How To Unclog Kitchen Faucet Aerator? (Step-By-Step Guide)

If you observe that the water pressure at your kitchen faucet has been low or no water coming from your faucet then the reason may be a clogged aerator.

The aerator is a small circular piece with a mesh screen disk that fits at the end of your faucet. It helps to make a consistent stream of water.

But it can get clogged due to the buildup of debris and mineral deposits.

However, cleaning a faucet aerator is very simple, you just need some common household items and the task will not take more than 45 minutes to an hour to complete.

Keep reading the article, below we had discussed step by step guide on how to unclog your kitchen faucet aerator so that your faucet works properly again.

Things You’ll Need

Before you start to remove the aerator, make sure to have these tools and equipment by your side so that you won’t be distracted while in the process of unclogging the aerator.

The tools and equipment mentioned below are easily available at any hardware store and most of it might be available at your home already.

  • Channel Pliers
  • Small screwdriver
  • Sewing Needle
  • Masking Tape
  • Toothbrush
  • Towel
  • Toothpick or Paper Clip
  • White Vinegar

Before You Start

  • Cover the pliers’ jaws with masking tape. So that when you grip the aerator with pliers, scratches or dents won’t occur at the surface.
  • Make a note or Take a photo of the order of the aerator parts while disassembling because you have to put the parts back in the same order.
  • Cover the sink drain with a towel or stopper so that you don’t lose any parts if they fall down.

Step 1: Remove The Aerator From The End Of Your Faucet

Before removing the aerator make sure to cover the sink with a towel or a stopper. So, that you don’t lose any parts if they fell down the drain.

Now turn the aerator in an anti-clockwise direction with your hand to remove it from the faucet’s end.

If the aerator is too much tight and you are not able to remove it with your hand, use a channel lock plier.

But remember that aerators are made of metal and their parts are plastic. So, to avoid any breaking or scratching, make sure to cover the pliers’ jaw with masking tape. 

While using pliers make sure to not apply too much pressure on the surface to avoid damage.

If the aerator is hidden inside the faucet spout then use a key wrench to remove it. A key wrench is a special tool that helps you to remove the hidden aerator from the faucet.

All you’ve to do is just fit the key wrench in the faucet’s mouth and turn it in the anti-clockwise direction. The aerator will loosen up and get out of the faucet’s end.

If the aerator is rusted then it won’t come out that easily with hands or by pliers. You’ll have to use a WD-40 spray on the faucet aerator. Before using the spray make sure to open the windows for ventilation.

Spray some WD-40 on the aerator or the part where it’s screwed to the faucet’s end. Wait for 5 to 10 minutes so that the element penetrates the metal.

After that wipe the aerator with a clean cloth to get a better grip. Then use pliers to remove it (make sure the aerator or the pliers’ teeth is covered with masking tape).

Step 2: Check For Debris And Mineral Deposits

After removing the aerator make sure to check inside the faucet spout for any parts that may be stuck inside.

As debris and minerals deposits build up inside the spout and the parts of the aerator get stuck with it.

Use your little finger or a small screwdriver to pry out the stuck parts. Also, clear the debris or deposits present inside the spout.

Step 3: Disassemble The Aerator And Clean The Parts

Aerators are made up of different parts that include a rubber washer, a mesh screen, and a cylindrical metal housing.

Now with the help of a toothpick or needle, pop out each part and arrange them in the order you took them off.

While removing the parts make sure to note down the sequence in which you’re removing or click photos of it because it’s mandatory to reassemble all the parts back in the same order or else the aerator won’t function properly.

After disassembling the aerator, if the screen or other parts are blocked by sediments and debris then clean them with the help of a needle or toothpick.

Step 4: Rinse The Aerator Parts With Water

Now rinse the aerator parts with clean water so that a big chunk of sediments gets flushed out.

Take each part, turn on the faucet, and let water pass through the parts. This will clean out the residue.

Step 5: Soak The Aerator In Vinegar

Take a small container and fill white vinegar in it. Then, leave all the parts of the aerator inside the container for 5 to 10 minutes.

The vinegar will break down the tough residue and it will become soft. But if the screen and pieces are really gunked up then you can leave the parts overnight.

Step 6: Scrub The Aerator With A Brush

After that, if any gunk is still stuck inside the parts then use a toothbrush to remove it. Scrub each part with the help of a toothbrush.

Then, hold the parts up to the light to see if any debris is still left behind. While scrubbing make sure to do it gently or else the parts will get damaged.

Step 7: Rinse And Reassemble The Aerator

Now rinse all the parts with clean water so that all the dirt gets flushed out. Turn on the faucet and make sure the stream of water is fast.

Take each part and rinse it with high pressured water so that the remaining debris or dirt which is still stuck inside gets flushed out easily.

Make sure to hold the parts properly so that water can pierce through them from all angles.

Then reassemble the aerator but make sure you put the parts in their original order. Use the pictures that you took during disassembling to ensure that the parts are put back in the correct order.

Step 8: Reattach The Aerator To The Faucet End

Now, reattach the aerator to the end of your faucet spout by turning it in a clockwise direction with your hand.

Turn on the faucet and check if the aerator is attached properly or not.

If you see, water coming through outside the aerator or leaking from the side, tighten the aerator a bit more with the help of a plier or wrench.