How To Remove Faucet Aerator That Is Stuck?

An aerator is found in every faucet in the kitchen and bathroom. This is a small part of the faucet but it enhances your daily washing and cleaning works in more ways than you imagine. Its lots of minuscule holes perform a magical feat and transform the forceful water into a gentle flow and prevent splashing.

But if you don’t maintain and clean the aerator from time to time, the flow of water from the faucet will become low. If you haven’t cleaned it for a long time then it is possible the aerator may have stuck in the faucet spout. So how to remove faucet aerator that is stuck? This guide has easy DIY methods to remove a stuck faucet aerator.

How Does a Faucet Aerator Get Stuck?

faucet aerator

Mineral Buildup

A common reason for a stuck faucet aerator is mineral buildup. Minerals are present in the water supply, especially in hard water. If you are not using a hard water faucet, mineral buildup will occur frequently on the faucet.

With time, these buildups accumulate on the mesh screen or small holes of the aerator and make it challenging to unscrew the aerator.


If your faucet has a metal aerator, corrosion will occur on it. When the metal remains in contact with water for a long, it can be susceptible to corrosion when exposed to moisture over an extended period. The metal components of the aerator may fuse or seize as a result of corrosion, making it challenging to detach it.

Sediment or Debris

The buildup of silt, dirt, or debris from the water supply is another typical cause of a stuck faucet aerator.

When these particles enter the aerator, they may settle in the mesh screen or obstruct the tiny holes, creating obstructions that make it difficult to remove the aerator. Sediment and debris can originate from a number of places, such as the water source itself, deteriorating plumbing, or brief interruptions in the water supply.

Incorrect Installation

The aerator may become stuck as a result of improper installation. The aerator may form a tight seal that is challenging to break if it was installed improperly or with excessive force. Similarly, if the aerator was not aligned correctly with the threading, it may become misaligned and resist removal.

How To Remove Faucet Aerator That Is Stuck?

How To Remove Faucet Aerator That Is Stuck?

Gather Necessary Tools

  • Adjustable pliers or a wrench
  • Penetrating oil or lubricant
  • Rubber gloves
  • Clean cloth or towel
  • Vinegar
  • Masking tape

When you start trying to remove a stuck aerator from the faucet, turn off the water supply. For this, turn off and shut off valves to stop water. Also, wrap the masking tape around the faucet spout to prevent any scratches.

Use Hand

Let’s try the first method to remove the stuck faucet aerator. For this, you don’t need any tools. You can remove the stuck aerator by hand.

For this make sure, you completely dry the hand and faucet. Wet hand and faucet won’t create a perfect grip. When you make grip on the aerator, gently turn it in the counterclockwise direction. In some cases, the stuck aerator comes out by hand.

Apply Lubricant

First start with applying the lubricant to the faucet aerator. For this silicone-based lubricants and penetrating oils like WD-40 are good to use.

Silicone-based lubricants create a smooth and slick surface that can aid in aerator loosening. Penetrating oils, such as WD-40, are specifically designed to dissolve rust and corrosion, making them useful for stuck aerators suffering from these concerns.

Now it’s time to apply the lubricant. Shake the lubricant well before applying it. Now spray it on the aerator. Make sure to cover all visible areas of the aerator with the lubricant.

Allow a few minutes for the lubricant to penetrate and work its way into the tiny areas. This helps in the removal of any filth, mineral deposits, or rust that may be clogging the aerator.

Use Plier or Wrench

According to the aerator design, either you need a plier or an adjustable wrench for better grip and leverage.

Pliers are a versatile tool that may be used on aerators of various sizes and forms. An adjustable wrench, on the other hand, has a better grip and may be better suited for larger or more recalcitrant aerators.

After making the proper tool selection, carefully place the pliers or wrenches around the aerator. To ensure a tight hold, make sure to grip it as close to the base as you can.  To prevent any unintentional slips or accidents, it’s important to retain control and stability when holding the aerator.

Start by gently turning the aerator counterclockwise while maintaining a firm grip on it. Start by carefully and steadily turning the pliers or wrenches while allowing the lubrication to do its job.

If the aerator doesn’t start to loosen right away, keep applying progressive pressure and keeping your grip steady. The lubricant should help reduce any resistance and make removing the aerator easier.

Remove Mineral Buildup

Particularly in places with hard water, mineral accumulation frequently results in a stuck faucet aerator. Thankfully, vinegar can work well as a solvent to dissolve these mineral deposits.

For this, you need a plastic bag. Fill the plastic bag with the vinegar. There should be enough vinegar in the plastic bag so the aerator is completely submerged in it.

Now you need to seal the bag around the stuck aerator. Allow the aerator to soak in the vinegar for about 15 to 30 minutes. vinegar will work to dissolve the mineral deposits that are causing the aerator to stick. You can increase the soaking time if your buildup is not dissolved properly.

Tap The Aerator

If the aerator is still stuck after using vinegar or if you prefer to try a different method before resorting to professional assistance, tapping the aerator lightly can be a useful technique.

Gently tap the aerator in a few different locations using the handle of a screwdriver or a similar item. The goal is to induce vibrations that will aid in releasing the jammed aerator. Tap the aerator’s sides first, then gently work your way around, covering all of them. Any dirt or sediment that is causing the aerator to stick might be moved by the vibrations.

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How To Remove a Stuck Faucet Aerator By Heat?

In some conditions, despite trying the above methods, the stuck aerator won’t come out. Here the heating method becomes useful. When you heat the aerator, it loosens the grip and makes the removal process much easier.

To heat up the aerator, you need a heat gun or hairdryer. Wear safety gloves, to prevent your hand from burning.

Point the nozzle of the hair dryer or heat gun towards the aerator and direct the hot air onto it. Move the heat source around the aerator evenly to ensure thorough heating.

Allow the hot air to circulate and heat the aerator for a couple of minutes. The goal here is to expand the metal slightly, loosening its grip. Remember to keep your heat-resistant gloves on to protect your hands from any accidental burns.

When the aerator is hot enough, use an adjustable wrench or a pair of pliers to gain a firmer grip. Similar to how you would with manual removal, gently press in a counterclockwise motion. The aerator should be simpler to remove thanks to the heat and increased leverage.

Final Words

Removing a stuck faucet aerator is not a difficult task, if you know the right steps. You can effectively solve the problem by understanding the significance of a faucet aerator and realizing the typical causes of it being stuck. You can quickly restore correct water flow and stop additional harm to your faucet by following the essential measures to remove a jammed faucet aerator. In addition to ensuring smooth water flow, regular maintenance of your faucet aerator will help increase the longevity of your fixtures.

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