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tranquilsea's avatar

My son just started doing nasal washes. Did the salt mixture wreck my brushed nickle faucet?

Asked by tranquilsea (17655points) April 5th, 2012

I’m in process of cleaning our master bathroom and to my chagrin there are ingrained dark splotches all over one of the sink faucets. I can tell that I won’t be able to get this out.

I am racking my mind trying to figure out just what happened as they were fine a couple of weeks ago. I’m aggravated that the faucet (which was really expensive) is now permanently wrecked.

Could it have been the salt solution that he uses for nasal washes?

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13 Answers

Coloma's avatar

Wow…maybe, I don’t know. I use saline nasal rinses too and have never noticed anything like this on my counters or hardware, then again, if you’re doing the process right it goes up your nose and down and out into the basin. Your son must be projectile snorting to get the solution all over the faucets. Leave it to kids. lol Sorry, that is frustrating. :-(

tranquilsea's avatar

@Coloma “Leave it to kids”

No kidding. My kids have wrecked more things around my house than I care to remember.

thorninmud's avatar

Many of the major faucet manufacturers warranty their nickel finishes against discoloration. You should check the manufacturer’s website; you might get lucky.

Delta, for instance, says, “A Brilliance finish is guaranteed not to corrode, tarnish or discolor for as long as you own your home.”

tranquilsea's avatar

@thorninmud I’ve found these fixtures to be pretty durable. We’ve had them for 6 years and we live in a hard water area. I’ve been able to clean them for years with no trouble.

Then today, after wiping away all the toothpaste and sundry…black blotches that look like they were sprayed on. The only thing that has changed with that sink has been my youngest son doing nasal washes.

My fixtures came with a limited warranty that expired after a year.

If it bugs me enough then I’ll eventually replace it. I don’t want the same thing to happen. Which means I should probably wait until all the kids move out lol.

Lightlyseared's avatar

Salt will corrode most metals but nickel is pretty resistant to it, certainly much more resistant than stainless steel, so I’m not convinced it’s the cause in just a few weeks.

poisonedantidote's avatar

I worked with metal for about 5 years, so I know a fair bit. I could be wrong, but here is my guess as to what has happened here.

You have been sold a bad product.

Knowing what I know about metals, my guess here is that what you have is steel or brass plated in satin nickel aka brushed nickel. You have been polishing it to make it nice and shiny, but have rubbed off the nickel and now the steel under it is rusting, or the brass is starting to show.

Part of the process for plating steel or brass in nickel includes dipping in acid, usually with some kind of salty solution in the acid as well. It is very very unlikely that you could cause any corrosion with just nasal wash.

If anything, the regular water and nasal wash are corroding the steel under the nickel.

In your situation I would seek a refund, I am sure you will have better luck next time. I can’t really think of anything else that could realistically cause you problems in this situation.

Don’t blame your son, if this is indeed the problem it would have happened anyway from cleaning.

CWOTUS's avatar

I’m going to agree with @poisonedantidote. I doubt if anything that your son could survive would hurt a nickel finish. But part of the reason for the “one-year” warranty, I suspect, is the lower quality design and fabrication of your fixture. (Don’t feel too bad; I found something very similar in a kitchen faucet that I replaced several years ago, and now see the plating simply peeling off… even in places where there’s no wear at all.)

tranquilsea's avatar

But these spots aren’t wear spots. They look like some liquid was sprayed and then discoloured the finish. We haven’t had any type of chemical by it besides the usual suspects of hard water, toothpaste and spit, and soap.

We paid some $200 for each faucet…not cheap.

Pandora's avatar

@tranquilsea Not cheap doesn’t mean they didn’t give you an inferior product to make an extra buck. I would do as suggested above and seek a refund or that they replace it with another one.
If it was the saline than all the kitchen sinks would have these marks as well.

dabbler's avatar

And get your son to rinse off the faucet after nasal irrigation.

tranquilsea's avatar

@dabbler if it was only that easy. He’s 12 and barely remembers most mundane things.

pkuttner's avatar

Be careful with nasal washes. I read an article in a major newspaper recently about 2 men who died in Louisiana from doing nasal washes with potable tap water. The water contained bacteria that is fine to ingest, but when it comes in contact with the brain can cause severe infection. Nasal washes often causes some water to trickle up sinuses near the brain.

tranquilsea's avatar

@pkuttner we boil our water for the washes so I’m not worried about viruses or bacteria.

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