Sprinkler Repair: How to Unclog Sprinklers

Remove mineral deposits from lawn sprinklers quickly and easily

Clean clogged lawn sprinklers with special cleaners that dissolve rust and mineral build-ups, especially iron, if you have hard water.

By the DIY experts of The Family Handyman Magazine

Clean clogged sprinklers

If you have a lot of iron or other minerals in your water, then you know the problem. Iron builds up on the working parts and in the holes of sprinklers. Impact sprinklers like the one here can quit working altogether. A simple soaking in a rust-removing solution followed by a spritz of silicone lubricant will rejuvenate your sprinkler. We used CLR Calcium, Lime and Rust Remover, but other rust-removing solutions will also work. Soak the sprinkler for about 30 minutes (Photo 1). Then remove the sprinkler and clean off any remaining mineral or rust buildup with a brass-bristle brush.

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You'll need a brass-bristle brush.

Required Materials for this Project

Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Here's a list.

  • Rust and mineral remover
  • Spray silicone