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Chlorinated cleaners are ruining ruin our customers' nickel-chrome fixtures

I work for a plumbing product manufacturer that supplies a great deal of decorative finish plumbing goods to hospitals, schools, restaurants, etc. Ninety-five percent of our product is finished with a decorative chrome plating. We constantly have customers complaining of their faucets turning "brown" or in some instances "black". I am sure that the problem with the chrome plating finish turning brown-ish or black-ish is the fact that the cleaners they are using are "chlorinated". Most hospitals, schools, restaurants, etc. use disinfectants and sanitizers that contain chlorine (bleach). And knowing how some (a lot of) people just do enough to get by with, I am sure that they do not get the surfaces rinsed and cleaned well enough after using these chlorinated cleaners to get all of the chlorine off of the chrome finish. Therefore, leaving the chlorine to attack the chrome finish, and over time causes the finish to blacken, then once chrome is completely removed, brownish.
After all of that, my question(s) to you to get this problem across to our customers, and secondly, what type of cleaners would you recommend to my customers to replace the chlorinated cleaners with? I could really use some good expert advice on this!

Joel Mills
Quality Assurance Supervisor (ex-plater many years ago!) - Travelers Rest, SC, Good ole USA
April 28, 2008

First of two simultaneous responses -- April 30, 2008


I used to work for many years for a well known manufacturer of plumbings and we also have forced on this problem. Best way is, get in touch with your clients and ask them for more information what kind of cleaners they use as well to send you samples for lab-tests. Than your job should be, getting cleaners which are available on the market and make internal tests, so you can recommend to customers which cleaners should be used in accordance of product life time.


Dominik Michalek
- Mexico City, Mexico

Second of two simultaneous responses --

Get away from nickel+chrome plating. Hospitals, restaurants and other institutions that require a very good disinfection use electropolished stainless steel instead. There are no good, cheap and available substitutes for chlorine as a disinfectant.

Guillermo Marrufo
Monterrey, NL, Mexico
April 30, 2008

Disinfectant cleaners using quat ammonium compounds instead of chlorine may do the job, but try them first.

jeffrey holmes
Jeffrey Holmes, CEF
Spartanburg, South Carolina
May 1, 2008

What are some examples of a cleaner that has "quat ammonia" in it?

Joel Mills
- Travlerers Rest, South Carolina
May 12, 2008

May 13, 2008

Here's one, but there are hundreds. Google is your friend.

jeffrey holmes
Jeffrey Holmes, CEF
Spartanburg, South Carolina

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