You got up in the morning in a rush and out of time. The first thing after waking up is to get washed up. Now when you open up your tap and find out that the water is barely dripping out. Don’t issues like these just spoil your mood?
Till when do we ignore such problems hindering our daily lives? They not only add to our stress but also drain our wallets. We totally understand your concerns so we have come up with ways to help you fix your faucets at home! Keep reading ahead to find out!
Your faucet gets clogged up from time to time due to a possible blockage in its waterways, most likely the aerator. Wondering what an aerator is? It is that fixture at the tip of the faucet tube/spout from where the water flows out.
They begin looking rusty and clogged with mineral substances if you ever detach them from the faucet.
In this article, we have discussed some non-rocket science ways of how to clean a faucet aerator yourself. In most cases the aerators can be detached for you to find out the cause of the blockage and then find the appropriate solution. For that matter, we have gathered a fair few ways for you to go about this problem.
Related: How to clean the Clogged Shower Head
Cleaning faucet aerators
Aerators are those end pieces of a faucet with a filter/net to catch any residue/dirt and pass clean water through the spout. We first need to understand the blockage and why it occurs.
If your water supply consists of high mineral content, i.e., hard water, you will notice a hard white residue. Hard water substances take a little more effort to clean off since they turn hard/rockish. Other substances like impurities in the water may get caught up in the aerator’s filter and block the water flow.
Why is there a need to clean my faucet aerator?
Suppose you don’t clean your faucet aerators. In that case, they will most likely become clogged sooner or later, especially when your area has a hard water supply, which causes white build ups of minerals causing all manner of blockages. It is a commonly faced problem so there needs to be a quick fix on cleaning your faucet aerators.
How do I clean my faucet aerator?
For this, you need to know whether your faucet aerator is removable or not before you know how to clean your faucet aerator. As for removable ones, below is the method to take them off the faucet to clean them.
How do I remove the aerator from my faucet?
If your aerator is removable, you can remove it by your hand or with the help of tools or other methods explained below.
1. Try to unscrew it off with your hands. Turn it anti-clockwise as viewed from below the faucet end. Now unscrew it off following that direction so that it should come off. If it is hard to unscrew and won’t move, try the next method.
2. You can use a pair of tongue and groove pliers for this purpose. First, wrap the aerator with some masking tape in order to avoid any scratches on the aerator metal surface.
Now begin by gripping the aerator(not the sprout) with the pliers’ jaws carefully. Keep in mind not to grip with too much pressure as the surface is usually a soft metal, which means it is malleable. It may get misshapen, and that will create more problems in its removal.
Now once you’ve held the aerator with the pliers, attempt to unscrew it counterclockwise as you’d you with your hands, this should remove it all the way out.
However, if the aerator is more stubborn, you can turn the pliers to a quarter-turn and then begin to unscrew it from that new spot. Try different positions with the pliers, and the aerator will eventually be loosed from its setting and come off.
3. Use heat on the faucet aerator if it’s still not coming off. Applying gentle heat from sources like a hairdryer on the aerator may expand the metal surface. This will make it loose to get unscrewed with a plier.
Cheaper faucets sometimes may have a plastic screw-on-aerator, which will be damaged if applied heat on. Make sure to check the material of your aerators and never use heat on plastic ones. Also, keep in mind not to overheat metal ones because it may damage the internal rubber or plastic parts of the aerator.
4. If neither heat nor the pliers work, then there’s one last thing to try. Penetrating oil like WD-40 or any similar products may be handy for loosening the aerator.
Just spray it on the threads from below the aerator and let it sit for a few minutes. Now wipe off the oil to prevent slipping of the pliers while attempting to unscrew the aerator. It should get unfastened with the oil loosening and cutting off the friction in the threads inside.
5. Use an adjustable wrench tool to remove the spray face from the spray head of the faucet. The aerator of a pulldown faucet is inside the spray face of the faucet.
