Your Aerator is Filthy! Here’s How to Clean It

A kitchen faucet should give you a nice even stream of water. A spitting, splattering faucet indicates a dirty aerator.

The aerator is a small mesh screen at the end of the faucet. It breaks up the stream into smaller streams, taming an unsteady flow. An aerator also cuts your water consumption by about 50 percent without compromising the water pressure.

With thousands of gallons pouring through it every year, the aerator will naturally become clogged with dirt, silt, and mineral deposits. Fortunately, it’s easy to clean.

Cleaning Your Faucet Aerator: Step By Step

Step 1: Remove the Aerator

Hopefully, the housed aerator is screwed on hand tight, in which case, simply twist it off. However, it may require pliers. In that case, wrap a rag around the aerator, so you don’t scratch the faucet.

Depending on the brand, the faucet may have a “hidden aerator.” This aerator is recessed into the spout’s end and requires a special key. You can pick one up at a hardware store for a few bucks. Other faucets have a coin-slot aerator. No key required; just remove by turning a coin in the slot.

Step 2: Rinse out the Screen

Under the housing, you see a rubber gasket. Pry it out so you can take out the screen. Next, rinse both sides of the screen under running water. A little brushing might be necessary.

Step 3: Soak it in Vinegar

Does your home have hard water? Water with a high concentration of minerals will clog an aerator and leave calcified spots on the faucet. Let the aerator soak in a bowl of white vinegar overnight and then give it a good scrub.

Step 4: Reassemble

Place the screen back in the housing and plug the gasket back in. Then thread it back on the faucet hand tight.

Cleaning the aerator is a simple DIY job but for more complicated plumbing projects turn to the Bonita Springs plumbers at Aztec Plumbing & Drains. To schedule your appointment, call 239-212-0299.

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