How to Clean Your Aerator

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Is your faucet suddenly spraying unevenly? A sputtering faucet is a good indicator that your aerator may be dirty.

What is an aerator?

An aerator is the small mesh screen you can see at the end of your faucet. The mesh causes the water to stream through your faucet in smaller streams — without it, water would flow from your faucet as it does from a garden hose. Aerators are also a great way to increase the efficiency of your fixture without affecting your water pressure.

How does an aerator get dirty?

Hard water flows through your aerator in the same way as any other fixture or appliance that uses water. Since the mesh is so small, sometimes it can become blocked with minerals and sediment, making it more difficult for water to flow freely from your tap.

Thankfully, there’s an easy fix to this issue.

3 Steps to Clean Your Faucet Aerator

Our team is walking you through three simple steps to clean your aerator and get your water pressure back to normal.

1. Remove the aerator

If your aerator is screwed on by hand, this step will be simple. If you need to use pliers to remove your aerator, make sure to wrap a rag around the fixture to protect it from scratches.

2. Rinse the screen

Remove the screen from the aerator and rinse both sides under running water. If your home has relatively clear water, this may be enough to clean it out, but you may need to use a small toothbrush to break up some of the sediment.

3. Soak it in vinegar

If your home has hard water (or if you’ve never cleaned your aerators), you may be dealing with calcium deposits. If you can’t remove the blockage by gently brushing, leave the aerator in a bowl of white vinegar overnight and scrub it clean in the morning.

You’ve successfully cleared your aerator! Make sure to screw the aerator back on only as tightly as you can by hand when you reassemble — that will make it easier to remove the next time you need to clean it out.

EJ Plumbing Can Handle Your Every Plumbing Need!

Feel free to contact our team online or by phone at if you have any questions on this project or if you run into any issues in the process.

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Got a plumbing problem?

When you need plumbing services in San Jose, Santa Clara, or any of the communities in the surrounding Bay Area, count on EJ Plumbing. With more than a decade of industry experience, our expertly-trained technicians can handle just about any plumbing problem you may have. From drain cleaning to water leaks, sewer line replacements, toilet repairs, and more, you can rely on us for all your residential plumbing needs. We even offer emergency services upon availability for serious issues that just can't wait. Our dependable team is always available to assist you.