Remove the aerator
1 of 2
Photo 1: Unscrew the aerator
Wrap the jaws of a pliers with electrical tape and unscrew the aerator. Close the stopper so the small parts
can't fall down the drain.
2 of 2
Photo 2: Clean the pieces
Disassemble the aerator and lay out the parts in the order you remove them to make reassembly foolproof.
Scrub the parts and reassemble them.
If the flow from your kitchen or
bathroom faucet isn’t what it
used to be, the aerator is probably
plugged. An aerator can clog slowly as
mineral deposits build up, or quickly after
plumbing work loosens debris inside
pipes. Usually, a quick cleaning solves the
problem. Remove the aerator (Photo 1)
and disassemble it. You may need a small
screwdriver or knife to pry the components
apart. Scrub away any tough
buildup with an old toothbrush (Photo
2) and rinse each part thoroughly. Gunk
can also build up inside the faucet neck, so
ream it out with your finger and flush out
the loosened debris.
If the mineral buildup resists scrubbing
and you have a standard cylinder-shaped
aerator, you can replace it. Take
your old aerator along to the home center
or hardware store to find a match. If your
aerator has a fancy shape (like the one
shown here), finding a match won’t be as
simple. So try this first: Soak the aerator
parts in vinegar overnight to soften mineral
buildup. If that doesn’t work, go to
any online search engine and type in the
brand of your faucet followed by “faucet
parts.” With a little searching, you can find
diagrams of your faucet and order a new aerator.