How to Clean a Clogged Faucet Aerator

If you want your home fixtures to last and work well, you must maintain them. Faucet aerators are an often-overlooked but essential part of water conservation and pressure maintenance systems. Reduced water flow or even splashing could result from a blocked faucet aerator. In this tutorial, we will explore the meaning of a faucet aerator, the significance of keeping it clean, and the simple steps to fix a clogged aerator on your own.

A Faucet Aerator: What Is It?

Common in both the kitchen and bathroom, an aerator is a metal cylinder with a hollow inside that screws into the end of the spout of the faucet. A screen made of metal or plastic, a washer made of rubber, and maybe a retaining disk or flow restrictor are all included inside the cylinder. Sink designs vary, but often, the metal threads run down the circumference of the cylinder rather than the exterior.

A faucet aerator may reduce water waste and splashing by increasing water flow. There will be less splashing when the water reaches the bottom of the sink if you add air to the stream. Less water comes out of the faucet because a screen is preventing a portion of the water flow. With the help of the air in the stream, the water might even seem to have superior pressure, creating the illusion of a stronger and fuller column. For more detailed information on what a faucet aerator is and how it works, you can check out this blog post: What Is a Faucet Aerator? How It Works, and Why You Need One

How Often Should You Clean Your Clogged Faucet Aerator?

The aerator’s ability to circulate water and remove silt and other particles might be reduced as time goes on. Here are a few reasons why you should clean that clogged aerator in your faucet:

Maintaining the Presence of Water: Reduced water pressure at the faucet is the result of a clogged aerator, which limits the flow of water. Keeping it clean regularly keeps the water pressure just right by allowing it to flow freely.

Preventing Splashing: The aerator’s ability to distribute water evenly and prevent splashing is compromised when junk builds up within. Preventing splashing and ensuring a smooth water flow may be achieved by cleaning the aerator.

Conserving Water: An effective use of water may be achieved by keeping the aerator clean. Your water bill and the environment will take a hit if an aerator gets clogged and water is wasted.

How To Clean a Clogged Faucet Aerator

You need a few common household items to clean a clogged faucet aerator. This is a detailed tutorial:

  • Cup or bowl
  • White vinegar
  • Old toothbrush
  • Toothpick
  • Towel
  • Rubber jar lid opener
  • Tongue and groove pliers
  • Small metal pick or screwdriver

Step 1. Keep the Sink Prepared

Clear the sink and have it ready before you remove the aerator. Clear the sink of any dishes that may get in the way, and then place a cloth over the drain to cover the bowl’s base. Due to the possibility of minor components coming free and disappearing from aerators, it is recommended to seal up the drain.

Step 2. Remove the Aerator 

Grab the aerator that’s at the end of the spout by reaching beneath the sink faucet. If you’re beneath the sink and want to peek up—something we advise against—then turn the aerator counterclockwise to loosen it from the faucet. Keep turning it until the aerator detaches from the tap.

To get a stronger hold and attempt to remove the aerator by hand, lay a rubber jar lid opener over it if it is obstinate. If that fails, you may get a better hold without harming the aerator by combining the jar lid opener with a set of tongue and groove pliers. The aerator might bend if you press it too forcefully.

Step 3. Scrape Out the Sediment 

Clean the aerator of most sediment by scraping it with a little metal pick or screwdriver. With little to no effort, most of them should fall loose. However, leave it alone if it’s too tough. If anything, this will probably break the aerator.

Step 4. Remove the Aerator Part

Break down the aerator with the screwdriver or pick. If you want to keep the component components from flying around, you should work over the sink. Begin by removing the rubber washer. Then, proceed to remove the screen, followed by any supporting or restrictor discs. Logically arrange them, starting with the item on the left and working your way to the right, while the items are eliminated item by item. Before you rebuild it, snap a photo so you can remember the correct sequence.

Step 5. Add Vinegar to the Aerator Parts

Then, put the aerator components in a cup or basin filled with white vinegar. The sediment will be readily removed once the white vinegar attacks and softens it. Allow the pieces to soak for a minimum of a few hours, preferably overnight.

