Aerator?
As helpful as an aerator can be, part of its job is to filter out particles and deposits from your water. Those particles don’t disappear; they can build up on or inside the aerator. This can make it more difficult to get clean water, and in some cases, the particles can build up enough to block the flow of water from your faucet.
How Often Should I Clean My Aerator?
If you have an aerator in your faucet, your cleaning schedule should depend on how often you’re using it. For a faucet that’s used on a daily basis like a typical kitchen faucet, aim to clean the aerator once per month. For faucets that aren’t used as often, quarterly cleanings could work just fine.
You’ll also want to clean your aerator any time it appears to be clogged. If your faucet’s water flow has dropped, it’s often a sign that you need to clean your aerator.
How to Clean a Faucet Aerator
Cleaning your aerator is more complex than cleaning your faucet, but it can still be done within a few minutes and it’s a necessary part of keeping your fixtures running smoothly. Follow these clear steps.
1. Remove the Aerator
In most cases, your aerator will be inside a screw cap inside the end of your faucet so you can simply unscrew that insert. You might need to use pliers or something else to grip the insert, but be gentle so you don’t damage the piece. If you’re not sure how to remove your aerator, it’s a safe bet to check the manufacturer’s instructions.
2. Prepare Your Cleaning Solution
As with cleaning your faucet’s exterior, you can use a simple solution of water and dish soap to clean your aerator. If you have truly tough grime, you could also mix up a solution of three parts water and one part vinegar.
3. Clean the Aerator
Use a rag, cloth, or sponge with your cleaning solution to scrub your aerator. You should be able to see the particles breaking free, so rinse the aerator frequently to wash away those particles. You can also use an old toothbrush to get into the tiny spaces inside the aerator screen.
You’ll be able to tell that the aerator is clean with a simple visual inspection. Give it one last rinse and then dry it with a clean cloth or towel.
4. Re-Assemble the Faucet
With your aerator clean, it’s time to put it all back together. Replace the items inside the screw cap in the same order that they were in when you disassembled them and screw the insert back into the end of the faucet. If you’re not sure that you’re doing it correctly, check your faucet manufacturer’s instructions.
Following these steps every month or so will help you to keep your aerator clear and functional, keeping your water cleaner along the way. Keep in mind that if you’re not able to clean your aerator thoroughly, you may be able to buy a replacement aerator from the manufacturer rather than replacing the entire faucet.
Keeping Your Matte Black Kitchen Faucets Fresh and Clean
Matte black faucets have an undeniably luxurious, modern, sleek look, which is why they’re popular in homes across all regions and price points. They only look their best if you keep them clean and well-maintained, though. Fortunately, that’s as easy as a bit of dish soap, water, and a soft cloth every week or so.
If you’re considering outfitting more areas of your home with matte black faucets or if you’re still hunting for the perfect kitchen faucets in the first place, check out our faucet buying guides.
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