How to clean hard water stains from polished nickel taps

Updated February 21, 2017

Nickel bathroom and kitchen fixtures make an attractive addition to the room. Nickel taps come in several different finishes, including brushed, polished and some speciality finishes that mimic aged metal. Nickel taps are durable, but very susceptible to staining from hard water, food, liquids and bathroom products. Abrasive cleaners and scouring pads can scratch and damage the surface of nickel fixtures, so you must be careful when selecting cleaning products. Commercial cleaners manufactured for the removal of hard water stains will often damage nickel, but you can remove hard water stains from polished nickel taps using items you probably already have in your home.

Pour 50 ml (1/4 cup) of washing-up liquid into a large spray bottle. Fill the bottle with cool water.

Shake the bottle to mix the contents, then spray the taps with the cleaning solution.

Scrub the taps with a sponge and rinse thoroughly with cool water.

Dampen a cotton wool ball with rubbing alcohol and rub the stained areas until the stain lifts.

Rinse the taps thoroughly with cool water. Make sure no rubbing alcohol remains on the taps.

Buff the surface to a high shine with a soft clean cloth.


To protect your hands, wear gloves when cleaning.

Things You'll Need

  • Washing-up liquid
  • Spray bottle
  • Sponge
  • Cotton wool ball
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Soft cloth
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About the Author

Kaye Morris has over four years of technical writing experience as a curriculum design specialist and is a published fiction author. She has over 20 years of real estate development experience and received her Bachelor of Science in accounting from McNeese State University along with minors in programming and English.