Step 6. Clean all the Parts

Take out the aerator components from the vinegar solution and scrub them with an old toothbrush to remove any debris. Get a metal pick or a toothpick out of any clogged holes. Eliminate any silt or accumulation from the aerator components. In any other case, the aerator will become clogged again, but much faster.

 Step7. Assemble and Install Again

Reassemble the aerator by following the right sequence of parts after cleaning. Reattach the aerator to the faucet spout using pliers or a wrench. Make sure it is tightly fastened, but not too so, to prevent damage.

Step 8. Put the Aerator Back in Position

The last step, when you have everything back together, is to screw the aerator back onto the faucet. To check the flow, turn on the water once the aerator is tight. The aerator has to be adjusted more if water is leaking out from beneath it. Before you go for the pliers and rubber jar opener, see if you can get the aerator snugged up.

If you follow these easy instructions, you will be able to clear the clogged faucet aerator and have your water flowing like new again. In addition to enhancing its efficiency, regularly maintaining your faucet aerator helps save water and lowers your electricity expenses. If you clean your aerator regularly, you may save water and avoid problems in your house.

Additional Tips for Cleaning a Clogged Faucet Aerator:

  • It should be routine practice to check the faucet aerator for accumulation or clogging regularly. Noticing problems early on may save a lot of trouble and effort while cleaning.
  • Wearing gloves may protect your hands from irritating cleaning chemicals like vinegar or dirt as you scrub.
  • Carefully use a toothpick or needle to poke the tenacious trash lodged in the aerator’s mesh or perforations until it comes loose. Avoid damaging the aerator by being cautious.
  • A water softener is a good investment if you happen to reside in a region where the water is hard, meaning it includes significant concentrations of minerals such as magnesium and calcium. Doing so may lessen the amount of mineral accumulation in your faucets, allowing you to go longer between cleanings.
  • As you clean the aerator, make sure to check for any damage or wear on the rubber washers or O-rings that are within. To make sure they form a good seal and don’t let water in, replace them if they seem worn.
  • Use a descaling solution designed to remove limescale and mineral buildup if your faucet aerator is severely clogged with these deposits. To get the most out of these goods, be sure to follow the directions on the packaging.
  • Also, wipe off the handles and spout of the faucet while you’re at it since that’s where the aerator is located. To remove any filth or grime, use a gentle soap solution and a gentle cloth.
  • Do not hesitate to call a professional plumber if you have any problems when cleaning the aerator or if the problem persists after you have cleaned it. They can identify the issue and provide suitable remedies.


Proper maintenance of your home fixtures, including the aerator of your faucets, is essential for maximizing water efficiency and extending the life of your fixtures. Maintaining your system regularly can help you save money and effort while also reducing the overuse of water. You may finally relax knowing that water will flow freely through your home’s faucets once you clear that clogged aerator.

How can we keep the faucet aerator from becoming clogged again?

A water softener, or sediment filter attached to the faucet, may help reduce the likelihood of subsequent blockages. To keep your aerator running at peak efficiency, clean it periodically and cut down on water use.

How do I check whether the aerator in my faucet is clogged?

When water pressure is uneven, splashing occurs, and sediment or debris is seen flowing out of the faucet, the aerator is likely blocked.

What should I do if my faucet starts to smell bad?

A bad smell emanating from your faucet might be a sign of bacterial development in the water supply pipes or aerator. Consider cleansing your plumbing system by running hot water through the faucet for a few minutes in addition to cleaning the aerator. Should the smell continue, you may have to clean the aerator and get help from a plumber.

Can I use hot water to clean the aerator on a faucet?

Boiling water isn’t usually advised for cleaning faucet aerators, even though it may help dissolve certain mineral deposits and release debris. The parts of the aerator might be damaged by boiling water, especially if they are plastic or have rubber washers in them. For safe and efficient cleaning, stick to utilizing professional descaling products or mild cleaning solutions like vinegar.

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