Fix the flats of the wrench on the aerator side of the spray face and turn in a counterclockwise direction. The whole spray face should come off. Now you can easily extract the aerator from within the spray face.
Once detached, we warn you; it will be gross! All the dirt getting clogged in the aerator filter from months will take some serious scrubbing.
More about cleaning Faucet aerators:
All the dirt and residue blocking the water flow can be cleaned using stuff you can find around your home. We suggest you do a monthly cleaning of aerators of the faucets around your home to prevent frequent blockages.
- Hot water: Once you have the aerators removed, rinse them with some clean and hot water. You will notice some loose dirt will immediately start getting cleaned off, leaving the tough residue behind. You may need to scrub the rest of whatever substances are blocking the waterways. Use a little cleaning brush to scrub off the remains, and you’re good to go.
- Vinegar: If your area receives hard water ( water with high mineral content) supply, then there will be buildups of minerals on the aerator filter. You may also catch some white stains on the surface of the aerator.
For this, soak your aerators in some white vinegar and let sit for a while before trying the scrub off the mineral build ups. Vinegar is acidic and will loosen the minerals buildups and make it easy to scrub them off. This way, you can unclog your faucet aerator easily and enjoy a healthy water flow.
How to clean non-removable faucet aerators?
Some faucets come with an aerator that can’t be detached as the whole faucet is one solid piece. For such situations, you may be thinking about how to clean the faucet aerators? Fortunately, there’s a creative solution to this issue.
Find a small plastic bag and fill it with some vinegar. Next, place the faucet end inside the vinegar in the bag so that the aerator inside is soaked.
Now tie the bag around the faucet spout using a rubber band or something tight to keep the bag from falling. Leave the faucet like this for some time and then remove the bag. Wipe off any vinegar that remains on the surface and test the water flow with hot water. Hot water will ensure that all the dirt remaining comes off.
The water flow will be improved but not as good as removable aerators when cleaned. Removable ones give you the flexibility to clean them thoroughly, but with non-removable ones, you cannot scrub off from within. This will mean that some amount of residue will be left inside.
How to clean a pulldown faucet spray head?
Pulldown faucet sprayer heads also have aerators inside, and they too can get clogged. Apply the same methods as mentioned above, after taking apart the aerators, as mentioned above in the article.
You can also replace old and worn out internal parts of the aerators inside the spray head. If there are replacements available for those parts at your nearest hardware store, it is advisable to change them.
How to assemble/fix the faucet aerators?
Even if you did not note the order in which you took apart the aerator, you could still reassemble the aerator with the way we are about to share.
Here are all the parts shown in the image, and you can follow the order to reassemble the aerator. Next, screw it back onto the faucet spout.
How to clean your bathroom faucet aerator?
Detach the aerator, as mentioned above in the article, and disassemble all its parts. Soak all the aerator’s parts in white vinegar and let sit overnight. Next, scrub the screens/filters off with an old toothbrush and rinse it off with hot water and assemble it back on the faucet.
How to remove a plastic tap aerator?
Cover the faucet end with a rag(to avoid scratches/damage) and use some pliers to turn it counterclockwise. Once the aerator is loosened, screw it off using your hands.
How to detach hidden/cache aerators in Delta faucets without a key?
Try turning and pulling it out using your hands. Moreover, using tools like needle-nose pliers to turn the hidden aerators tuck up the spout should help screw it off. You can also use a screwdriver to apply pressure to the mineral deposits on the side that may be binding the aerator to not come off.
Do faucet aerators get expired?
It is advisable to change your faucet aerators once a year. It is a small expense, and new aerators are just as easy to install as cleaning an old one and attaching it back on.
There, you have it. We got everything covered on how to unclog your faucet aerators yourself at home. Why spend money on things that only require a quick fix? It only costs a little bit of effort to stay worry-free from faucet blockages around the house.
Besides, if you always go for repairing them, it’d cost you a whole lot because it is a recurring problem. We hope you found all this useful in your cleaning endeavors, as these hacks and quick fixes can really ease up your life.