Help! Ugly water spots on brand new Grohe shower fixtures

kwn4September 6, 2006

I'm so annoyed! I just completed a pretty high end master bath with satin nickel fixtures and my Grohe shower trim has dark water spots all over. Even on trim pieces I haven't used yet, or haven't had alot of water on them.

Other than polishing daily (!) is there anything I can use to seal it so this doesn't happen. ?

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Do you have hardwater? I don't know of anything that seals but I have hard water and use a heavy solution of Calgon water softener and hotish water to remove water spots. ( It also works great to clean stainless steel anything...) You do have to polish dry, making sure the dry polish rag is always dry. I use two drying rags to clean my refrigerator and turn them often.

Get the water softener in the laundry detergent isle - next to the Borax. Calgon and White King will both work but Calgon desolves much faster.

Good luck. It seems like there is always something working against keeping nice things nice.

Hey! I wonder how car wax would work - after the spots are removed - apply some car wax???? Think I'll try that on my kitchen faucet...

    Bookmark   September 7, 2006 at 1:23PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I canÂt help you with prevention but I just wanted to sympathize. We used Grohe sterling finish in our master bathroom completed in February 2006 (yes, 2006) and are horrified with the state of the fixtures. The cover plates are etched with water, soap spots. I cleaned them regularly but could not get them completely clean. I email Grohe and they responded with:

"We recommend using Flitz or Maas. They are metal cleaners that are safe for Grohe finishes. Either can be purchased at a local hardware store."

I was able to find Maas and it does a good job of cleaning water spots, etc. but it did not get rid of the etching. Wish I had known about it earlier. I really just sick about it all especially after all the money I spent on the fixtures.

We are now going to tackle the hallway bath remodel and I had intended to use Grohe again but now not sure. I went to Expo a few weeks ago to look at finishes thinking that it was just the Sterling finish so I am now looking at Chrome. A sales person was rude to me and just said "you can not expect finishes not to get dirty". Anyway, any other info/experiences would be welcome.


    Bookmark   September 7, 2006 at 1:28PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

If you are able to remove the items and soak them in vinegar overnight then you might give it a try. It's the only thing that's worked for me. I also soak the little removable tray where my fridge dispenses water. I have thought of leaving a spray bottle of vinegar in the shower so I can spray right when I get out. It's pretty stinky for a little while when you spray it, but I've used it for cleaning in other places and it works great.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2006 at 2:46PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I called the plumbing supplier I used for this renovation and she said I should get the Flitz cleaner and polisher. She said the cleaner would remove the spots and the polisher would help prevent future spots. I'm willing to give it a try so we'll see!

    Bookmark   September 7, 2006 at 4:17PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

That's good news and Flitz is a great product, but why should your very pricey fixtures spot after such a short time? Fer cryin' out loud they were manufactured to be placed in wet environment. What's wrong with Grohe?

Our new bathroom is being built now. Our very pricey Rohl fixtures are in polished nickel and better not do that! Heck my Kohler satin nickel kitchen is holding up well. Good luck and please keep us posted. Grohe shouldn't be allowed to coast on this one!

    Bookmark   September 8, 2006 at 12:59AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Try W-D 40. It takes off water stains on shower doors. I got an e-mail today with hundreds of uses for this stuff.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2006 at 4:33PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

There is another product that might work well for water spots on metal, and other surfaces as well: Gel-Gloss. It has worked for me and is listed to work on fiberglass,marble, acrylic,ceramic, chrome, stainless steel, porcelain and plastic laminate surfaces. It has worked on my chrome faucets. Good luck

    Bookmark   September 8, 2006 at 4:38PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

For future prevention you might try wax or rain-x on the fixtures, and get a water softener. Be careful with the vinegar if you have marble or granite counters, btw.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2006 at 7:21PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Yikes -- I am horrified re the water spotting. We are planning a bathroom remodel and we felt confident in Grohe's reputation (but haven't purchased yet). I was thinking of using brushed nickel. I thought Grohe finishes had a lifetime warranty? (Maybe it only applies to certain finishes??) If the finish is etched I would think Grohe would have to do something. Having such a problem with brand new fixtures must be devastating. Has anyone had positive experiences with the brushed nickel finish I'm thinking of? Hearing about the upkeep makes me want to go back to plain old chrome.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2006 at 11:51PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


