Removing A Faucet Aerator

Faucet Aerator
HomeSpotHQ/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

Faucet aerators often get clogged with build up and need to be cleaned to allow proper water flow. Unfortunately, sometimes a simple cleaning will not be enough so you’ll just need to change it out.

In either case you will need to remove the aerator to either clean it or replace it. Usually the aerator is only hand tight and can be unscrewed and removed quite easily. Other times the buildup works as a fastener making the aerator hard to remove.

To help avoid damage to the aerator follow these steps when removing it.

  1. Start by trying to unscrew it with your hand. Most faucet aerators are hand tight and many times you can unscrew it by just using your hand.


  2. If that does not work you are going to have to use a pair of pliers. If the aerator is in good condition and will not be replaced then you can use a rag between the aerator and the pliers to prevent scratching.


  3. With the pliers carefully try and turn the aerator counter clockwise from the bottom. If you are looking down at the faucet you will be turning it clockwise.

    If does not move try moving the pliers a quarter turn and carefully try turning the aerator from that angle. Keep doing this back and forth from both positions.

    Do not try too hard hard or squeeze too hard because the metal is soft and will oval-out easily making your job of removing the aerator even harder.


  4. You can try spraying WD-40 on the threads and let it sit for a while and try again later if you are having trouble.


  1. When installing or re-installing the aerator try installing it just hand tight at first and then tighten just a little more with the pliers if needed (do not forget to use a rag to protect the aerator so you don’t scrape the finish on the aerator).