How To Remove Hard Water Deposits From Faucet Aerator?

Over time, hard water deposits can build up in the faucet aerator and slow down the water pressure. So, how to remove hard water deposits from faucet aerator.

If you don’t clean the aerator, mineral deposits clog the aerator holes and water flow almost stops. It makes the kitchen faucet almost useless due to the lowest amount of water that comes out from the aerator holes.

Luckily, cleaning hard water mineral deposits from the kitchen faucet aerator is a really easy task. White vinegar is the most common cleaner to remove hard water deposits. It takes only a few couple of minutes to clean an aerator. Here is the process in detail to clean it and get the water flow up and running smoothly again.

What Is The Use of An Aerator?

Use of An Aerator

An aerator is a tiny object that has holes and it is fitted at the end of the kitchen faucet spout. People don’t pay attention to the aerator until it stops working.

An aerator improves the flow of water. It has a round shape and fits inside the faucet end so not visible from the outside.

Holes in the aerator mix air with water to make the water flow smoothly and gently. So, it helps to reduce water splash around the sink and saves water.

Why Hard Water Creates Deposits In Faucet Aerators?

Why Hard Water Creates Deposits In Faucet Aerator

An aerator works as a flow restrictor. It makes water pressure consistent and straight. But due to hard water, an aerator becomes clogged with mineral deposits.

Hard water contains minerals. With time aerators accumulate these minerals so water flow is impeded. Although, if you have a hard water faucet for the kitchen sink, you won’t faucet a clogged aerator issue.

When the quantity of hard water deposits increases, it begins to cause issues. The mineral buildup affects the work efficiency and life of the aerator.

Once the deposit accumulates at a certain point, it causes bad water pressure and leakage. So, before it goes too late, you should get rid of hard water calcium buildup from the faucet aerator.

How To Remove Hard Water Deposits From Faucet Aerator?

How To Remove Hard Water Deposits From Faucet Aerator

Cleaning a kitchen faucet aerator is not difficult, especially if you have all the needed tools. Here is the list of tools, you need to remove and clean an aerator.

Step 1 – Remove The Faucet Aerator

Make a hand grip on the aerator and move it counterclockwise to unthread it. Maybe the aerator is stuck so it won’t move easily. So, spray penetration oil on it to loosen it.

Now use channel lock pliers to loosen it. The aerator is fixed at the spout end and when you use channel lock pliers to remove it, the faucet finish may damage. Cover the faucet finish near the spout with masking tape.

If the faucet has a plastic aerator, don’t the pliers too hard on the aerator, it may damage or break it.

Step 2 – Check Spout End

Chances of deposits, inside the spout, are high. Use a screwdriver to check inside the spout. Insert screwdriver and it stuck, which means there are mineral deposits. Pry out deposits with the screwdriver. Spray vinegar in the spout so that by the time you clean the aerator, deposits from the spout also come out.

Step 3 – Clean The Aerator

Fill a bowl with enough vinegar so the aerator submerges into it. First, use a toothpick to open up the hole in the aerator. It will work where deposits are low.

Now soak the aerator in the vinegar to dissolve deposits. It is advised to keep the aerator in the vinegar overnight. If you can’t keep it overnight, you should soak it until the deposits can be removed with a needle.

Step 4 – Rinse The Aerator

At last, take out the aerator from the vinegar. Rinse it under the faucet. All loose deposits will be removed. If still there are some calcium deposits, use a toothpick or needle to remove them. Again, rinse it, to clean it properly. Reattach the aerator to its original position.

How To Remove a Faucet Aerator?

If You Have a Key

Some faucet aerator has a key to remove them. The aerator is cached inside the spout so it is not easily accessible to anyone. But with a key, its removal process becomes so smooth.

To check the aerator, put a mirror under the faucet spout, so you can see an inset aerator is covered with a series of notches around its outer side. This type of aerator needs a specially designed key that fits perfectly inside the spout and notches.

When you start turning the key, the aerator will start moving. The key will easily remove the faucet aerator. If your faucet brand doesn’t have an aerator key, you may buy any third-party key. These keys are a good thing to have on hand and it costs just a few dollars.

If Don’t Have a Key

If you don’t have a key, you should first try to remove it by hand. It May be possible when it was installed, the person didn’t have a key so it was tightened by hand.

Make fingers grip on it and try to remove it. Dry the aerator with a cloth and put on rubber gloves to make a proper grip.

If it is stuck and can’t be turned, it’s time to use a flathead screwdriver or a knife. Wedge the tip of the screwdriver into one of the notches.

If there are mineral deposits that block the screwdriver grip, use a hammer and tap it at the end of the screwdriver. Apart from a screwdriver, you may use needle-nose pliers.

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What Happens If You Don’t Clean Deposits From The Aerator?

How To Remove a Faucet Aerator?

People don’t ever think about cleaning a kitchen faucet aerator until it doesn’t get clogged by mineral deposits. Keep the aerator clean, and make the water flow better.

Deposits block holes in the aerator. If you don’t clean it, in the end, all holes will be blocked and you won’t get any water from the faucet. From a wide stream of water, a narrow stream will be formed.

It increases the water bill because more water will be used by the clogged aerator. Water pressure goes down. On dishes and vegetables, you will see mineral deposits. So, with faucet cleaning, you should also clean the faucet aerator.

How Do You Clean a Non-Removable Faucet Aerator?

Not all faucets have a removable faucet aerator, so how to clean a nonremovable aerator? Its method is also simple.

For it, you need a plastic bag and white distilled vinegar.

Fill the vinegar into the plastic bag and wrap it around the spout with a rubber band. Leave it for a night. It will loosen all calcium deposits in the aerator. Remove the bag and turn on the faucet handle. Water will run and most deposits come out. To remove remaining mineral deposits, use a needle or toothpick.

How Do I Know If My Faucet Aerator Is Bad?

How Do I Know If My Faucet Aerator Is Bad?

When the aerator works perfectly, water comes out from the faucet in a stream of fine bubbles. But with time, the aerator becomes clogged and the water stream flow becomes improper.

When you see a change in the flow of water, it is possible due to a bad aerator. To see the condition of the aerator, rub your fingers on the aerator. If you fill roughness, it means calcium buildup is there. calcium buildup makes the aerator unworthy.


As illustrated above, the faucet aerator is a must-have part of the faucet to make water flow smoothly and correct pressure. But when hard water mineral buildup clogged the aerator, this small part caused issues and interrupt the water flow. In such conditions, you should remove the aerator and clean calcium deposits from it.

The process to remove hard water deposits from the faucet aerator is straightforward but people don’t know the right process. Fortunately, as discussed above, you can remove mineral deposits and clean a clogged aerator easily.

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