How to remove faucet aerator that is stuck (Moen and more): AVOID Doing This!

An aerator is a small piece on your faucet that regulates the water outflow. It typically has a small filter to remove dirt and dust from the water.  It can be really annoying if the faucet aerator gets stuck. This part of the faucet can get chalk all over it or it might have gotten overtightened.

Given that this is a small piece, it can be difficult to get a grip on it. You can try to use a dry towel but this might not work either. Using a pair of pliers can damage the faucet and lead to dirty scratches. How do plumbers do this?


How to remove a faucet aerator that is stuck

Faucet aerators have to be cleaned from time to time. The filter in them can get blocked or chalk can leave dirty stains on them. Removing them is easy if you have the right tool to do this. A special key can be used to get this loose and removed. These are made out of plastic or metal. Plastic ones can break quite easily if you are not careful but they are less likely to damage your aerator. 

It is possible to remove Moen faucet aerators with this tool.

Using this tool is easy. You just slide it over the aerator and turn it counterclockwise. This should get it loose. You might want to support your faucet and sink when you do this. You might have to apply some force at first but don’t overdo it. Especially if your faucet is loose, you might consider using a socket wrench to tighten it first. 

You can also use a cord and a pencil. Wrap the cord around the aerator for grip and add the pencil between the cord. Turn the pencil counterclockwise This can scratch the aerator though so be careful when you do this.

In design faucets, the aerator can be hidden inside the faucet. You can use this tool as well and insert the pointy ends. Often turning counterclockwise will loosen the aerator.

You might have to check what size is needed as faucets come in different sizes but the aforementioned tool can handle the most common sizes. Design faucets often break quite easily so you have to be careful when you work on them. There is a reason that plumbers don’t like design faucets…

Example of a design faucet with a hidden aerator. You can see the chalk on it.

How to clean your faucet aerator

You can remove the filter and rinse this under streaming water. Once this has been done, you can check if there are white stains that indicate the presence of chalk. If you see this, you might want to remove the rubber rings and let them sit in the vinegar for a night. This will remove the chalk and your aerator should be as good as new. You can also use a brush to further clean it. Just make sure that it is a fine brush as you can often scratch this part if you are not careful.

You can consider installing new rubber rings. These are very cheap and make sure that the faucet doesn’t drip along the sides of the aerator. Installing the aerator again is quite easy, just install the rubber rings and turn the aerator clockwise. Don’t overtighten it as this can break the faucet and can make it harder to remove it again later on. A lot of people want to tighten it too much but this is not really needed. 

You should do this every month so that the aerator remains clean and easy to remove. It is sometimes possible to replace the aerator if it gets dirty or scratched but this depends on the brand of the faucet. Bigger brands often offer replacement parts whereas cheaper brands generally don’t do this. 

Once you have removed the faucet aerator a few times, it should become possible to do this by hand. Simply turn it counterclockwise and it will come loose. Don’t drop it in the sink as this can chip or crack your sink. Some water can get out as well when you remove it. 

Uses of aerators

It is possible to get cool connectors for your faucet. For example, you can attach a garden hose to your indoor faucets using a connector piece. This can be handy if you want to wash your windows or if you don’t have an outdoor faucet. 

Some countertop dishwashers also need to get connected to a faucet. Often the aerator has to be removed or replaced to do this. These dishwashers are becoming more popular as people are living in smaller apartments. 

To conclude, we can state that it is often quite straightforward to remove the aerator if you have the right tools. Be careful that you don’t scratch the aerator or break the faucet. For this reason, it can be worth it to buy a dedicated tool as they are cheap and easy to use. Once you start cleaning the aerator often, it will become easier to get it removed and you can do it by hand.

The rubber rings have to be replaced sometimes. These are cheap and easy to replace as well. Chalk can make your faucet look dirty. With the previous tips, you know how to completely clean your faucet and aerator. Faucets can last almost a decade if you take care of them and clean them regularly. 

If you repair a design faucet, you have to be careful. The aerator can be hidden inside the faucet and it can be harder to remove. You can use the discussed tool as well to get it out. Just be careful that you don’t use too much force. You might want to support the faucet as well as these are often less sturdy. 

Maintaining your sink and faucets can make them last close to a decade. A monthly routine of cleaning everything in depth can make them usable for a long period of time. Faucets can often discolor or get dirty if they don’t get taken care of. With all the things that you have learned in this article, you should be able to keep your kitchen and bathroom looking nice for a several years.