Caring for Decorative Finishes
Polished Chrome is a decorative finish that we have all become used to. Manufacturers appreciate it because it covers up a multitude of sins and allows them to reduce costs. Homeowners appreciate it because it is high on the practicality scale, being both resistant to chemicals and abrasion. However, if you are interested in travelling up the beauty scale to find something more interesting then you should be aware of only travelling as far as you are comfortable with in the opposite direction on the practicality scale. This is true of any manufacturer’s offering (despite what some may tell you).
We work hard to mitigate these factors by applying thicker layers of plating materials and double lacquering surfaces when they require protection, but owners should still be mindful of this equation when considering our finishes as well.
So what are some of the standard techniques available to create these decorative finishes?
- Applying other materials to the surface such as Brass, Nickel or Copper, some of which can naturally tarnish on contact with water.
- Applying oxidizing agents to materials to darken them, some of which are then polished away to leave artisan brush marks that also reveal an amount of the material colour below.
- Applying lacquer to protect the surfaces below from tarnishing, which are highly effective and can form part of the character of the finish but can also be dissolved by chemicals left on the surface for extended periods.
It’s important therefore to understand the nature of the finish that you have selected before ordering to ensure that you feel comfortable with the maintenance that it will require, much more of which you can discover by visiting the Finishes section of our site.
By following the general guidance below you will ensure that you are able to preserve the character of the finish that you have received.
- Avoid using anything other than soft microfibre cloths to clean our products, particularly be careful to not use abrasive cleaning sponges (whether they are ‘scratch-proof’ or not).
- A pump of liquid hand soap and warm water are all that is required to clean our products. Apply this solution with a microfibre cloth, before flushing with plenty of clean water and drying off with another. The secret to avoid having to resort to aggressive shop-bought cleaning products is to clean regularly.
- Organic and Ecological cleaning products, whilst better from the environment, do still contain strong acids, alkalines and alcohols as a necessity of their function. These products are just as inappropriate to use as other shop-bought cleaning solutions.
- Please be careful when cleaning other surfaces in the same bathroom as our products. Droplets from spray applicators, like glass, stone and porcelain cleaners, can fall onto our products and go unnoticed. Given time these droplets can act to erode the protective surfaces on our items and allow damage to occur to the finish below. The most certain way to solve this is to spray these cleaning products into a cloth and use this to apply the product to the associated surface. An alternative that does require a little more diligence, but can be seen as more convenient, is to clean your taps as the very last part of your cleaning routine (which will act to remove any other chemicals that have gathered on the surface), this can be successful provided you ensure to flush them with plenty of water and dry after cleaning.
- Calcium (Limescale) and mineral deposits build on surfaces where water is left to evaporate. To reduce these marks on your products therefore give them a quick drying with a towel after use as much. You can also consider applying a car body wax to the products which will act to prevent water from sitting on the surfaces, but please bear in mind that this might change the overall effect of the finish.
Read more about how to maintain our products here.