Sink faucet aerators will from time to time need cleaning due to buildup of debris and mineral deposits.
The lucky thing is they are easy to remove and if for some reason you can’t restore your water flow to original condition then they are relatively cheap to replace.
Aerators come in a common design whether you have a fancy kitchen sink aerator that swivels and can direct high pressure spray for aggressive cleaning or you have a basic bathroom faucet that needs servicing.
Cleaning Your Aerator
To begin cleaning you need to remove the aerator. If you are lucky then you may be able to remove it by hand but often you will need to use a pair of pliers.
If your aerator is not made of plastic then most likely it will be chrome plated brass or steel. This means you should not let the teeth of your pliers come in contact with the surface or you will damage it.
If you have a rubber lid opener in your kitchen try using that first.
If you still can’t remove it wrap the aerator with the rubber lid opener or the end of a rubber glove or towel to protect the surface and then with light pressure unscrew the aerator from the faucet.
Inside the aerator you will see a metal screen.
Making sure you do not damage the screen while cleaning, dump out the debris and clean the screen with soapy water and an old tooth brush.
Removing Mineral Deposits
Mineral deposits can be difficult to remove because they attach to surfaces like glue.
There are a number of commercial mineral deposit cleaners on the market or you can try soaking your aerator in white vinegar for a few hours. This is probably best done while you are at work or overnight.
For aerators that are more like a shower faucet you will need to clean inside surfaces that are difficult to get to.
In this case soaking the aerator overnight is your best bet.
Make sure that it is fully submerged in the vinegar or commercial mineral deposit cleaner and just let it sit.
Replacing your screen
Sometimes you might not want to go through all the hassles of cleaning or you may have a screen that is damaged. in this case you should be able to pickup a screen and rubber washer at your local plumbing supply center for about a dollar.
You may even want to pickup a few replacement screens and washers for later use.
Replacing your Aerator
If you have a general purpose aerator and it is clogged you might want to upgrade to a design that can offer more features.
There are many different models available for both kitchen and bathroom faucets.
They can provide everything from a soft gentle flow to strong jets for cleaning stubborn food deposits on pots and pans.
When searching for a new aerator make sure you check whether your design uses an male or female thread design.