    Bookmark   November 24, 2006 at 10:53AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

When we were about to do ours, I wanted ORB or brushed stainless and I was told . . . . hold it, hold it, hold it by people who had had them and then the decorators at the showroom. I was told they would do this, so I went with good old chrome and glad I did.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2006 at 10:58PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

This happened to my new, beloved satin nickel Hafele pulls in the kitchen--they didn't even bother replying to my e-mail, however...but I'll try the Flitz. I hope it works for you and me too :)

I'm guessing the paste is the one we should get to take the stains off initially?

Here is a link that might be useful: if this doesn't go to products, it's on the products page

    Bookmark   November 25, 2006 at 12:02AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'm very disgusted by the marks on faucet and drain of our newish Delta brushed nickel in the bathroom. I'll try some of your suggestions. I'm wondering if it's better to order stainless. Our stainless kitchen sink has been a work horse and while you see water marks (very hard water here), it's never experienced etching or any reaction to cleaning chemicals like the newer Delta brushed nickel shows.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2006 at 8:40PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have had Pegasus brushed nickel faucet in for about 4 years. I don't like it but it doesn't have a problem with spotting. I bought a Kohler brushed nickel but it isn't in yet. The man (who has a good reputation) at a a plumbing supply house told me to use a liquid car wax. Haven't tried it so don't know if it works.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2006 at 2:14PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Was this only on brushed nickel? I'm looking at Grohe for my bathrooms but I'll stick to chrome if they're holding up better re water spots.

Our Delta has been in for 3 years in MB and looks brand new!

    Bookmark   November 29, 2006 at 4:31PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

We put all Grohe fixtures in our 3 bathrooms this year...all in chrome. So far no problems...Grohe is famous for their chrome finish that's pretty impervious. I just wipe it with a soft cloth and all the water spots disappear.

The chrome on our Kohler Promaster kitchen faucet is not nearly as scratch-proof and shiny.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2006 at 1:18AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I am having a time with brushed nickel also. We built in 2004 & have replaced the ones in the master bath once already. They etched or finish came off....or whatever you want to call it. It says on the box to clean with a soft cotton cloth so that is what I do . If you clean with a microfiber cloth, the finish will come off. I just replaced the one in the PR yesterday as the finish came off when I was in a hurry & didn't realize I had the microfiber cloth in my hand & wiped them. I will never buy them again. I plan on changing the whole PR out to something more durable down the road. DD has chrome upstairs & it is fine. No problems there. Bonnie

    Bookmark   January 10, 2007 at 2:47PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

We have had all satin nickle fixtures in one of our bathrooms since 1999 and they are still beautiful. We have never had a problem. The fixtures are from American Standard. Now we are doing a major remodel addition and looking at Grohe, oil rubbed bronze, for our master bath. Hearing the problems people are having with Grohe finish makes me very nervous.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2007 at 9:46PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Bump ...
Sounds like chrome may be the only finish (for the shower) that will stay looking good for the long term.
Do you think its the type of finish, the manufacturer, or the homeowner thats at fault here?
Does anyone have ORB, Tuscan Brass (Rohl), or Polished Nickel shower fixtures that have held up well? If so, what brand are they? TIA

    Bookmark   October 4, 2007 at 5:24AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

We put satin (American Standard's version of brushed nickel) and Elizabethan Classics brushed nickel in our previous house's master bathroom and had NO problems with spots. We used microfiber "miracle cloths" on both with no problems. We also put Price Pfister ORB in the kitchen and it looked great - we had had it for about 5 months when we moved and we didn't really baby it - DH doesn't baby anything but me! The American Standard and Symmons chrome stuff we had there spotted exactly the way I would expect a very shiny finish to. (BTW, vinegar completely removed the brushed-nickel finish from the Hudson-Reed radiator/towel warmer - it leaked which left a mineral buildup, and before one attempt to fix the leak we used vinegar to remove the buildup. It also removed the nickel plating.)

