Keep faucet aerators clean

Aerators filter particles that come through your faucet. A clean aerator will help to keep water clean.

Water filters are being distributed and installed in homes throughout the City of Flint. These filters are important to use on faucets from which you run water to drink, brush your teeth or cook. For other faucets in the home, Michigan State University Extension stresses it’s important to keep the faucet aerator clean. The aerator on a faucet helps to save water. It does this by mixing air into the water. You can see if you have an aerator by sticking your finger in the end of the faucet. The aerator will be a fine screen in your faucet. Remember, an aerator doesn’t eliminate the need for a filter on a faucet that is used for drinking, tooth brushing or cooking.

To clean a faucet aerator, follow these simple steps:
  1. To remove the aerator, simply unscrew it. You should be able to do this with your fingers but you might need a wrench if it is really tight.
  2. Water is sometimes all that is needed to rinse off the aerator parts. If there is a buildup (of calcium or lime residue, for example) you might also need to use white vinegar and an old toothbrush.
  3. Soak the aerator in a glass of vinegar to loosen the minerals. Usually five minutes of soaking will loosen the particles. Use the toothbrush to scrub out the inside of the aerator. Be sure to use this toothbrush for cleaning in the future and not for brushing your teeth!
  4. If your aerator has several pieces take it apart completely - but make sure you pay attention to the order of the parts. That will help when it’s time to put it back together again. Scrub all of the pieces to get them clean.
  5. Next, rinse everything very well. Run water through the aerator screen, holding it right side up and upside down.
  6. Once the pieces are clean put them back together and reattach the aerator to the faucet.
  7. Repeat these steps every week. This will help keep the aerator clean and free from buildup of lead, calcium and other particles.

There are resources in Flint to help with water filters. Help Centers serve as a “one-stop shop” offering free resources for Flint residents including:

  • Lead-fighting foods and produce
  • Physical health options
  • Mental health services
  • Personal care items
  • Water filters and replacement cartridges
  • Resource packets with informational material about additional services and events related to the Flint Water Crisis
You’ll find Help Centers at the following locations:
  • Asbury Church – close to the Franklin Bus Route 7 (Davison Road and Franklin Road)
  • Bethel United Methodist Church – close to the Beecher/Corunna Bus Route 12 (Ballenger Highway and Flushing Road)
  • Greater Holy Temple Church of God in Christ – close to the Crosstown North Bus Route 13 (Carpenter Road and Dort Highway)

For more information about resources for Flint residents, visit Flint Cares. If you need immediate assistance, call 2-1-1.

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