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If you’ve remodeled recently or bought a new house, you know that there are hundreds of choices for countertops, sinks and fixtures in your kitchen and bath. Here are some cleaning tips for some of the products you may have chosen:

Sinks – You name it and they’ve made a sink out of it. Vitreous china with a high-gloss, stain-resistant finish is used for sinks and also toilets. Fireclay or ceramic sinks are very similar to vitreous china. You can find stone sinks made out of granite, marble and onyx. Then there are copper sinks and sinks made out of thick glass.

As you might expect, every type of sink has a different cleaning regimen. Plain water or glass cleaner without ammonia can be used on glass sinks. Special polishes are made for copper and stone sinks. Mild soap and water work best on fireclay and vitreous china.

Faucets with exotic finishes – Faucets and fixtures now come in brushed or polished nickel, oil-rubbed bronze, porcelain, satin brass, matte black and more.  Don’t want to take chances on ruining your new look? Use gentle soap and water as much as possible to remove marks.

Avoid scratchy sponges or steel wool, even when you’re trying to remove white, gunky deposits left by hard water. In fact, another good reason for installing a water softener is to avoid those deposits from happening in the first place. If you already have a water softener and you still have deposits, your water softener may need an adjustment.

Don’t use ammonia, bleach, or acid-containing cleaners or compounds that promise to remove rust or tarnish. No caustic drain cleaners either; they can splash around and damage fixtures.

Costly countertops – When granite and stone countertops are properly installed, they are carefully sealed so that regular cleaning can be done with mild, warm or soapy water. After washing and drying, polish the surface with a microfiber cloth. Engineered stone is tougher and more scratch resistant, but the same daily regimen of soap and water works best on these counters, too.

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