In this house the PO put chrome stuff from American Standard, Delta and Gerber. ALL of it has ugly water spots, which shows up like a sore thumb on the shiny chrome. I have to wipe everything off as soon as I use it to keep it from spotting. The American Standard doesn't really require any elbow grease to get the spots off, at least. I think we have slightly harder water here.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2007 at 7:18PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

We did a remodel in 1999 and used American Standard satin finish (brushed nickel), the finish still looks beautiful. I had no idea that I should baby the fixtures so I used everything from 409 to Dow bathroom cleaner on it for over 7 years and never had a problem. Now we are building a new house and I was going to use Grohe brushed nickel in my master bath w/ Rohl brushed nickel. Now I am thinking I better stick with American Standard. I don't have the patience to baby a $1,000 tub faucet.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2007 at 10:17PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Anyone needs to be careful about using vinegar on metals; vinegar is a corrosive.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2007 at 12:54AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I just spoke with the guy at my plumbing supply store. He said that Grohe's brushed nickel is a pvd finish. He said that American Standard, Kohler, and Grohe all use the same pvd finishing machine. The machine manufacturer is out of Sweden and he has toured the Grohe & Kohler factories and has seen this machine in action. He said that the pvd brushed nickel finish is the same on all 3. He also said that Grohe is getting rid of its "satin" finish.

I just thought I would pass this along. I don't know about you guys, but now I am really confused! All I know is that I am going with a PVD finish because it is not as high-maintenance!

    Bookmark   October 5, 2007 at 7:40PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

johnmari, mel71 & patricia43 ~ Thank you for your comments.
Anyone else have any long term experience with how their faucet fixtures have held up?
Please be sure to give brand name, thanks.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2007 at 6:13AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Bump ...

    Bookmark   November 21, 2007 at 3:03AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I wonder what the OP used to clean her fixtures with originally. I can understand the spots, but etching shouldn't occur with tap water, period.

The manufacturers KNOW these things will get wet, what they can't predict is when someone will get impatient and try to remove a calcium spot with toilet bowl cleaner.

Its actually something I worry about at my new house. I'm going to buy something like 'Flitz' for each bathroom, andt tell my cleaning lady [and everyone else] that this is the ONLY product allowed. If they come accross something it won't handle, they can come fetch me, and I'll deal with it.

And I'm going to keep an eagle eye out for anything more caustic, and try to keep it out of the house [or at least the bathrooms] entirely.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2007 at 3:57PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I use Bar Keepers Friend and it seems to get the water stains off without any problems. I have no idea if it's too strong but it hasn't done any damage yet.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2007 at 7:34PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Wondering if anyone can confirm that microfiber is a bad idea in this regards: seems very counter-intuitive...

    Bookmark   November 22, 2007 at 4:15PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

We have Grohe in chrome--rain shower, handheld, thermostat, and 3 body sprays look beautiful after 2 years of daily use. We are horrible housekeepers, so I can't take any credit for this. I sometimes (like 3 times a year) spray them with the shower door spray cleaner and rinse them off. That's it.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2007 at 1:56PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I just ordered the Flitz thanks to the forum.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2007 at 5:48PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Anyone else with experience re water spots on their shower fixtures? Brand, finish, etc. ??

    Bookmark   February 9, 2008 at 2:30AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'm gathering all of the parts for my remodel which will start in a few weeks. Started out with the idea of going for brushed nickel, loved the look. My plumbing supply salesman/owner talked me out of it despite the considerable higher price tag and I'm assuming higher profits. He has brushed nickel in his own home and said it's a bear to keep clean. His advise is chrome, which is what we're going for. Buying bath fixtures that need to be waxed to keep them looking good sounds like the definition of insanity to me.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2008 at 7:41AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I had a problem similar to some of the ones described above -- oil rubbed bronze shower fixtures (Home Depot's private label Pegasus brand) that developed water spots, where the lacquer finish was actually etched away by standing water droplets. Therefore, there were no "deposits" to remove using any of the metal cleaners. The fixtures were not replaceable without ripping out the wall and re-plumbing with a different brand.

HAPPY ENDING: I found an EXCELLENT company called Decorative Metal Finishing (, which was able to easily and cost-effectively re-coat the fixtures with a beautiful, lustrous, yet highly robust powder coating that almost exactly matches the original patina. (They also can do the patina coatings, but powder coatings last up to three times longer.) I shipped the parts to them, and they took loving care of them, immediately e-mailing back a confirmation photo of everything they had received. They also sent me sample chips of coatings so that I could choose exactly which finish I wanted. Once choosing the coating, the turnaround was very fast -- less than a week.

