How to Clean a Faucet Head

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Faucets may be full of mineral deposits that cause uneven water flow.
Faucets may be full of mineral deposits that cause uneven water flow. (Image: faucet image by Laura Dynan from Fotolia.com)

Because many minerals are found in water, faucets and shower heads can become clogged with mineral deposits over time. These deposits clog the vents and holes needed for smooth water flow. When they are clogged, the water flow may be uneven. Sometimes, the water flow only comes out of one side of the faucet. Clean your faucet to clear mineral deposits and create a smoother, more consistent water flow.

Things You'll Need

  • Masking tape
  • Two pipe wrenches
  • Bowl or cup
  • White vinegar
  • Old toothbrush
  • Toothpicks or safety pins

Cleaning a Shower Faucet Head

Place masking tape around the end of the shower arm that meets the wall and place another strip just above the shower head. This will prevent the wrench from scratching the shower arm.

Use a pipe wrench to hold the shower arm in place where it meets the wall. Unscrew the shower head with a second wrench.

Twist the shower head with your hand the rest of the way after loosening it up with the wrench. Remove the shower head from the shower arm.

Disassemble the shower head. The aerator is the hole-filled piece where the water comes out. Remove the aerator from the shower head by twisting or gently prying it off.

Fill a bowl with white vinegar, enough to submerge the shower head and all of its pieces. Allow the shower head to soak for at least 15 minutes, longer if needed.

Brush off all mineral deposits and gunk with a toothbrush. Poke the holes of the shower head with a toothpick to get rid of the gunk inside the holes. Place the pieces back together and twist back onto your shower arm.

Cleaning the Aerator on a Sink Faucet Head

Remove the aerator by unscrewing it from beneath the faucet head. The aerator, round with a screen on it, mixes water and air to give the water an even flow.

Place the aerator in a cup. Add enough white vinegar to submerge the aerator. Let it set for 15 minutes.

Use an old toothbrush to scrub the aerator to remove mineral deposits and other gunk that may be present.

Use a toothpick or safety pin to remove gunk from the screen and vents. The aerator is full of small holes and vents on both sides, and these holes get plugged with mineral deposits. The vinegar should remove most of the deposits, but some scrubbing may be necessary.

Rinse the aerator and screw it back on to the faucet.

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