Cleaning Your Faucet Aerator

aeratorIf the water doesn’t seem to flow from your faucet as freely as before, it’s possible you need to either clean or replace the faucet aerator. This is something that is fairly simple to do. If you are unfamiliar with the aerator, it’s the little mesh insert in the faucet that helps curb the water usage by mixing air with the water stream. You save up to 30% of the water usage with an aerator.

As with all maintenance or repair projects, always assemble the tools and supplies you think you will need to get the job done. (In fact, it might be a good idea to be over-prepared.)

For this simple repair, you will need the following:

Pliers

A couple of rags

A rubber wrench

A cup of vinegar, teaspoon of backing soda & some water (not mixed together yet!)

Old toothbrush

WD-40 or similar lubricant

First check to see if you can loosen the aerator by hand. If not, then gently try using the pliers to loosen the aerator from the faucet mouth. You may want to wrap the pliers head in a rag to prevent scratching. You may choose to use a rubber wrench if you have one.

You might have to wiggle the pliers or wrench back and forth a bit to loosen the sediment that has settled in crevices. If it is still stubborn, try using a mixture of vinegar and baking soda on it to dissolve some of the sediment. If you are still struggling, spray a little WD-40 on it to loosen. Once the aerator is loose, it’s easily cleaned with the vinegar mixture, old toothbrush and water.

Once the aerator is cleaned and dried, it can be put back into the faucet. Make sure all parts are completely dry before reassembling (that will prevent sediment or rust from getting a leg up).

Viola! You should have ample water streaming from your faucet now.

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