I HIGHLY RECOMMEND this company for its professionalism, quality, speed, and tender loving customer care. Please ask for Alicia and tell her that happy customer Adele sent you!

(P.S. I'm protecting all bathroom fixtures from now on with a car wax. After testing several things, I've found Turtle Wax liquid to work even better than Gel Gloss, and it only needs application once in a great while.)

    Bookmark   February 10, 2008 at 4:58PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'm using Flitz and I like it. I have a very wide faucet and pop up drain and the water just rolls off.

    Bookmark   February 10, 2008 at 8:06PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

We are about to order the plumbing fixtures for our master bath and was planning to go with Grohe, either brushed nickel or Sterling finish. We have brushed nickel (different brand) in our kids bathroom. The light fixtures we purchased for the MB are more of a Sterling look. I decided to research here first and now I am not so sure. What should I do? We need the shower ensemble, double sink faucets, and tub filler setup. Can anyone recommend other brands without the issue of spotting?

    Bookmark   April 18, 2008 at 8:55PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

How effective is car wax on brushed nickel bathroom tub/shower/sink fixtures? And, does it "yellow" the finish? A certain brand of car wax?

    Bookmark   March 22, 2011 at 1:53PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I too have new Grohe fixtures in my shower and we also have a water softener.
Water spots everywhere. I agree, this shouldn't happen to a high end fixture like Grohe. Thanks for all the suggestions. I'll try them.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2011 at 10:56PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I had the same problem on my Hansgrohe brushed nickel and will try the Flitz. I also have Krauss brushed nickel and those spots just wipe away with a cloth or sponge.
So disappointing to spend money on "good" faucets and have water spots! In the bathroom of all places!

    Bookmark   November 3, 2013 at 1:15PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Babka NorCal 9b

IF you have "un-natural" i.e. ceramic or porcelain tiles, or Caesarstone you can use daily shower sprays that keep minerals from forming on your shower fixtures. I do, and only clean our shower once a year when I re-seal the grout. On our sinks, I use product called "Edfred Tile and shower cleaner" once a week.
It has phosphoric acid and those marks come off before your eyes. You rinse/wipe it immediately when you clean each week or whenever, so it won't mar the finish. I've used it in Grohe, KWS, and Moen different finishes for many 20 years. Don't leave it on aluminum...learned that too over the years.


    Bookmark   November 3, 2013 at 10:28PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Sophie Wheeler

Seriously? A revival of a 7 year old thread full of people don't who don't understand that hard water needs to be treated or you get water spots? Or that shiny finishes show it worse than brushed finishes? High school chemistry? Just think of the accumulated mineral deposits inside the pipes. Over time, it can take your water flow down worse than a restrictor in the valve will do.

If you have hard water, the solution isn't to try to clean off the deposits, it's to treat the water to remove the minerals that are causing the deposits.

BTW, NEVER use Barkeeper's Friend or any other acidic cleaner on a true nickel finish. It will damage it.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2013 at 9:36AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I think the different experiences different people are reporting may be mainly due to the different water hardness, not as much because one brand or finish is better than another. Sure, if the finish makes the water just run off, there is no water left to evaporate and leave its minerals behind. After my remodel, I always dry my shower and the fixtures off with the same towel I use. I also have a dedicated towel for drying out my new bathroom sink and its fixtures. Yes, it's a REAL bother but my fixtures still look brand new.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2013 at 9:52AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I don't know if they had Stainless Steel Magic 7 years ago, but if you spray it on a faucet, you're not getting water spots.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2013 at 1:39PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Layout help
Hello, I wanted to ask for feedback on my planned layout...
What do you think about jets and rain shower?
Any body going with or have them already in their shower? DH...
Shower glass strong enough to hold towel?
We will be getting semi-frameless glass shower walls....
Photos of your finished bathrooms?
Is there anywhere on this site where people on this...
Doable...European sink & US bathroom pop-up drain and faucet?
Originally posted in "Plumbing" I cannot...
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™