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How to Clean a Faucet Aerator

If you’ve noticed a gradual–or sudden!–decrease in water pressure, it may be time to check and clean the faucet aerator. Our friend Carly is back to show us how to do it.

What’s an Aerator?

An aerator is the small round metal piece that threads around the faucet spigot. The purpose of the aerator is to add air, to regulate and maintain the sink’s water pressure. It also reduces the amount of water you’re using as it restricts the flow from gushing. 

How to Clean a Faucet Aerator


A wrench or pliers
Cloth to wrap around tool (if you’re worried about marring the finish of the of the faucet)
Toothbrush or Q-tip


Step 1

Unthread the aerator from the sink. Lefty loosey! Some may come off with just your hand, others may require a wrench or pliers to unthread.

Step 2

Using a qtip, toothbrush, or your fingers, gently tap off any debris. You can also run water through it the way you would clean a colander in the kitchen sink and even let it sit in a mild vinegar mixture.

Step 3

Make sure you keep the rubber washer in place once (or add back on) once you’re done. This creates a seal to prevent dripping.

Step 4

Thread the aerator back on and make sure it’s tightly secured. If it isn’t, water will shoot through the unsecured parts.

Step 5

And you’re done! We suggest cleaning all aerators in your home every few months to keep the water flowing.

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