Cleaning or replacing the aerator is very easy and you should be able to do it without any tools. I know I won't need any tools because the aerators missing - I'm halfway done - all I need is the aerator! Ah ha! There's the problem - getting to the hardware store. I have this thing about running out each and every time I need something. Dawn thinks I just don’t like “running errands” – to me, it’s a huge waste of time. If I’m going out to get something, I need to make at least three stops to feel efficient – that’s another boring and completely pointless story that makes sense only to me – so, we’ll skip that too.
Dry both the spout and your hands before trying to remove it with your fingers. If it is too tight, then you are going to need to use an adjustable wrench. Caution here - before using the pliers on the faucet, wrap several loops of electrical tape or a rubber band around the aerator. If you squeeze the aerator too much you could bend it out of round and if you don’t squeeze enough, the pliers could slip and scratch the finish. Be careful.
Once you remove the aerator you will notice one or more parts contained within. Note the order and orientation of the parts as you remove them so they go back the same way – yes, it matters! As you take them out you will probably find grit and rust. Rinse the pieces with water and brush off the debris. For difficult to remove deposits, soak the parts in white vinegar for a few minutes and scrub with a toothbrush. If any parts are cracked or broken, replace them. If the washer has hardened, it should be replaced. The whole contraption costs less than $5 – treat yourself!
With the debris cleaned out, reassemble the aerator and screw it back onto the faucet. Hand tightening should be adequate and it will if you use Teflon tape. If you don’t already, I strongly recommend having a roll Teflon tape in your tool box. This stuff will stop any leak on anything with a thread. The trick is to wrap the tape in the direction that you’ll be screwing back onto and use very little otherwise catching the threads will be difficult.
That's it, done.
So, here I am on the train Monday morning, thinking about how much work I had planned to accomplish around the house this weekend and how she’s right – nothing is getting done! Okay, so there were two soccer games and a dance rehearsal, soccer cleats that had to be returned because I bought 2 different size shoes – it seems like when I try to help, I cause more work in the long run - a backyard party, shopping for a gift for the backyard party, 9 holes of golf with my sons – which is the most important thing I did all weekend and dinner at Mom’s Sunday night – the culinary highlight of the week. Actually, it’s amazing I did all that and had time to fix the sink!