Clearing a Blocked Faucet Aerator

  • 01 of 07
    Steve Hallo

    All kitchen and bathroom fixtures are equipped with an aerator located on the end of the faucet. The aerator's purpose is to add air to the water flow. This keeps the flow from spraying at an angle or with too much force. All aerators also contain screens to catch sediment that may be in the water line.

    When the screen gets blocked with sediment or mineral build up, the water pressure from the faucet will become noticeably lower. The spray may also become erratic. Luckily, this is an ease fix....MORE However, if you notice a drop in water pressure in more than one fixture in your home then the problem is in the system.

    Continue to 2 of 7 below.
  • 02 of 07

    Removing the Aerator

    Steve Hallo

    Grip the aerator with your hand and turn it clockwise to loosen it. If it doesn't turn, use a pair of padded pliers or wrap a rag around the aerator and use a pair of channel locks. The rag will act as a buffer to prevent scratching the aerators finish.

    Continue to 3 of 7 below.
  • 03 of 07

    Removing the Aerator's Parts

    Steve Hallo
    Carefully remove all the aerator's screens and washers. Use your pinky or a small screwdriver to check inside the faucet for any parts that may be stuck inside.
    Continue to 4 of 7 below.
  • 04 of 07

    Taking Apart the Aerator

    Steve Hallo
    Disassemble the aerator using a toothpick or paperclip. Rinse off any large pieces of sediment. If you notice blocked holes, clean them out with a paper clip or a sewing needle for smaller holes.
    Continue to 5 of 7 below.
  • 05 of 07

    Breakind Down Mineral or Calcium Deposits

    Steve Hallo
    If you have calcium or mineral deposits, soak the pieces in warm vinegar. Microwaving it for 15-30 seconds will warm it enough, it doesn't have to be boiling hot.
    Continue to 6 of 7 below.
  • 06 of 07

    Put the Aerator Back Together

    Steve Hallo
    Reassemble the aerator. Before screwing it back in it isn't a bad idea to run the fixture a little bit. This will clear out any remaining sediment or deposits that may have become loose.
    Continue to 7 of 7 below.
  • 07 of 07

    Put the Aerator Back On the Fixture

    Steve Hallo
    Hand tighten the aerator back on the fixture. If you notice water leaking out from the aerator tighten it more using padded pliers or a rag and channel locks.