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 with. For other faucets in the home, Michigan State University Extension stresses that 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 does not 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, 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 five water resource sites set up throughout the City of Flint. Visit one of these sites to receive free bottled water, free water filters, free filter replacement cartridges and free water testing kits. If you need immediate assistance, call 2-1-1.

Fire Station #1

310 East 5th Street

Flint, MI 48502


Fire Station #3

1525 Martin Luther King Ave.

Flint, MI 48503


Fire Station #5

3402 Western Rd.

Flint, MI 48506


Fire Station #6

716 West Pierson Rd.

Flint, MI 48505


Fire Station #8

202 East Atherton Rd.

Flint, MI 48507

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