Daily cleaning of polished nickel involves wiping the fixture with warm, soapy water, rinsing it with water and buffing it with a cotton cloth. For cleaning stubborn spots, a white vinegar and water solution, a paste of baking soda and water, or rubbing alcohol can be used.
Baking soda and water work well to remove stains on polished nickel. Mix them into a paste in a plastic container and apply it all over the nickel. When it dries, buff it clean with a dry cloth.
For hard water stains, wash the nickel surface with dish detergent and water and rinse it off. Polish off the stains with rubbing alcohol on a cotton pad. Afterwards, rinse it again to remove the alcohol, and polish it with a clean, dry cloth. Alternatively, mix a solution of 50 percent white vinegar and 50 percent warm water, and spray it on the fixture. Allow it to sit for about a minute, and then wipe it off. Rinse off the vinegar residue with plain water, and polish the nickel again with a clean cloth.
To protect the polished nickel finish, it is important to avoid harsh cleaners, such as abrasives, oven cleaners, acid-based cleaners or any type of ammonia. Do not scrub polished nickel with scouring pads or steel wool. The key to preventing stains from taking hold on nickel faucets is to clean them often.