How To Install A Faucet
Part 3: Clean up the sink... YUCK!
Once you remove the faucet from the sink, you may be quite
shocked at the mess it has left behind. Years of cleaning and wear tends
to leave a "ring" where the faucet once was. The bases of all
the older and many new faucets are set with plumber's putty, which must be
removed before the new faucet is installed.
If the new faucet covers the same real estate as the old one,
your cleaning chores will be less arduous, since the new putty or faucet gasket
will compensate for slight amounts of yuck.
If your faucet is smaller than the original, you will
need to do a better job of cleaning to remove the old "ring around the
faucet". Try these tips, but sometimes there is no
way to make these "marks of age" completely disappear!
Any putty or caulk that doesn't just fall off should come off with a gentle
scrape with the help of any flat tool such as a screwdriver, scraper or
razor blade. If any large, hard pieces of dried putty or caulk remain, you can soften them
with a hair dryer or heat gun before scraping.
Use a mild abrasive, such as ZUD or Barkeeper's
Friend, with hot water and a sponge to remove
the remains of the putty and also slight mineral
deposits. These are virtually identical products... mildly abrasive with
oxalic acid instead of chlorine as a bleach/cleaning agent. Most
hardware stores carry one of them... some both!
Rub the cleaner in a "back and forth" manner, not
circular. Slight "swirls" caused by circular rubbing are much
more noticeable, especially on stainless steel!
The oxalic acid in these cleansers does a great job of removing mineral
deposits and stains,
though you might have to make a "slurry" of the cleanser and warm water and
leave it on the surface for a while. They are also mild enough to be used on
cultured marble, though vigorous scrubbing is NOT recommended!!
On a china sink (NOT cultured marble, pulleeze!),
you can use a pumice stick to remove most types of solid residues. Pumice sticks must be used with water to
be most effective. Follow the directions on the stick for maximum
effectiveness and minimal chance of damage! Again, do not
use a circular motion when rubbing!
Chlorine bleach cleansers (you know which ones I mean!) should
never be used on stainless steel... it may lead to corrosion on some types of
stainless steel! These can be used on china sinks, though.
Also, chlorine bleach can actually set mineral stains, making them all but
impossible to remove!
The next part of this series of articles will show the glorious
results of our cleanup efforts!
Back to Part
1: Looking at your old faucet... surprise!
Back to Part 2: The hardest part... removing the old faucet!