Unclog a Kitchen Faucet Aerator

Weak water flow? Check for a clogged aerator first.

Low water pressure may not be the reason for weak water flow from faucets. Check for a clogged aerator. You can fix it in 5 minutes.

By the DIY experts of The Family Handyman Magazine

TIME

Instant!

COMPLEXITY

Simple

COST

Under $20

How to replace a faucet aerator

If you get weak water flow when you turn on the faucet, don't assume your water pressure has suddenly gone bad. You could simply have a filter screen, or aerator, that's clogged. Remove the aerator as shown in the photo, rinse it out and reinstall it. If it's corroded or worn, take it to a home center and pick up a new one. Most stores have a slick gauge you can screw your old aerator onto to determine which replacement to buy. If you can't find a replacement for your aerator, soak the parts in vinegar overnight, scrub them with an old toothbrush and reinsert into the faucet (make sure to reassemble the parts in the same order you removed them).

Figure A: Aerator Parts

Dirt usually collects on the mixer and screen.

Note: You can download Figure A and enlarge it in Additional Information below.

Aerator parts tech art Aerator parts
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Additional Information

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Required Tools for this Project

Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration.

  • Electrical tape
  • Pliers

Required Materials for this Project

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

  • New Aerator